Thalias Hospitality

New Law on Food Security: Sin Sideth, “Ensuring food safety, a very heavy responsibility”

Mr Sin Sindeth, Deputy Director of the CCF at the Ministry of Commerce

At the forum on food safety organized by the Cambodia Restaurant Association at the end of July at the Sofitel in Phnom Penh, Mr. Sin Sindeth, Deputy Director of the CCF at the Ministry of Commerce, was the first to open the proceedings after the introductory speech by the association’s President, Mr. Arnaud Darc. A very long speech, during which the Deputy Director addressed several subjects: the objectives of the law, the factors which influenced its creation, controls, the role of the press and the responsibilities of the players in the sector, the government, but also the consumer. The CCF, formerly known as CAMCONTROL (Cambodia Import-Export and Fraud Repression Directorate-General), has been the Consumer Protection Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General since 2020. Objectives of the law Mr. Sindeth began by recalling that it had taken six years for the food safety law to be finalized and adopted. The difficulty lay mainly in the fact that a large number of relevant ministries had to examine, discuss and debate the content of this law. In total, it comprises 11 chapters and 43 articles. The aim of this text is to ensure effective application through the participation of several key players: the government, entrepreneurs and restaurant operators, from the producer, collector, manufacturer and transporter-deliverer of foodstuffs right through to the consumer’s table. “Indeed, when a consumer has a problem with food, such as food poisoning, they must report it to the organization responsible so that the authority can take steps to investigate and ensure that this type of incident does not happen again.” asserts Mr. Sin Sideth. According to the deputy director, the main aim of the law is therefore twofold. Firstly, to guarantee consumer health and safety. Secondly, to facilitate local trade and the export or import of foodstuffs: “If we can guarantee total respect for the application of the law, then everything will be safe. And then, you know, for the consumer, if we say the word food or meal, it has no legal connotation.” “It’s just something you put in your mouth, isn’t it? But in the law, the definition is that food is everything, absolutely everything we consume. In addition, we also have to take into account certain substances, such as chemical additives and preservatives that are added to food to give it more taste, to make it keep longer, to make it look good, to give it a good color, to make it smell attractive,” he explained, adding: “Another point concerns the definition of food safety. What is food safety? In fact, it refers to the preparation, processing and cooking of food, each stage of which must be free from any risk of contamination.”  “In other words, food must not contain prohibited chemical substances, must not be used more than once, and must not present any physical risk. If we manage to avoid these really dangerous aspects, we can say that food will now be safe for the consumer. The third category is that of commercial players, such as restaurant operators, food producers, animal breeders, collectors, transporters, vendors, restaurants and their staff. They are all subject to inspection by the competent authority. I believe that most of the participants in this forum are considered “food operators”. Your participation is therefore vital for the government to help us guarantee maximum safety, even if we don’t yet dare speak of 100% food safety”, said Mr. Sin Sideth. Several factors The deputy director went on to mention the need for teamwork in law enforcement: “We recognize that human error, poor treatment or bad practice can be at the root of food insecurity. So we must all work together. “There are three factors that can make food unsafe for consumers. The first is a physical risk. What is a physical risk? It could be any external object or another piece of glass or plastic, a piece of metal or a fish bone or bone that you can physically see, which is a physical hazard that you can see with your own eyes,” he continued, adding: “It’s also important, even if there isn’t necessarily any danger, that the customer can enjoy the dish and appreciate it, isn’t it? For example, if you’re having dinner or lunch and you chew on a bone or an “object – intruder”, it’s not dangerous for you, but you’re not enjoying your meal. Also, some objects such as small metal fragments can still be found in food. That’s why food production lines are now equipped with metal detectors. “Secondly, there are restaurants. Hair or insects falling into the food, or flies, are in a way physical risks, but also incidents likely to give a very bad image of the establishment and even the restaurant business in our country. In other developed countries, like Europe, if you find a cockroach in your chicken, your restaurant will be closed for treatment for a week or two”. “Among the undesirables, we have to mention chemicals. When we use the word ‘chemical’, there are countless substances. We can’t list them all, but we can classify them into three categories. The first is the residual agricultural chemical that remains on food through chemical sprays or pesticides produced by some farmers, which they overuse or use illegally, which is very dangerous. Yes, the laws allow it, but you have to respect the dosage and also take into account the space needed to spray the substance, the number of days before consumption, because you can’t simply spray the substance and have a vegetable ready the next day. There are also what we call heavy metals, i.e. substances affecting vegetables grown on an industrial site, or heavy metals that spill onto the surface of water. Let’s take the example of the Fukushima accident, yes, when the explosion at the nuclear power plant occurred, fish from the region couldn’t be sold because the consumer in Japan is afraid of radiation or being contaminated.” “And the next problem concerns hormone doping of livestock. In European countries, 25,000 … Read more

Cambodia Restaurant Association — Amplifying Industry Strength

It’s a basic fact of life that strength comes through numbers. Which is why the Cambodia Restaurant Association (CRA) is so important for advancing the interests of everyone invested in the Kingdom’s relentlessly dynamic hospitality industry, whether they are in it financially, professionally, or both. The CRA was created 12 years ago with the aim of developing Cambodia’s restaurant industry for the benefit of all. That means ensuring that all Association members have the capacity to grow and achieve their full potential because when they do, they raise everyone’s standards, reputations, and appeal to audiences both at home and abroad. But capacity is a bigger word than it looks. It encompasses everything from knowledge and information, skills, financing, personnel, proper administrative structures and awareness, access to markets, and a voice among those with the power to make significant change. Championing members’ existing capacities creates a mutually reinforcing paradigm so that they can become stronger and more profitable, their employees can develop their skills and potential, and the industry as a whole can stand proud on the world stage. The Association liaises with government to ensure that members receive the information they need to keep their business buoyant, for example seminars and workshops on taxation, but also through dedicated lawyers, accountants and advisors who are on hand to provide essential support and guidance when it’s really needed, for example disputes with employees or landlords. The Association also provides a valuable lobbying voice to ensure that the government is hearing their issues and concerns in day-to-day business management. And it’s also just a great opportunity to meet like-minded souls from the industry. Last month, Thalias Hospitality Group’s Human Resources Director, Settha Yok, moderated a panel of industry leaders in Cambodia on how to recruit and retain the best talents in the industry. These events offer invaluable insights on bring your business up to its best, and are also a great opportunity to get to know the Association and its members. They are often open to members and non-members alike, so take a moment to check out their Facebook page, or sign up to their newsletter if you’d like to stay informed of what’s coming up. See their Facebook page here: For some more information: