Page 12 - MND Handbook

Ensuring Food Safety
As the national food safety authority, we have
instilled an integrated system of accreditation,
inspection and testing to ensure food, from
farm to fork, is safe for consumption.
We also established a comprehensive and
internationally recognised veterinary public
health system. This involves the regular review
of production systems and practices at source,
labelling of food imports for traceability and
recall, inspection of imported food products,
rigorous pre- and post-slaughter inspection
of imported livestock, and the licensing and
inspection of local food establishments
and farms.
AVA also conducts sampling and testing of
imported and locally-produced/manufactured
food. Laboratory testing is a critical component
inAVA’s food safetymonitoring and surveillance
programmes. Our Veterinary Public Health
Laboratory (VPHL) is capable of detecting a
wide range of food-borne hazards, particularly
those of current and emerging importance.
As an import/export testing and certification
laboratory, VPHL ensures that its tests are
accredited to international standards.
As the world becomes increasingly connected,
AVA needs to keep a vigilant watch on the
global food safety situation that could potentially
threaten Singapore. Our horizon scanning
and early alert function provides us with lead
time to evaluate the impact of incidents on
the safety of food in Singapore, so that we
can promptly initiate mitigation measures.
In the event of unexpected food safety
incidents, our crisis management structure
enables quick responses to the threats.
Keeping the nation’s interest in mind, we often
participate in international meetings to be in the
vanguard of food safety policy and programme
implementation worldwide.
While AVA ensures that regulatory measures
are in place and properly enforced, the food
industry must also play its role in maintaining
food safety.
Industry members are encouraged to adopt
in-house food safety assurance programmes,
such as the Hazard Analysis Critical Control
Point System and AVA’s Good Agricultural
Practice scheme. Those who have consistently
achieved high standards under AVA’s Food
Factory Grading Scheme are given recognition
during our annual Food Safety Awards Night.
In addition, AVA engages the industry in regular
dialogues, which are a crucial platform for us
to gather feedback, better understand each
other’s concerns, and work on the co-creation
of pro-business solutions for mutual benefit.
Consumers need to be aware of food
safety risks and what they can do to
protect themselves. AVA conveys food
safety messages through road shows,
advertisements and other activities under its
Food Safety Public Education Programme.
Developing Agro-technology Capability
AVA encourages the use of agro-technology,
which can help farms maximise their output
from limited land and manpower. These
farms are mostly located in AVA’s six agro-
technology parks that are well equipped
with modern infrastructure and facilities.
Comprising a total land area of about 1,465
hectares, these parks are found in Lim Chu
Kang, Murai, Sungei Tengah, Mandai, Nee
Soon, and Loyang.
We work with the private sector and various
tertiary institutions to conduct R&D on agro-
technology. Our findings and expertise are
shared with local growers, processors,
traders and retailers through consultancy,
training and audit services.
R&D on tropical marine food fish aquaculture
is done at AVA’s Marine Aquaculture Centre
MAC) on St John’s Island. MAC is the first
in the region to set up unique R&D facilities,
such as spawning tank systems, live food
micro-organism culture systems, large-scale
hatcheries and seawater re-use systems.
The major R&D programmes here include
large-scale fish hatcheries and farming
technology, which help improve the variety
and quality of our produce and achieve
higher yields and value.
For example, MAC successfully spawned
pompano fry for the first time on a
commercially viable scale in Singapore. Now,
our local fish farmers do not need to be
completely dependent on seasonal supplies
of fry from overseas for the production
of pompanos.
In horticultural R&D, AVA’s capabilities
contributed to the development of the Vertical
Farming System, which can cultivate leafy
vegetables in tiers and increase yield by at
least five times more than that of conventional
soil-based farms. R&D efforts helped to
maximise production at AVA’s Sembawang
Research Station, while a private company
provided the engineering solutions by building
and modifying several prototypes.
With AVA’s technical expertise, pompano fry have been successfully
spawned on a commercially viable scale in Singapore.
An Endearing Home,
A Distinctive Global City