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World animal health body endorses Veterinary Public Health Centre

AVA food testing lab is South-East Asia's first Collaborating Centre for Food Safety, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan announces.

SINGAPORE: The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has endorsed the Veterinary Public Health Centre (VPHC) as South-east Asia’s first OIE Collaborating Centre for Food Safety, serving the Asia and Oceania region, Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan revealed in a blogpost on Tuesday (July 1).

"From its humble beginnings in the 1970s as a basic meat testing laboratory, VPHC has over the years grown to be a state-of-the-art facility in Lim Chu Kang. The OIE recognition is an important milestone," Mr Khaw wrote, describing the centre as the cornerstone of the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore’s integrated food safety programme.

Stringent food safety tests are conducted on food products at the VPHC laboratories, which comprise a multi-disciplinary team of professionals and scientists.

"Food safety is of paramount importance to our people. With food imports coming in from countries all over the world, cross-border checks are critical to ensuring that our food supply is safe. AVA and VPHC play a crucial role," said Mr Khaw.

"With the support of VPHC as an OIE Collaborating Centre, AVA will be in a better position to keep abreast of emerging challenges in food safety, and new developments in international standards and regulations. AVA will also have the opportunity to extend its technical expertise, comprehensive laboratory testing services and training programmes to the region. This will enhance the overall food safety in the region, a source of many of our food imports."

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