Health ministry to begin testing food items for food imports

Minister of Health Dr. Abdulla Khaleel has emphasised the forthcoming implementation of stringent sampling and testing protocols for food imports into the Maldives.

In a press conference held by the Ministry of Health, Minister Khaleel outlined ongoing efforts aimed at promptly instituting sampling procedures for a diverse array of food items, including fruits and vegetables destined for daily consumption. He stressed the importance of expediting discussions to facilitate the dispatch of samples abroad if necessary, thereby ensuring the safety and integrity of all imported food products.

Furthermore, the Minister underscored that implementing practical sampling measures would provide detailed insights into the presence of harmful ingredients, thereby encouraging the importation of safe products and promoting public well-being. He further reiterated that this initiative aligns with President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu’s vision of ensuring the safety of all food commodities.

Complementing these initiatives, the Parliament has ratified the "Food Security Bill," enshrining a robust legal framework designed to enforce stringent regulations and standards to safeguard the quality and safety of food items.

Minister Khaleel provided further elucidation on the provisions of the bill, emphasising the grant of explicit powers to the Food and Drug Authority, empowering them to uphold the integrity of food products within the Maldives. Additionally, he underscored the pivotal role of the Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) in combatting the importation of unsafe food items, reaffirming their authority to take decisive action in this regard.

Moreover, Minister Khaleel shed light on the MNDF's prerogative to conduct pre-importation sampling, further bolstering the country's defenses against the infiltration of substandard food products.