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Authorities investigate a bakery in Siem Reap
Authorities investigate a bakery in Siem Reap last week after hundreds of people at an event fell sick with food poisoning. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Draft food law could be ready by July: UN

The first draft of a long-awaited food law that aims to regulate food safety and quality “from the farm to the table” could be completed as soon as July, UN and government officials said yesterday.

Speaking at a World Health Day event, Nina Brandstrup, country representative of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said there is “a group of people who are currently working on a first draft and there is a plan to have a workshop probably in July to discuss that draft”.

“It will be the first draft and we are also hoping it will be the last draft,” she said.

But Dim Theng, lab director at CamControl, a Ministry of Commerce’s department leading research into food safety, said it could still be a long time until the law is active because “it’s not easy to go fast”.

The comments follow an outbreak of food poisoning in Siem Reap province last month at an event organised by Christian NGO World Vision, which left hundreds hospitalised.

World Vision yesterday announced that it had introduced new procedures “to reduce the risk” of such incidents being repeated.

The new process will see staff assess possible risks at events, including the type and source of food and drink, to allow “management to be able to make informed decisions” about necessary changes.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY ALICE CUDDY

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