SINGAPORE - The World Organisation for Animal Health has given top honours to a local food-testing facility, endorsing it as Southeast Asia's first collaborating centre.
This was revealed by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in a blog post on Tuesday, as he lauded the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority's Veterinary Public Health Centre for its efforts.
Started in the 1970s as a no-frills meat testing laboratory, the centre now conducts specialised inspections and tests on foods, as well as keeping an eye out for food safety hazards.
"Food safety is of paramount importance to our people. With food imports coming in from countries all over the world, cross-border checks are critical to ensuring that our food supply is safe," said Mr Khaw.
AVA and the centre had a crucial role to play, he noted.
As a collaborating centre, AVA will now be in a better position to stay ahead of emerging challenges, and will also have the chance to extend its technical expertise to the region.
"This will enhance the overall food safety in the region, a source of many of our food imports," he added.