Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Govt to research food safety

Govt to research food safety

Imported milk products sit at a market stall in Phnom Penh
Imported milk products sit at a market stall in Phnom Penh last week. The government is moving forward with plans to draft a food-safety law that could be finished in March. Eli Meixler

Govt to research food safety

The Cambodian government will start gathering data before beginning to draft a long-awaited food law before the end of the year, officials confirmed yesterday.

The law, which has been in the works since 2004, aims to regulate food safety and quality in Cambodia and put the country on par with international standards set by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The news came after an inter-ministry workshop on Saturday led by the Ministry of Commerce (MoC).

“The food law will protect the safety of consumer from any dangers caused by foods,” said Commerce Ministry Secretary of State Tekret Kamrang in a release. “Unsafe foods will harm the consumers’ health and the victims will [lose] money as well as time on medical treatment.”

According to the FAO, food safety has long been a problem in Cambodia. The country implemented standards on food safety management in 2000, but they are not all considered mandatory.

“We need to implement standard food measures across the board but there is a huge lack of food data in Cambodia so it’s very important that we get that so we’re properly informed,” said Dim Theng, lab director at CamControl, one of the ministry’s departments leading the research.

Apart from a lack of research, one of Cambodia’s other challenges is achieving inter-ministerial coordination in implementing food measures.

“Food control activities are being implemented by different ministries and departments in a piecemeal manner and with little coordination and communication between ministries, departments and stakeholders,” FAO senior food safety and nutrition officer Shashi Sareen wrote in an email.

Theng said that this is one of the issues the drafting committee plans to tackle as they write the upcoming food law.

“We have several ministries assigned on different aspects of food safety implementation but we need a better mechanism and we need to clearly identify responsibilities,” he said, adding that they aim to finish the draft by March and implement it by the end of next year.


  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • Close to the edge: Hair raising pictures from Kulen Mountain

    A new hair raising attraction on Kulen Mountain has finally opened to the public, with people flocking to the protruding cliff edge overlooking green mountainous forests to take photographs. The giant overhanging rock is situated in an area known as Mahendraparvata – an ancient city of

  • ‘Action needed to stop road deaths doubling by next year’

    Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has expressed concern over the rate of traffic accidents, saying the death toll will double by 2020 if no effective preventive measures were put in place. At least five people on average are killed on Cambodian roads every day. The interior

  • Cambodian rice to lose EU duty-free status

    The Cambodian rice sector is set to lose its duty-free export status to the EU today – its major rice market – after the European bloc decided to impose tariffs on rice from Cambodia and Myanmar to curb a surge in such imports. The decision will be