By: John Maico M. Hernandez

Marvon Drying Services, a company known for drying herbal plants based in Brgy. Poblacion 2, Laurel, Batangas, strengthened their food safety system implementation through training on food safety facilitated by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Batangas, April 28-29.

The company is one of the cooperators for the DOST-Batangas’ Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) and for several years already, it has always been in the frontline of providing dried herbal plants in the market. Since they supply their products to various distribution channels including pharmaceutical companies, the utmost focus on quality that meets standards for food safety is always upheld. As a practice, they follow specific standards and procedures in the facility starting from receiving of raw materials up to the delivery of finished products. They have also been consistent in ensuring their compliance to food safety standards through acquisition of various accreditations. To them, consumers’ safety is always a top priority hence, to stay true to their commitment in ensuring consumer’s safety, the training on food safety served as a platform for reviewing and updating of the company workers’ understanding on the current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) requirements, the importance and the benefits of GMP implementation in their food business, and compliance to the stipulations of the Food Safety Act of 2013 RA 10611.

Topics covered during the seminar were GMP organization, education and trainings, premises, plant construction and design, and use of appropriate equipment. The seminar also touched onsanitation and hygiene, supervision, sanitary facilities, maintenance and sanitation, process control, chemical control, quality management, testing of reprocessed product, testing of returned goods, laboratory facilities, and control. To ensure strict compliance to food safety system, documentation, quality audits, warehouse and distribution, receiving and shipping, recall and traceability, retention of samples, and subcontracting of manufacture were likewise discussed.

Hand washing, food safety, and cross contamination workshops were conducted to make sure that production staff were aware of the consequences of crucial operations. Pre- and post-diagnostic tests were also facilitated to measure the learning of the personnel who attended the training, and all of them got passing grades.

The DOST Unified Food Safety Training Modules for MSMEs were the reference materials used during the training. The training was facilitated by Mr. John Michael Florendo, DOST CALABARZON Food Safety Team Member, assisted by Ms. Anna Marie Marasigan, Project Assistant II of DOST Batangas.