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An upgrade of the food safety laboratory of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Zahle and the Bekaa, completed last year with funding from USAID, has given the food producers of Lebanon's prime agricultural region access to a world-class testing facility to ensure food safety and improve the quality of their products for sale within and outside the country, officials said.Said Gedeon, deputy general manager of the Chamber, said since then, an increasing number of food producers are seeking out the lab's services. The test results are confidential and are not shared with government authorities -- who sometimes visit food facilities to do their own inspections -- said Aida Farah, head of the laboratory for the Chamber. Instead, she said, if a test result shows a problem, the lab cooperates with the business in question to address the issue.Having a full-service lab in the Bekaa saves local farmers and food producers the time and expense of trekking to Beirut for testing.
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