ABU DHABI // Authorities hope students on a food safety course will take the good habits learnt in the classroom into the emirate's kitchens.
A group of 30 Emirati students at the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) who work for the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) will receive a scholarship to pursue a bachelor of science in food safety.
"The aim is to provide education and meet the market needs," said Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, director of the Abu Dhabi Education Council.
The course is available to eligible ADFCA employees in Al Ain, Al Gharbia and Abu Dhabi, and is taught at the HCT campuses in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain.
"It is a difficult discipline but a popular and very specialised one," said Dur Tayeb Kamali, the vice chancellor of HCT.
Students will analyse food samples from outlets in Abu Dhabi, and learn about advanced food chemistry and food microbiology.
"They will also learn about food legislation, which is the main focus of the bachelor course, and current issues in food science and trade so that they are up to date with international practices," said Dr Kathleen Meehan, the chair of health sciences at HCT.
Other subjects include regulatory toxicology in food safety, risk analysis and meat science.
"The [students'] role is critical to ensure safe food and put a halt to all food safety hazards," said Rashid Al Shariqi, the director of the ADFCA.
So far 151 HCT students have graduated from the food safety programme, which began in 1997.
The programme is part of many specialised disciplines taught at HCT, including veterinary and agricultural sciences.