By Jennifer Catan-Tilos
DUMAGUETE CITY (PIA) — About 60 food handlers in Negros Oriental have been trained on basic food safety in the wake of recent news on the alarming rise of food poisoning in the country.
Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has trained food processing company owners, food service operators and crew, and street food vendors in the province particularly on basic food hygiene and current good manufacturing practices (cGMP), and meal management in Dumaguete City.
According to DOST Information Officer Roslyn Tambago, the participants represented the production unit of their respective firms.
They underwent a two-day lecture and workshop on the importance of food safety, prevention of food borne diseases, proper hygiene and sanitation, among others.
The participating organizations, which operate catering services, canteens, or street food stalls in Dumaguete City, included six business firms, nine schools, and 11 people’s organizations.
During the seminar with street food vendors and food service operators and crew, DOST Food Nutrition and Research Institute (FNRI) trainer-officials served as resource persons and elaborately discussed basic nutrition, meal, and menu planning.
Topics also included food buying and storage, food preparation, food costing and control, food safety and sanitation as well as an overview of FNRI’s programs and projects.
“The real mistakes can happen at any step in the flow of food through the facility from receiving, storage, preparation, cooking, holding, cooling, reheating or serving,” said Josefina Gonzales of FNRO.
She added that food safety must be the top priority of any business.
The facilitators stressed that nutrition is as equally important as food safety in food preparation and showed the application of these principles through cooking demonstrations.
Some recipes featured squash fish balls, squash ukoy (shrimp fritters), squash maja, and squash kutsinta.
The workshop also engaged the participants in proper presentation of finished products.
Tambago said the activity is part of the DOST initiatives in Food Safety Act of 2013 or the Republic Act 10611, a law that aims to strengthen the food safety regulatory system in the country.
This protects consumer’s health and facilitates market access of local food and food products and for other purposes which now requires food manufacturers and processors to implement traceability systems. (rmn/jct/PIA7-Negros Oriental/This article was first published at PIA Website on Aug. 7, 2015)