Food safety is very important in order to ensure the safety of the health of consumers and secure one’s food business.
To tackle these concerns, the Department of Science and Technology in Region I, through the Provincial Science and Technology Office-La Union (PSTO-LU), recently held a two-day seminar/workshop on “Food Safety and current Good Manufacturing Practices [cGMP]” for food vendors and handlers within the tourism area of San Juan held at the PSTO-LU Multi-Purpose Hall.
The training was held in adherence to the Food and Safety Act of 2013, that protects consumers’ health and facilitates market access to local foods and food products, and strengthens the regulatory system of food safety.
Meanwhile, cGMP was introduced being a regulation enforced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). It provides for structures that guarantee appropriate design, monitoring, and control of manufacturing facilities and processes.
PSTO-LU Provincial Director Jonathan M. Viernes expressed hope that the participants “will acquire the knowledge needed in your work” and encouraged them to participate actively and to transfer the knowledge to their co-workers.
Project Technical Specialist I Hero D. Galamgam, the resource speaker, introduced the overview and concepts of Food Safety and cGMP.
He discussed the different types of food hazards and their effects on food; the need for employee’s good health, hygiene and hand washing; cleaning and sanitizing procedures; cross contamination; and pest control.
He discussed the FDA plant requirements, which include the building design and construction; sanitary facilities, equipment and utensils; production and process controls; water and raw material supply; and storage and distribution.
The participants were asked to write the common hazards in their workplace, and the controls and mitigations that they do to minimize them. During the discussion, the controls and mitigations were modified to better address the hazards and add other solutions to the concerns.
Twenty-seven participants from owners and employees of different food establishments, and two applicant of Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP), from Naguilian and the City of San Fernando attended the seminar workshop.
SETUP is one of the flagship programs of the DOST that provides technical and financial assistance to micro, small and medium enterprises.