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NATIONAL FOOD TESTING LABORATORY

The testing services for regulation and monitoring of food quality and safety is provided by National Food Testing Laboratory (NFTL) established under Food Safety and Quality Division (FSQD), BAFRA. At the district level, the basic testing of food commodities are carried out in the Satellite laboratories. Further, NFTL also provides technical backstopping to the inspection services of BAFRA and facilitates trade by providing the analytical services. National Food Testing Laboratory was established as the National Quality Control Laboratory in 2001 and the change in the nomenclature came into effect from May, 2011. Since then, NFTL has been engaged in testing of food products and water samples. The services are provided to both in-house regulatory inspectors and customers such as other government agencies, private sectors and the general public. Additionally, the lab is also responsible for providing food-testing services for trade facilitation including both import and export. It has testing facilities for Food Microbiology, Food Chemistry and GMO Detection.

For quality assurance and building customer confidence in Test Reports, NFTL is accredited for ISO/IEC 17025: General Requirements for the Competence of Testing and Calibration Laboratories since 2012 by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), India. As a part of the Laboratory Accreditation Programme, NFTL is assessed regularly by the Accreditation Body to ensure the continued compliance to the requirements of the standard and for the renewal of the Accreditation.

The satellite laboratories located at the entry points cater simple testing of food commodities and also preparation of samples for testing at NFTL and also caters to testing needs of plant and animal quarantine services.

The core mandates of the division are as follow:

  • Establish and implement food import control systems
  •  Inspection and monitoring of food and feed processing units and businesses
  •  Inspection and monitoring of food and feed products for exports/imports/domestic use
  • Surveillance, inspection and monitoring of GM foods and feeds
  • Investigation and management of food safety incident, food-borne disease outbreaks
  • Export certification of food commodities for export
  • Create Awareness on Food Safety of Food Business Operators and consumers through education, training and sensitization programmes
  • Coordinate formulation of Technical Regulations for Food Commodities
  • Function as the Focal Points for Codex Alimentarius Commission & International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) for International Health Regulations
  • Liaise with other relevant agencies at the National, Regional and International level relating to food safety matters
  • Conduct relevant research

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LINKS UNDER BAFRA

1. CODEX (Bhutan)
2. Bhutan Biosafety Clearing House (BBCH)
3. Regulated Plant Pests and Diseases
Database
4. Bhutan Biosecurity and Food Safety
System (BBFSS)
5. Laboratory Information Management
System (LIMS)
6. SPS Portal

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Bhutan Agriculture and Food Regulatory Authority, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, Post Box: 1071, 

Thimphu, Bhutan, Tel: +975-02-327031/325790 Fax: +975-02-327032/335540