ADFSA releases latest version of EFST Programme

ADFSA releases latest version of EFST Programme

ABU DHABI,7th December, 2022 (WAM) -- The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) has released the newest edition of the Essential Food Safety Training (EFST) Programme to train and qualify all food handlers in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi on food safety based on international best practices to ensure safe handling of food across the food chain, as part of the events of the Abu Dhabi International Food Exhibition (ADIFE) 2022 held at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

“The EFST Programme comes in line with international best practices, as ADAFSA is committed to developing food safety skills for food handlers who work across the food chain, as part of ADAFSA's strategy to develop competencies, tools, licensing, registration, certification, recognition, and approval processes via specific risk-based training programs (for both food handlers and business operators) that are an essential part of an efficient food safety system,” Dr. Mariam Hareb Al Suwaidi, Deputy Director-General for Operational Affairs stated.

“It is the first compulsory training requirement issued by ADAFSA since 2008, in accordance with the general provisions of Law No. (2) of 2008 regarding food in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and Resolution No. (6) of 2020 issuing the food hygiene system accross the food chain, where 245,000 food handlers were trained in the Emirate since its launch,” she added.

“The EFST Programme is in line with ADAFSA strategic priorities 2022-2025, under its commitment to ensure food availability and safety, develop and monitor a sustainable, efficient, flexible and integrated food system, enhance food safety procedures, increase monitoring and control efforts, and redouble research in the field of food safety, work closely with stakeholders to ensure the availability of foodstuffs pursuant to health standards while ensuring the ability of the community to afford them, in addition to providing innovative and highly efficient services that achieve customer happiness and satisfaction,” she went on to say.

She also pointed out that the Programme targets training service providers and testing centres approved by ADAFSA as well as all food handlers in food outlets. “The goal of the Programme is to provide knowledge and understanding to food handlers in the field of food safety to ensure safe handling of food accross the food chain in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi”.

The curriculum and training materials in the newly released version of the Programme have been updated to include four key categories according to the business of food outlets: catering, retail, food processing and animal production to ensure meeting the training needs according to the business of each category.

One of the requirements for successfully completing the EFST Programme is to have the training provided by a training service provider approved by ADAFSA and the testing conducted by a test centre (third party) approved by ADAFSA.

On the other hand, the entire training programme must be supervised and managed by ADAFSA in cooperation and coordination with its partners.

ADAFSA has also issued a document on general provisions and guidelines related to ESFT Programme entitled, “ESFT Programme and training certificate issuance requirements, Issue No.: (04) for the year 2022.”

The training programme includes the following five general basic pillars for safe handling of food (cross-contamination, cooking/ processing, cleaning, chilling, food safety management) and is implemented in five different languages namely: Arabic, English, Urdu, Hindi and Malayalam.