LAU Hosts Training Workshop on Preventive Control Qualified Individuals

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The Nutrition Program at LAU hosted in March a three-day training workshop on Preventive Control Qualified Individuals (PCQI), organized by the Lebanon Industry Value Chain Development (LIVCD) and funded by USAID.

The workshop, held at the Wadad Sabbagh Khoury Student Center on LAU Beirut Campus, aimed to improve the chances of the Lebanese food industries to export their products, said Assistant Professor of Food Science and Technology Hussein Hassan.

“There are very strict regulations for food industries exporting their products, especially to the United States. A lot of [Lebanese] industries cannot export anymore. This training highlights the additional requirements,” he added.

Training was given to representatives of 25 different sectors in the agri-food industry in Lebanon. The workshop prepared the participating team to be PCQI certified, which is “a mandatory regulation by the FDA for Lebanese producers who export to the United States,” said LIVCD Process Food Value Chain Manager Hill Skaff.

This is not the first collaborative project between LAU and LIVCD. In 2016, the Nutrition Program at the Department of Natural Sciences, in conjunction with LIVCD, held a workshop titled Olive Oil Evaluation, Classification, and Tasting.

“It is always a successful partnership,” Skaff said. “We usually collaborate with Dr. Hussein Hassan because he is more involved in the food sector, specifically with Lebanese producers,” she said.

“We decided for this training that LAU in partnership with us host the event because they have always given support to Lebanese producers through their professors and their facilities,” she added.

Hassan stressed that the event falls within the framework of outreach activities by the program in order to increase the chances of internship and employment for LAU nutrition students. For example, two of the organizers were LAU alumni, now working with the LIVCD.

“These kinds of workshops help us build a network of connections, especially since participants are visiting from across Lebanon, and for some it is the first time they visit LAU,” he said. “Furthermore, whenever these industries have research and development projects in mind, they come to us,” he explained.  

“Our nutrition program is a hub for nutrition and food-safety related events,” he said. Every two years the program organizes the National Nutrition and Food Science Research Conference. This year it is being held on April 12, at LAU Beirut campus.