Bahrain Food Control Systems Review

804 words - 3 pages

A SWOT analysis of the food control system in Bahrain revealed that certain strengths and weaknesses are inherent in the system. In addition to the weaknesses and the strengths, there are threats that would negatively affect the system if not prevented or brought under control. Nevertheless, the there are opportunities available for responding to the threats, making the Bahrain food control systems more efficient and effective. It is therefore important that some or all of these strengths, opportunities, threats, and weaknesses are reviewed. Conspicuous among the weaknesses is the fact that limited resources are available for the agencies and the personnel employed in the Bahrain food control system. Related to lack of resources is the lack of skills and competencies in applying modern techniques, more so in microbiological and chemical analysis. The second weakness of the Bahrain food control system is that most of the laws and regulations on food safety and control are not based on risk- or science-based analysis. In other words, the laws could be outdated and irrelevant in comparison with the latest mechanisms by which pathogens and other contaminants affect foodstuffs (Nestle, 2007). Furthermore, Bahrain lacks the technical expertise or competent enough personnel who could assess the effectiveness and the applicability of their food control laws.
The third weakness is the fact that food tests, inspections, and the detection of contaminants are taken seriously only after an outbreak of some food-borne diseases, food poisoning, or deaths. The increase in the number of food establishments or outlets such as cold stores, hypermarkets, and supermarkets reported by the Public Health Director has also made inspection and control more difficult. This problem is compounded by the few number of inspection personnel. In fact, the reported 17199 food establishments by 2010 in addition to the 300 percent increase in food imports into Bahrain in the last four years have made it difficult for the inspectors to meet the inspection needs (Alwasat News, 2010). Finally, the Bahrain food control system has a weakness in the manner in which roles and responsibilities overlap among the personnel and the authorities involved. For this reason, there is evidence of poor coordination, information sharing and flow, and absence of critical risk data for the various stakeholders.
Although the Bahrain food control system has a number of weaknesses, certain strengths have also been identified in the system. First among them is the establishment of a consumer...

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