Tuguegarao City—In response to the increasing demand for food services amid the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Science and Technology Region 02 (DOST-RO2) recently conducted an online webinar on Food Fraud and Food Defense Prevention part 1 for Women Micro-Entrepreneurs (WMEs) in the region.
DOST-RO2 SRS II Aileen C. Gonzales, the resource speaker, underscored in her presentation “food defense,” or the effort to protect against and prevent intentional contamination of the food supply intended to cause wide-scale harm to public health.
“The firm must establish a food defense team that shall put in place appropriate control measures to reduce intentional threats to assure the protection of the food from intentional adulterations,” Gonzales said.
DOST-RO2 Director Sancho A. Mabborang, who was encouraged by the number of the participants in the webinar, said the situation with the COVID-19 crisis might be difficult, “but it is not hopeless.”
“What’s important is to survive, not just earn. I believe that your presence signifies your interest in recovering, and not to lose hope,” Mabborang said.
Dr. Teresita A. Tabaog, Assistant Regional Director for Technical Operation, said this webinar series dubbed “#DOSTRO2WEEmpower” was opened not just for WMEs under the DOST-RO2-PCW Women Economic Empowerment (WEE) project, but also to all MSMEs and other interested individuals across the country.
Tabaog, as the focal person of the Cagayan Valley Food Safety Team (CVFST), also introduced the Threat Assessment Critical Control Point (TACCP).
This is the systematic management of risk through the evaluation of threats, identification of vulnerabilities, and implementation of controls to materials and products. It includes purchasing, processes, premises, people, distribution networks and business systems by a knowledgeable and trusted team with the authority to implement changes in the procedures.
The webinar drew 89 women micro-entrepreneurs from across the region, two participants from Cotabato, and a professor from University of the Philippines Diliman.
Porfirio Bajo, the Regional Coordinator of the DOST-RO2-PCW WEE project, emphasized that WMEs must increase the level of positivity in running their businesses, particularly in these trying times.
DOST-RO2 will conduct another webinar on Food Fraud this month.