By John Maico Hernandez
Twenty beneficiaries of Odyssey Foundation Inc.’s (OFI) Negosyo Starter Project in Lemery, Batangas underwent food safety training of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Batangas held at GAD Building, Municipal Compound of Lemery, Batangas, March 10.
OFI’s Negosyo Starter Project is a livelihood development strategy that aims to improve the socioeconomic well-being of the identified marginalized beneficiaries. It is a streetfood vending livelihood starter package that will help beneficiaries establish a sustainable self-employment. The package consists of tools, equipment, and products. On the other hand, the Local Government Unit of Lemery will counterpart all other necessary tools and personal protective equipment of the beneficiaries. Hence, to ensure their food safety compliance, DOST-Batangas provided them with a seminar on Basic Food Hygiene (BFH) and Food Safety Hazards (FSH).
The seminar on BFH covered topics on sanitary permits, health certificates, quality and protection of food, primary production, establishment (design of facilities and equipment), training and competence, establishment maintenance, cleaning and disinfection, pest control, personal hygiene, control of the operation, product information and consumer awareness, and the special provisions of P.D. 856.
The categories of food hazards (physical, biological, and chemical), their implications for food processing, and the control mechanisms for food safety risks were covered under FSH. Diagnostic tests were also carried out to evaluate the participants' acquired knowledge.
Proper food handling and proper food servicing operations as required by law, were highlighted during the discussion. Beneficiaries were also reminded of the roles and practices they must always uphold to prevent foodborne diseases in serving the food.
The DOST-CALABARZON Food Safety Team (FST) members, Mr. John Maico M. Hernandez and Mr. Mhark Ellgine A. Libao, served as resource speakers of the seminar. The DOST Unified Food Safety Training Modules were the reference materials used during the seminar.
Beneficiaries had the project contract signing with OFI and DOST-Batangas representatives and Mayor Ian Kenneth M. Alilio of Lemery, Batangas, right after the seminar. Official turnover of the Negosyo Starter Project is scheduled on the fourth week of March.