Official Publication of the Philippine Information Agency Bicol Regional Office, in cooperation with the RIAC-REDIRAS - RDC Bicol

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Bicol Food Safety Team to ensure compliance of food processing, repacking industry with food hygiene, cGMP

LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 4 (PIA) -- Twenty one new Bicol Food Safety Team (BFST) members from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Bicol regional office and Provincial Science and Technology Centers (PSTC) recently trained on basic food hygiene and safety to equip them to ensure food processing and repacking industry in their areas of jurisdiction comply with standards.

DOST Bicol regional director Tomas Briñas said 14 specialists from the agency, foru from the academe and three from other government agencies underwent the Trainer’s Training on Basic Food Hygiene and current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) delving on basic food hygiene, sanitation standard operating procedures and monitoring and preparation of report for food safety assessment according to the cGMP checklist.

The training, according to Briñas, was conducted in the wake of news stories from national radio and television outlets on food poisoning incidents in several places across the country.

“One recent incident happened in CARAGA region wherein 1,925 persons, mostly children, were downed by contaminated durian and mangosteen candies. We do not want similar incident to happen here,” he stressed.

World Health Organization (WHO) data showed that foodborne and waterborne diarrheal diseases kill an estimated 2 million people annually.

In an effort to reduce or slowly eliminate these incidents, BFST has added members and with this training that could result to more information/advocacy campaigns on food safety and outbreak control - a greater S&T step with DOST V offering technical consultancy/assistance under the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) for firms/MSMEs in the region.

The five-day training consisting of lectures, workshops, and food industry exposures evolved on the topics on Basic Food Hygiene, Food Safety Assessment and Preparations for one (1) day each and cGMP and hands-on/workshop on the mentioned topics for two (2) days.

Resource speakers included Dr. Alex Templonuevo, senior meat control officer of the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) and Anna Mae Gavarra of Central Bicol State University (CBSUA), and Cristopher G. Millena, Science Research Specialist II and head, Regional Standards and Testing Laboratories (RSTL).

Dr. Templonuevo discussed the NMIS role and possible biological hazards if meat is not properly handled and the latter two on three categories of chemical hazards, namely: naturally occurring, unintentionally-added, and incidentally-added, and the process and prevention of cross contamination.

Other DOST Bicol resource speakers were Engr. Marie Grace T. Molina, Science Research Specialist II, delving on meat facility requirements as a guide for meat processors; Josie D. Albao, PSTD-Masbate, on the Integrated Pest Management Control and the different types of pests and commodities that may cause danger; and Ma. Theresa D. Alcantara, Supervising Science Research Specialist, for cGMP (Organization and Training, Premises, Equipment, Sanitation and Hygiene, Production and Process/Quality Control and Audits, Documentation, Warehousing and Distribution, Product Recall, Sample Retention, and Subcontracting).

Topic on Mandatory Label Information (MLI) was discussed by Michelle R. Pontejos of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Bicol regional office.

MLI, among others, include the product/brand name; list of ingredients; net content or drained weight; name and address of manufacturer/distributor; lot identification number; storage condition; food allergen; direction/instruction for usage; nutrition facts, and the expiration date.

On-site visitations were conducted in eight DOST-SETUP assisted MSMEs wherein participants applied their learnings with the use of the required cGMP checklist.

Briñas said that with the conduct of this training workshop and having additional BFST members, DOST Bicol is confident that strengthening its technical consultancy team would help in assessing current and future SETUP partners in the food processing and repacking industry.

“Enhancing the capability of the S&T manpower complement will enable the department to serve Bicolanos better and achieve a healthy and livable region,” he concluded. (MAL/DOST5/PIA5/Albay)

- See more at: http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/3211454574016/bicol-food-safety-team-to-ensure-compliance-of-food-processing-repacking-industry-with-food-hygiene-cgmp#sthash.DyUK7jyx.dpuf

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