Training for veterinary officers in Vietnam strengthens skills to improve food safety research in pork value chains
Twelve veterinary officers from five provinces in Vietnam were trained in Salmonella isolation methods during a comprehensive course co-hosted by the Vietnam National Institute of Veterinary Research (NIVR) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).
An important part of the food safety work package of the CGIAR Initiative on One Health, the training, held on 24–30 July 2023 in Hanoi, Vietnam, was designed to strengthen knowledge and skills in microbiological sampling at pig slaughterhouses and pork shops and to harmonize laboratory techniques across study sites.
Spanning from 2022 to 2024, the CGIAR Initiative on One Health seeks to establish a robust framework that addresses the critical nexus of human, animal and environment health.
‘With the active participation of the project partners from the provinces of Can Tho, Dong Nai, Hanoi, Hue and Thai Nguyen, this training will establish consistency in laboratory methods across the different study sites, ensuring reliable and standardised results for this critical food safety endeavour,’ said Pham Thi Ngoc, acting director of NIVR.
The trainees were drawn from the Center of Analytical Services and Experimentation of Ho Chi Minh City, Hue University of Agriculture and Forestry, the Institute of Environmental Health and Sustainable Development, and the sub-departments of Livestock Production and Animal Health in the five provinces. These are all partner institutions of the CGIAR Initiative on One Health.
The curriculum comprised various topics, including surface swab and fresh pork sampling techniques, Salmonella isolation and accurate bacterial plate count procedures.
A series of presentations rounded off the training, with NIVR experts delving into the role of asepsis in microbiological testing and underlining the importance of maintaining sterile conditions for accurate results.
ILRI scientists presented on Salmonella contamination in the pork value chain in Vietnam, focusing on risk analysis in food safety in the context of developing countries.
‘The success of the training program was underscored by its balanced combination of theoretical knowledge and real-world application,’ said Nguyen Van Chao of the Veterinary Department at Hue University of Agriculture and Forestry.
‘Participants not only learned theoretical insights from experts but also had the invaluable opportunity to apply new knowledge in a practical setting,’ she added.
Dang Thi Thanh Son, lead trainer and head of the Department of Veterinary Hygiene at NIVR, highlighted the significance of developing the laboratory capacity of food safety experts.
She underscored the importance of the training in fortifying the knowledge and skills of the professionals, enabling them to effectively contribute towards food safety research in Vietnam.
Dang Thi Thanh Son, head of the Department of Veterinary Hygiene at the Vietnam National Institute of Veterinary Research, guides the trainees (photo credit: ILRI/Chi Nguyen).
In his concluding remarks, Fred Unger, ILRI regional representative in east and southeast Asia, said: ‘As the participants return to their respective provinces, they carry with them not only certificates of accomplishment but also capacity and enthusiasm to work together to contribute towards a safer and more secure food supply chain.’
Some of the trainees with their certificates (photo credit: ILRI/Chi Nguyen).
Header photo: Veterinary officers from Can Tho, Dong Nai, Hanoi, Hue and Thai Nguyen provinces in Vietnam attend a training course on Salmonella isolation at the Vietnam National Institute of Veterinary Research (photo credit: ILRI/Chi Nguyen).