SAN AGUSTIN, Pili, Camarines Sur---More than 30 rural women-entrepreneurs from Camarines Sur participated in the Training on Basic Food Safety held recently at the Library of the Department of Agriculture-5 here.

Lecturer Ma. Theresa D. Alcantara, Supervising Science Research Specialist of the Department of Science and Technology-5 (DOST-5) said that food safety is the acceptable and safe levels of contaminants naturally occurring toxins that may make food injurious to health.

Since food safety starts with the acquisition of different food items and ends with the proper storage of leftovers for future use, Alcantara encouraged the participants to observe the proper handling, preparation and storage of food to prevent food borne illnesses and health hazards.

 

According to Science Research Specialist II Fae B. Banda of DOST-5, food safety maintains good health and also helps save money. Storing food properly and preparing food in a clean environment has less chance of food spoiling which will decrease expenses on food and allow households to enjoy more food at a lower cost.

Alcantara said that there are three food safety programs being implemented---Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP); the Hazard Critical Control Point (HACCP); and the ISO 22000 or the Food Safety Management System.

GMP is the application of a science-based quality management system to food manufacturing and processing business enterprise aimed in the production of quality, safe and affordable food products.

HACCP is a science-based system wherein food safety is addressed through analysis, monitoring and control of biological, chemical and physical hazards from raw material procurement, handling, storage to its processing, packaging, distribution, consumer handling and use.

The International Food Safety Management Standard, ISO 22000 is a worldwide standard supported by an independent, international organization to encourage harmonization of national and private standards for food safety management.

In the discussion of DOST-Provincial Science and Technology Director Patrocinio N. Felizmenio, handling food safely requires good personal hygiene. Since majority of the members of RICs are mothers, she stressed the importance of personal hygiene in handling food for the family.

Other topics discussed were Good Food Hygiene, Food Hazards, Product Recall, Good Personal Hygiene and Pest Management.

The one-day activity was capped with a distribution of kitchen tools and accessories to be used in their preparation and processing of their food and food-based business.
This training will be conducted on October 11, 2017 at Legazpi City for the rural women-entrepreneurs of Albay. (jaysonmgonzales with photos taken by boboy tapel)