Mobile food safety laboratories in Southern Africa
The COVID-19 pandemic has placed a spotlight on food security, food safety, and the importance of adapting food safety systems to respond to supply chain disruptions. Laboratories for food safety testing (e.g. residues and pathogens) for the food production sector are not easily accessible in many parts of Southern Africa. This results in increased expenses to courier samples to laboratories from pack houses, ports, central markets, airports and borders, with the added risk of sample integrity being compromised. Representative samples can often be as much as 20kg per consignment.
The development of mobile laboratories using next generation technologies is a potential solution to address some of these challenges in remote areas. The objective of this PPG is to conduct a feasibility study to assess the potential impact and economic viability of mobile ISO 17025 accredited food safety testing laboratories in the SADC region. The initial focus will be on 4 SADC countries, namely South Africa, Namibia, Eswatini and Lesotho.