ILRI and German partners conduct hands-on meat inspection training to improve pork safety in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia

Fifty researchers from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia benefited from meat inspection training (44) and laboratory diagnosis (6) to tackle parasitic pork borne diseases by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and German partners from the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and the Free University of Berlin (FBU) in November and December 2018.

The training sessions developed the capacity of local partners in assessing pork to improve safety of pork in Vietnam.

The first training, on laboratory trichinellosis diagnosis, was held 26-30 November 2018 in Hanoi. It brought together six veterinarians from the three countries who are working on pig disease diagnosis.

Training on trichinellosis diagnosis, 26-30 November 2018 at NIVR, Hanoi

Trichinellosis training opening session at the National Institute of Veterinary Research office (photo credit: ILRI/Chi Nguyen).

At the opening, Shirley Tarawali, assistant director general of ILRI, said that ILRI research in the South and Southeast Asia shows that indigenous pig production enables ethnic minorities to produce and consume more animal-source foods but food safety risks need to be addressed. She noted that the workshop would allow local researchers and international experts to share experiences and learn from each other.

Pham Thi Ngoc, the director of NIVR underlined the importance of bridging the capacity gaps related to the diagnosis of trichinellosis, a zoonotic disease that can be spread to people by eating raw or undercooked meat such as pork.

The training covered surveillance and control of trichinella among other key topics and participants learned how to adapt the BfR in-house ELISA tool to local laboratory needs. Anne Scholl and Peter Bahn, the lead trainers also showed diagnostic test characteristics and the process of validating trichinella diagnostic tests.

The training on trichinellosis was followed by a two-day training on pig meat inspection in Hoa Binh Province on 3-4 December 2018 where 44 trainees including veterinary officers from the province joined the group. Both teams visited three farms and an abattoir for hands-on meat inspection exercises.

Training on meat inspection, 3-4 December 2018, Hoa Binh Province, Vietnam

Trainees visited pig farms in Hoa Binh Province (photo credit: ILRI/Hanh Le).

Participants said the training gave them real-life perspectives and experiences in trichinellosis diagnosis and meat inspection which would help improve their food safety assessment methods in the pork value chain.

The workshops were part of the ‘Safer indigenous pork and healthier ethnic minorities in Vietnam through better management of parasitic pig-borne diseases’ project that is funded by Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (Germany) BMZ in Hoa Binh Province, northwest Vietnam.