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By: John Maico M. Hernandez, PSTC Batangas

In a move to push for Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) License to Operate (LTO), Cristie Food Seasonings is back on strengthening their food safety implementation according standards.

As the company deepens its appreciation of food safety as a fundamental part of their processing system and an engine to guarantee safe and better products, Cristie Food Seasonings tapped the assistance of DOST Batangas in conducting a two-day Training on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Documentation, Oct. 03-04.

Employees who are directly and indirectly involved in the production were engaged in the activity. While the regulation stipulates that a company should have an adequate number of personnel at all levels having knowledge, skills, and capabilities relevant to their assigned functions, the training taught participants how to execute their duties to yield food-safety compliant food products.

The training also fueled a room for discussion and gain of knowledge among participants. Guidelines on performing particular operations in the production area according to the standards set by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) were discussed to the participants. Topics such as Food Safety, GMP, Food Hazards (i.e., biological, chemical, physical and allergens), Cross-contamination, Personnel Hygiene, Food Contact Surface, Pest Control, Good Hygiene Practices and Food preparation were covered during the training. Proper handwashing was demonstrated well to the participants using the Glo-Germ Kit.

Several workshop activities were also conducted to provide demonstrations and simulate situations during food preparation. Actual experiences encountered during production were also shared and discussed during the activity. Writing the GMP Manual of the company was also part of the training. Ms. Cristie Maranan, owner of Cristie Food Seasonings, spearheaded the GMP documentation in cooperation with DOST. Trained participants evidenced learning through a significant increase in their post-test result. Mr. Ellgine Libao and Mr. John Maico Hernandez of DOST Batangas facilitated this undertaking.

Ms. Maranan recognized the significance of this GMP training to her application for FDA-LTO. Moreover, she remains assertive that they could acquire the certification this first attempt. According to her, the company’s goal is to penetrate wider market and continuously delight customers with their low cost yet good-tasting and high-quality food seasonings. Thus, she stressed that this is only possible if they would acquire FDA LTO among others.