By JOHN MAICO M. HERNANDEZ
STREETFOOD Vendors in the Municipality of Sto. Tomas, Batangas embraced food safety implementation after participation in the DOST Batangas-LGU Sto. Tomas-initiated Seminar on Food Safety held at the Municipal Conference Room, Sto. Tomas, Batangas, March 21.
The unique flavors, convenience and the current character street food vending displays in the cultural and social heritage of societies nowadays are what make street food vending boom according to EtokEkanem in his study of the street food trading.
However, as street food vending offers business opportunities for developing entrepreneurs, the risk on food safety also grows large. The widespread of food borne illnesses due to inadequate understanding of food handlers on the basic food safety issues caused street food vending to become an important public health issue and a great concern to everyone.
According to the hazard analyses published in the Indian Journal of Microbiology, major sources contributing to microbial contamination are the place of preparation, utensils for cooking and serving, raw materials, time and temperature abuse of cooked foods and the personal hygiene of vendors. Identified sources of food safety issues involved in street foods to be microorganism belonged to the genus bacillus, staphylococcus, clostridium, vibrio, campylobacter, listeria and salmonella among others.
As LGU-Sto. Tomas accounts the increasing number of the street food vendors in their municipality, it works to provide these population an introductory education on Food Safety to secure customer safety and prevent occurrences of food borne illnesses. Using these objectives, LGU-Sto. Tomas thru the Municipal Market Administration Office tapped DOST Batangas’ assistance in conducting a Seminar on Food Safety.
Since food Safety is fundamental to any food business, it details out handling, storing and preparing food to prevent infection and make sure that food keeps enough nutrients and beneficial to whoever consumes it. During the seminar, street food vendors were educated with the guidelines that they should always adhere with while performing particular operations in food production in accordance to the principles of GMP.
Topics discussed during the seminar were Introduction to Basic Food Hygiene and preliminaries on: Food Hazards (Biological, Chemical and Physical); Handwashing; Cross Contamination Prevention; Personal Hygiene; Food Contact Surfaces; Pest Control; Raw Materials; and Food Preparation.
The seminar focused on the standards set by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which require that the processes by which products are made, as well as the final products, are safe.
Mr. MharkEllgineLibao and Mr. John Maico Hernandez of DOST Batangas served as speakers during the conduct of the seminar.|#BALIKAS_News