(Seated from left: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, FNRI Director, Antonio Kosca of the Meralco Foundation Inc. Technological Institute, Imelda Taganas of the Office of TESDA Director General, Eric Aquino of the Department of Foreign Affairs, and Felicidad B. Zurbano of TESDA's National TVET Trainers Academy; Standing from left: Engr. Hammad Abdulaziz A. AlHammad, Dr. Abdulaziz Abdulrahman M. AlQarzaee, Saeed Rafea AlShehri, Majed Saeed M. Bayounis, Omar Abdulallah M. AlMarzoqi, Faiz Abdulhameed S. Matlagito, Khaled Saleh A. AlKarawi,and Saleh Awedh B. AlRasheedi.)
The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) forged a partnership with the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST). The collaboration provided food safety capability building activities to the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) teachers and trainers of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, FNRI Director, considered the activities as an opportunity to highlight FNRI completed researches on food safety. Likewise, it underscored the Philippines' best practices on food safety in agriculture, food processing, and food service.
The strategic partnership, according to TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva, is designed to help TVTC enhance its capability in delivering quality and relevant training aligned to the needs of Saudi nationals and country's economy.
"TESDA promises to give the TVTC trainees the best and most up-to-date, relevant learning experience to help them produce quality graduates ready to plunge in the workplace", DG Villanueva added.
The capability building activities on food safety were mostly conducted at the FNRI Executive Training Room from September 8 to 19, 2014. Among the topics discussed were: safety in the laboratory;global and local concerns of food safety, and food safety on genetically modified organisms. Food safety management system, food safety risk assessment and food defense were also included in the training.
The field exposure and actual observation on food safety in the different areas of the food chain were also part of the activities. Among the places visited were: Gourmet Farms in Silang, Cavite for best practice in organic farming and Gardenia Breads for best practice in food processing. Shawarma Snack Center was included for best practice in Halal food service. The St. Lukes' Medical Center Global City for best practice in hospital dietary service, and the Center for Culinary Arts for best practice in culinary school were likewise visited.
To assess the participants' response on the capability building activity, a floor plan on a food processing plant following the requirements of current good manufacturing practices was required from them. They were also asked to formulate and discuss a food safety policy and a food defense plan for a processing plant.
The panelists from TESDA rated participants' response on the capability building activities as very satisfactory. The teacher-trainer participants from TVTC Kingdom of Saudi Arabia rated these very satisfactory as well.