M. Ebrahimi Fakhar
Food and Drug Deputy, Ministry of Health
Based on the 1967 Food Safety Law, each food factory must be approved by the Food Safety Department as to good manufacturing practices (GMPs), good laboratory practices, and generalized system of preferences. Each food factory must employ a food technologist (at the B.S.-degree level or higher) approved by the Food Safety Department. This individual is responsible for quality control in the factory at three levels: quality control of raw materials, quality control of processing, and quality control of the finished product. The food technologist must send monthly reports to the Food Safety Department. In addition, the Food Safety staffs in the provinces periodically inspect food factories and check them by testing random samples. At the distribution level there is a post-marketing surveillance system in order to control finished products in the market. Recently, the Food Safety Department has encouraged food factories to establish Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems and this will become obligatory in the near future.
The supervisory administration for food, drink, cosmetics, and sanitary stuffs started teaching HACCP in 1994, in keeping with World Health Organization (WHO) aims. It has promoted and encouraged the development and use of HACCP systems. In recent years many workshops and seminars on GMPs and HACCP systems have been organized by the above-mentioned administration or by medical science universities. WHO tutors and consultants have served as tutors and lecturers.
The first food safety meeting and related workshops were held in August 1996. The participants were managers and experts of the Supervisory Administration of Food and Sanitary Stuffs from Iran’s medical science universities. The second meeting was held in November 1996; it was sponsored by Tabriz Univer-