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Standards and metrology in support of safe food and feed workshop held for GULFMET countries

Thirty participants from six members of the GULFMET RMO took part in the three day workshop on "Metrology for Safe Food and Feed - Organic Analysis and Standards", which was organized as part of the BIPM 'Metrology for Safe Food and Feed Programme' Capacity Building and Knowledge Transfer programme. The workshop was sponsored by the GCC Standardization Organization (GSO) and was held from 4-6 November 2019 in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia).

The course addressed general concepts on the role and activities of organizations concerned with the delivery of SI-traceable measurement services to support the analysis of food and animal feed. The workshop included training on the delivery of the infrastructure, capabilities, activities and quality systems necessary to underpin to the provision of reference services in this area. The topics covered were:

  • metrology in chemistry and the role of the BIPM, CCQM, RMOs and NMIs
  • production and use of Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) and primary calibrators to support the reliability and comparability of routine food analysis
  • description of the measurement infrastructure supporting reference measurement services
  • the role of reference measurement services in ensuring laboratory compliance with relevant international accreditation standards (ISO 17025, ISO 17034 and ISO 17043)
  • case studies of the production and application of CRMs, proficiency testing schemes and the provision of reference measurements to underpin analytical services for:
    • nutrient and trace metal content
    • pesticides and drug residues
    • mycotoxin contamination
    • food supplements and adulterants

Workshop activities consisted of a series of lectures and targeted case studies that were intended to maximize knowledge transfer to the participants. A comprehensive overview was provided of best practice and significant challenges for the provision at the national and regional level, and integration at the international level, of a harmonized system of higher-order measurement services and reference materials. This harmonized system will support and sustain routine laboratory analytical services that monitor food safety as well as livestock, crop and plant health.

The lecturers that delivered the workshop were Steven Westwood (BIPM), Ralf Josephs (BIPM), Alpers Isleyen from UME-TUBITAK (Turkey), Byungjoo Kim from KRISS (Republic of Korea) and John Warren from LGC (UK). The participants were able to visit the Saudi Standards, Metrology and Quality Organization (SASO) National Measurement and Calibration Center (NMCC) laboratory located in Riyadh and toured the facilities for measurement services in chemical metrology.

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