The Department of Science and Technology-Cordillera Administrative Region (DOST-CAR) conducted a “Training on Food Safety towards Quality Assurance and Safe Operationalization of Benguet Cold Chain (BCC) Facility” as part of its commitment to support the DOST Smart Food Value Chain Program for the New Normal on April 21-22, 2022 at the Benguet Cold Chain (BCC) Facility, Wangal, La Trinidad, Benguet.
This program is a collaborative project led by the Packaging Technology Division of DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI) in coordination with DOST-CAR and in partnership with the Benguet provincial government which aims to infuse packaging technology and logistics to upgrade the BCC.
The training was provided to BCC stakeholders, which include BCC farmers and staff from the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist and Provincial Engineering Office of Benguet, to ensure the production of quality products and to maintain the safe and effective operationalization of the facility.
The BCC facility will serve as an operational packaging line for fresh and semi-processed agricultural products such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, bell pepper, carrots, and strawberry. Since processing is involved, food safety is of utmost importance to protect consumers from food-borne illnesses, food poisoning, and other health hazards.
The topics on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Post-Harvest Management were discussed by Melchor B. Tumbaga, agriculturist of the Department of Agriculture-CAR to help stakeholders obtain quality and safe produce from the farm level up to the storage of products. Moreover, to further enhance their capability from the processing level, topics on Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis Critical and Control Point (HACCP) were delivered by Jamie Beth B. Galian, science research specialist of DOST-CAR.
DOST-CAR Assistant Regional Director for Technical Services Pepita Picpican encouraged the participants to review and apply the operational standards in the facility. “We should comply with the standards for the production of ready-to-eat and safe food for our consumers” she added.