DOST to hold food safety seminar for 30 street vendors in CDO

MANILA -- The Department of Science and Technology - Region 10 (DOST-10) will organize a food safety seminar for 30 street vendors on May 28, a project assistant told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Wednesday.

This will be held at SEARSOLIN, Masterson Avenue, Cagayan De Oro City.

"The slots are limited, and we have tapped the municipal government for the invitation," said Stephanie Ibarra, DOST-Food Safety Human Resource Development Project (DOST-FS HRDP) assistant. 

She added that a letter was already sent to the City administration, and that DOST-10 is just waiting for its response. 

"Through this workshop, DOST-10 aims to provide the street food vendors more knowledge on the principles of food safety, requirements of current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), and the importance of providing safe food to consumers," Ibarra explained.

Those who will train the street vendors are the participants of the food safety workshop that DOST-10 also organized last April 29-30.

With 39 attendees, the workshop last month aimed to produce food safety trainers that DOST can tap to train micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

The participants were from DOST-10 Food Safety Team, as well as one participant each from 20 stakeholders from the Northern Mindanao- Food Safety Regulation Coordinating Board (NorthMin- FSRCB), according to Ibarra.

"We wanted to enhance first the capacity of the NorthMin-FSRCB and the DOST-10 Food Safety Team to become trainers of the MSMEs, street vendors, restaurants and other food handlers to improve the compliance and competitiveness, and increase the awareness of street vendors about food safety," she added. 

Ibarra noted that 80 percent of MSMEs assisted through DOST's Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) in the region are engaged in food processing. However, only 20-30 percent of them have a license to operate from the Food and Drug Administration. 

"Food borne and water borne illnesses continue to be a concern in Northern Mindanao," she added. 

Meanwhile, Ibarra said this was not the first time that DOST-10 held a workshop on food safety. 

"DOST-10 has been doing food safety trainings as early as 2002. This (particular) project, the DOST-FS HRDP, just started last February."

The project's goal is to have a harmonized training manual that will capacitate food safety stakeholders in the use of science and risk-based analysis in compliance to food safety regulations, she added.

Aside from food safety workshops, DOST-10 has been conducting workshops on cGMP for Standard Sanitation Operating Procedures (SSOP) to help MSMEs get their license to operate, Ibarra said. (PNA)


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