Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce and the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization met yesterday to collaborate on improving Cambodia’s food safety system.

The purpose of the meeting was to bolster government agencies’ capacity to “develop, implement, and monitor national food control strategies that reflect the multi-disciplinary nature of food control,” according to Xinhua media.

In an opening statement, Chan Nora, leader of the Ministry of Commerce in Cambodia indicated that improving food safety was a key strategy for the government to promote economic sustainability. 

Nora emphasized that reducing foodborne disease will improve consumer health and improve trade opportunities for the food sector. 

“Foodborne diseases remain a leading cause of illness. Food safety problems such as intentional chemical adulteration and excessive and inappropriate use of pesticides in farming have a negative impact on public health,” said Nora.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), foodborne illness remains “a major public health concern” in Cambodia. 

The mishandling of perishable food and unhygienic preparation, especially from restaurants, street food and hawkers, continue to cause frequent foodborne illness outbreaks in the country.