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PIA Press Release
Monday, January 09, 2012

 

Feature: DOST helps in food safety and hygiene of food industry

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Jan 9 (PIA) –- The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Region 8 has a Food Safety Team that is ready available to check on the products of SMEs assisted by the agency in technology upgrading interventions. DOST-8 regional director Edgardo Esperancilla informed the local media.

The DOST Regional Food Safety Team partners with other government regulatory agencies in checking the food industry, specifically the small medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) that produce large quantities of food products in compliance with allowable limits in use of food additives, Esperancilla explained.

The team will also train the technical staff of SMEs in understanding food material, in processing it, and the hazards associated with each step in the process to learn in identifying critical control points and apply food control to ensure that hazards are eliminated or reduced sufficiently.

The team, composed of DOST and health officials, had been visiting small and medium enterprises to check their compliance on good manufacturing practices. In addition, the team also assists in enhancing the capability of tertiary schools, local government units, as well as other government agencies in terms of food safety system, Esperancilla said.

The members of the Team are technical persons who can provide regular consultancy services to food industry including food manufacturers, food service units, and street food vendors. Technical consultancy includes good manufacturing practices, good agricultural practices, hazard analysis and critical control points, and food safety management system. The team makes recommendation after inspection and monitors the compliance of enterprises.

The DOST director said the DOST, through its Small Enterprises Technology Upgrading Program (SET-UP), has been consistently assisting the food industry as it is one of its priority sectors. Most of the projects assisted through SET-UP relate to food processing and food safety critical to these projects.

Over the past decade, there has been an increasing number of food alerts creating a genuine concern among consumers. The issue of Food Safety and Hygiene has become a primary concern of consumers and is the first yardstick by which food businesses are judged by their customers.

In response, DOST took the initiative in advocating food safety to the food processing sector. To facilitate this, DOST implemented the project Development of Food Safety Teams in DOST regional offices.

The DOST Regional Food Safety Teams are the country’s pioneering multidisciplinary groups of trained food safety specialists ready to support the food processing SET-UP projects and the food processing industry in the country.

"Safety is a basic requirement of food quality. Food contamination and poisoning can occur at any stage from farm to the consumer's table," said Esperancilla told the local media. (PIA8)

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