The Authority is responsible for the overall official control of food safety and quality and ensuring that food and feed comply with legal requirements, or where appropriate with approved codes of good practices. 

 

Guidelines for Exporters

Food Safety And Quality Authority’s guidelines For The Food Exporter

  • 1

    All exporters of food and feed must obtain a registration form from FSQA and submit a completed form.

  • 2

    Exporters must submit plans showing layout of their premises / establishments

  • 3

    Exporters will also submit a full HACCP plan including all the necessary pre-requisites to the FSQA for their consideration

  • 4

    If everything is in order, the establishment will be audited for approval

  • 5

    Once approved, the FSQA will issue the establishment with a unique approval number (for exports to the EU, approval number must appear on packaging and export documentation)

    The FSQA will then notify the relevant Competent Authority in the importing country that the exporter is approved

Guidelines for importers

Food Safety And Quality Authority’sguidelines For The Food Importer

  • 1

    All importers of food and feed shall obtain a registration form from FSQA and submit a completed form.

  • 2

    Food Safety and Quality Act 2011 requires all food business operators to be licensed

    Importers of food will arrange for an inspection of the premises and facilities by FSQA

    Based on the result of the inspection, FSQA will approve the issuance of a license / permit to operate a food business under specified conditions

  • 3

    For each consignment, licensed importers must submit to FSQA an Import Declaration form at least 21 days before arrival of foods

  • 4

    Upon arrival, importer will provide following documentations of the consignment for FSQA to take the necessary action for allowing entry of consignment.

    - Certificate of origin

    - Certificate issued by the Food Safety Competent Authority of the exporting country

Import and Retail of Frozen Meat and Beef Products

The Food Safety And Quality Requirements forThe Importation of Pre-packaged Fresh Frozen Meat and Meat Products, (including offal)

Meat has traditionally been viewed as a vehicle for a significant proportion of human food-bornediseases. Although the spectrum of meat-borne diseases of public health importance has changed withchanging production and processing systems, continuation of the problem has been well illustrated in recent years by human health and also food safety surveillance studies of specific meat-borne pathogens such as Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp.,Campylobacter spp. and Yersiniaenterocolitica.

To ensure that imported meat and meat products, including offal, that reaches the consumer is wholesome and safe for consumption, the Food Safety and Quality Authority of The Gambia commonly called the Competent Authority must put in place the sanitary measures to ensure the wholesomeness and safety of the imported meat and meat products up to the point where it reaches the consumer ie the final point. The Competent Authority isestablished by the Food Safety and Quality Act 2011. The Act mandates the Authority to regulate the importation and export of food and feed in terms of safety and quality.

Importers must be registered and licensed by the Food Safety and Quality Authority.Importers will be issued an import permit annually specifying the Food Safety and Quality Requirements to be complied with.

Conditions to be complied with for imports of food and feed for placing on the market must meet the requirements of the Act and the Regulations developed under it. These requirements apply to the entire supply chain starting with requirements that must be fulfilled in the exporting country.

  • 1

    Prior to the placement of an order to import meat and meat products into The Gambia

    1. The importer must notify the FSQA and obtain an import license
    2. The import license will state the quality and safety requirements that must be complied with
  • 2

    Food Safety and Quality Requirements to be fulfilled in the exporting country

    1. The meat and meat products should come from Farms that are free of meat-borne pathogens;
    2. The facilities where the meat and meat products havebeen processed and packed must be export establishments approved by the Official National Food Control Authority / Competent Authority;
    3. The consignment must be inspected and certified as safe by the OfficialFood Safety Authority;
    4. The consignment must be accompanied by official inspection certificates issued by the Competent Authority of the exporting country certifying the products to be wholesome, safe and fit for human consumption, including certificate of laboratory analysis indicating acceptable levels of pesticide and veterinary drugs residues as per international (codex) guidelines
  • 3

    Food Safety and Quality Requirements to be fulfilled on arrival of the Consignment at the Port of Entry in The Gambia

    Further to the customs procedures, the following food safety and quality measures will be implemented by the FSQA Food Inspectors at the Port of Entry:-- The documents issued by the Competent Food Safety Authority of the Exporting Country will be examined / checked by the Food Inspectors at the Border Post (Ports) for authenticity and compliance;

    - The consignment of meat and meat products will be inspected including the maintenance of the required temperature, labelling and wholesomeness of the packaging;

    - Mandatory Labelling – The label of the product shall comform with the Mandatory Labelling of Prepackaged Foods and shall include the following:-

    1. The name of the product
    2. Date of Slaughter;
    3. Date of Packaging;

    - Samples may be taken for laboratory testing where necessary;

    - Extremely important that the temperature is maintained throughout the supply chain including when transported from the port of entry, at the warehouses/storage facilities, distribution to end storage or the wholesale and retail outlets. It is the responsibility of the FSQA Inspectors to ensure all the supply chain actors comply with the good hygienic practices required by the Food Safety and Quality Act 2011 and the relevant regulations;

    - The products can only be subjected to consequential re-packaging into small units (packs) and processing compliant with FSQA’s requirements.

Importation & Retail of Frozen Poultry Products

The Food Safety And Quality Requirements forThe Importation of Poultry Prepackaged Frozen Meat (including Legs)

Poultry meat is classified as a high risk product from a food safety perspective. It is therefore a regulated product.

To ensure that imported poultry meat that reaches the consumer is wholesome and safe for consumption, the National Food Control Authority commonly called the Competent Authority must put in place the sanitary measures to ensure the wholesomeness and safety of the imported poultry meat upto the point where it reaches the consumer ie the final point. In the Gambia the Competent Authority is the Food Safety and Quality Authority of The Gambia established by the Food Safety and Quality Act 2011. The Act does mandate the Authority to regulate the importation and export of food and feed in terms of safety and quality.

Importers must be registered and licensed by the Food Safety and Quality Authority.Importers will be issued an import permit annually specifying the Food Safety and Quality Requirements to be complied with.

Conditions to be complied with for imports of food and feed for placing on the market must meet the requirements of the Act and the Regulations developed under it. These requirements apply to the entire supply chain starting with requirements that must be fulfilled in the exporting country.

  • 1

    Food Safety and Quality Requirements to be fulfilled in the exporting

    1. The birds/poultry should come from Farms that are free of Notifiable Poultry Diseases;
    2. The facilities where the poultry meat has been processed and packed must be export establishments approved by the OfficialNational Food Control Authority / Competent Authority;
    3. The consignment must be inspected and certified as safe by the Official Food Safety Authority;
    4. The consignment must be accompanied by official inspection certificates issued by the competent authority of the exporting country certifying the products to be wholesome, safe and fit for human consumption;

Food Safety and Quality Requirements to be fulfilled on arrival of the Consignment at the Port of Entry in The Gambia

Further to the customs procedures, the following food safety and quality measures will be implemented by the FSQA Food Inspectors at the Port of Entry:-

- The documents issued by the Competent Food Safety Authority of the Exporting Country will be examined / checked by the Food Inspectors at the Border Post (Ports) for authenticity and compliance;

- The consignment of poultry products will be inspected including the maintenance of the required temperature, labelling and wholesomeness of the packaging;

- Mandatory Labelling – The label of the product shall comformwith the Mandatory Labelling of Prepackaged Foods and shall include the following:-

  1. The name of the product
  2. Date of Slaughter;
  3. Date of Packaging;

- Samples maybe taken for laboratory testing where necessary;

- Extremely important that the temperature is maintained throughout the supply chain including when transported from the port of entry, at the warehouses/storage facilities, distribution to end storage or the wholesale and retail outlets. It is the responsibility of the FSQA Inspectors to ensure all the supply chain actors comply with the good hygienic practices required by the Food Safety and Quality Act 2011 and the relevant regulations;

- The products can only be subjected to consequential re-packaging into small units (packs) and processing compliant with FSQA’s requirements.

Personnel Hygiene Policy

Under Section XIII Part 48 of the Food Safety and Quality Act, 2011:

  1. A person who handles feed and food products or materials which come into contact with them shall be subject to a hygiene inspection, including a periodic medical examination.’
  2. The inspection referred to in sub-section (1) shall establish whether such persons comply with regulations concerning health status, personal cleanliness and clothing’
 

Hence, the following provisions are recommended by The Gambia Food Safety and Quality Authority to all food business operators. Food business operators should:

  1. Present a certificate of fitness to handle food given by a certified medical doctor at the time of initial recruitment and then subsequently annually or after any prolonged period of sickness, for each operator engaged in the handling or manufacturing process
  2. provide a systemic monitoring of the staff by clinical examination of the arms, hands, face, throat and other exposed skin carried out by a medical practitioner with appropriate experience of food handling requirements
  3. Conduct a systematic monitoring, for potential Salmonella carriers (probably subject to frequent bouts of diarrhoea) by consultation with a medical practitioner for industrial medicine
  4. Enforce detection procedures for employees; like to carry Staphylococcus or Salmonellas by way of bacteriological analysis
  5. Provide medical treatment for those diagnosed positive with any of the above micro-organisms and temporary exclusion from process area, without penalty, so as to ensure staff confidence in and cooperation with scheme
  6. Temporarily exclude when justified, from process areas and medical treatment for employees with complex or purulent hand wounds or other clinical sign (coughing, diarrhoea, fever, etc.) (Without penalty so as to ensure staff confidence in and cooperation with the scheme)
  7. Ensure availability of first aid kits, regularly resupplied, to allow the treatment of wounds and their protection with protective bandage.
  8. Ensure that employees are aware of the need to report to management any health incident presenting a potential risk to the consumers