SINGAPORE, 20 April 2016 - Representatives of ASEAN Food Reference Laboratories (AFRLs) and of National Food Reference Laboratories (NFRLs) participated in a regional workshop on Strengthening Food Safety in ASEAN. During the two day event, participants from nine ASEAN Member States (AMS) reviewed the analysis and evaluation of a Proficiency Test (PT) and participated in Measurement Uncertainty training.

The AMS endeavour to create an integrated system of  ASEAN Food Reference Laboratories, National Food Reference Laboratories, and  Food Testing Laboratories (FLs) in order to harmonise food safety surveillance in ASEAN and assure reliable food testing competences in the AMS.

Member States presented and discussed their PT results on heavy metal. The test results build an information base on the situation and capabilities in the  participating NFRLs. The training on Measurement Uncertainty for chemical testing was conducted to strengthen the AMS measurement capabilities and increase confidence in the national measurement capacities.

As the level of capabilities in the 10 AMS differs, activities such as Proficiency Tests and joint trainings are required to align their competences.

The ASEAN Food Reference Laboratories are government testing laboratories  competent in the specific areas of expertise designated by the ASEAN Consultative Committee on Standards and Quality Product Working Group on Prepared Foodstuffs. Meanwhile, National Food Reference Laboratories are testing laboratories in the specific areas of expertise designated by the governments of ASEAN Member States and shall be members of the network led by AFRLs.

The workshop was held from 19 – 20 of April 2016 in Singapore with the support from PTB Germany (National Metrology Institute of Germany), the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore, and the responsible AFRL: Thailand’s Bureau of Quality and Safety of Food  in the Department of Medical Sciences that prepared the test with metrological traceability.