Safe food handling courses take place in Aqaba

23 June 2011

Aqaba – Both hotels and restaurants in Jordan’s port city of Aqaba are getting a boost to food safety and hygiene standards through training sessions that began today, which are part of a training series being held around the country. In Aqaba the training follows on from similar efforts that took place last year, with the goal of reaching even more hotels and restaurants in order to ensure that the culinary experience in this resort town is up to international standards. The training in Aqaba is organized by the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) and the USAID Jordan Tourism Development Project.

"The safety of tourists and Jordanians is a priority for ASEZA, as is ensuring the sustainability of the tourism sector. We have therefor signed an agreement with the USAID tourism project, JFDA, MoTA and tourism associations to hold training courses that will enhance the competencies of hospitality workers in order to be able to provide a safe food handling system which will reflect a positive image of Jordan and Aqaba," said Dr .Salim Al Moghrabi, ASEZA Commissioner for Environment Affairs.

“This training series, which we have been implementing around Jordan in coordination with local partners, is helping to hone skills and sharpen up kitchen hygiene so that visitors can feel safe in exploring the country’s wonderful dining offerings,” explained Ibrahim Osta, Chief of Party of the USAID Jordan Tourism Development Project.

The one-day training in Aqaba is being conducted today and tomorrow for a total of 60 chefs, assistant chefs, waiters, procurement department representatives and warehouse employees from 19 hotels and 27 restaurants in Aqaba. The participants will be introduced to types of food poisoning, germs transmitted by food, hazardous food and ways to avoid it, and other topics related to food hygiene and safe handling during food production. The training topics were designed based on international best practices and the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point system and all participants will be certified on completion of the course.

Mr. Mohammad Al Nawayseh, Food Safety and Hygiene Supervisor at the Radisson Blu Hotel who took part in the training, commented that, "The course expands our knowledge of food safety and hygiene and shows us how to properly handle with food. As part of my role of being in charge of training staff, I will pass what I have learned today on to other workers at the hotel."

"This course enhanced my knowledge and guided me toward sound procedures and practices for food handling in order to ensure that the food we offer guests is safe and hygienic," said Mr. Firas Abdelqader, Food Safety Supervisor at the Moevenpick Hotel Aqaba. "The training also corrected some misconceptions I had in dealing with food, and I will conduct some training courses for the hotel staff and focus on supervision of work practices in cooperation with the hotel training department."

Since 2009 safe food handling courses have been implemented for hospitality workers in Aqaba, reaching 180 participants who passed on their knowledge to a further 900 hospitality workers who handle or deal with food.

The training series will also include hotels and restaurants in Amman and Petra, with four other courses that will be implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan Food and Drug Administration, Jordan Hotels Association and Jordan Restaurants Association. Also, similar training took place recently in Salt for 30 food handlers working at nine restaurants, shops and cooperatives that provide food and beverage service. That course was implemented through grant support from USAID tourism project to EMAR Salt Foundation, and in cooperation with the JFDA.