Orange eggs

So, there’s this video that went viral about a street vendor that was allegedly “recycling” kwek kweks to be sold again in the streets. As can be gleaned from the video, seems like he was preparing it in the street, possibly the same spot where he sells it — unwraps the orange coating and sets the egg aside into the water.

These acts, safe to say that the eggs will be re-sold again together with the new ones on that day.

we are concerned about the safety of the food being sold

I, personally, am fond of street foods, it’s tasty and cheap, Notwithstanding the fact that in college we were enlightened on the different hazards that comes from it. From what I recall, there are two aspects of Food — Chemical and Microbiological, thus, the hazard/s have a large probability that would come from either one of them or both. The life of a Food Technologist primarily revolves around these wherein the job is to set standards and to ensure that the same is being observed to render food safe and to have the optimum quality for the consumer.

Considering that a street vendor has a meager means to run its business, consequently, it compels him to find simple ways to economically suit its day-to-day activities. That’s why we cannot simply put all the blame to the vendor who opts to recycle his products, but that does not mean that this should be a generally acceptable practice especially when it is accustomed that there are a lot of people who crave for what the street has to offer.

as much as we want to enjoy, today’s time also calls for the setting of bounds, we shall determine where the line should be drawn as safety and welfare of the people is of utmost concern.

Section 15(c) of the IRR of the Food Safety Act states:

xxx the LGU shall also be responsible for street food sale, including ambulant vending”

further,

“The LGUs shall be responsible for the implementation of the food safety requirements of foods produced within their areas of jurisdiction xxx this shall include xxx street vended and/or ambulant vended foods and the requirements for activities and facilities for the production, handling, processing, preparation transport and storage of these foods”

It can be easily understood that LGUs are also mandated by law aside from the different government agencies concerned to implement food safety requirements, through food safety officers as defined in ArtII Sec4(p), hence, the need there is for a clear understanding of what is safe or not before a person can be held liable. I also wonder, among the things a Local Government is concerned with, aside from road repairs and waiting sheds, where does food safety appear on the list, or, does it even?  :p

Referring once more to the video, can it be said that it does not comply with the requirements of food safety? The law refers to food safety as the assurance that food will not cause harm to the consumer when it is prepared or eaten according to its intended use. It must be noted that the provision made reference to something that has not yet occurred, hence, it is safe to say that the preparation stage is one of the critical points where the law sought to control as expressly stated also. Watch the clip again, you be the judge.

 

While it seems that the determination whether food is safe or not, is a complex task, it is a practice among everyone to use our senses as gauge — normally, if it looks or smells unfavorable then it’s not safe. However, there are also hazards that cannot be detected by mere senses (remember the milk tea incident?) that’s why we should always be mindful in preparing foods that we consume or sell for it is a joint responsibility to keep everyone away from harm. Nevertheless, it is good to know that people nowadays are more critical with regards to these kind of issues.

-jols

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WHAT IS FOOD TECHNOLOGY? CITE YOUR LEGAL BASIS.

food technologists play a major role in the society, thus the more necessity there is to have it professionalized

Just last week, during our first meeting, my professor did the routine of getting to know — introducing himself and getting to know the students or the so-called “meet and greet”. We were asked to state the following: our name, undergraduate school and course, work, and desired grade. Haha! My turn came and of course I stated the same, but my professor asked “what is Food Technology? Ano yun nagluluto kayo?” For me, and for the rest of the Food Technologists (FTs) it is a/n FAQ, we always have a ready reply for this and it would consist of words and phrases that would deviate what we do aside from cooking then glorify it with some scientific terms to put a heavier conviction for it. Which I did, although there are few definitions that can be found on the internet.

food_technology

But the time has come, that we already have a legal basis or definition for it in the Philippines. Under section 3 par. b of the Senate Bill 1269 otherwise known as PHILIPPINE FOOD TECHNOLOGY ACT OF 2016, provides:

“Food Technology is the application of science and related fields of study in postharvest handling, preparation, processing, packaging, storage and distribution of food to ensure food security and well being of individuals families and communities. It includes the social, cultural, economic, managerial and environmental aspects of a food system”

The first premise focuses on what areas of study is involved, in school, FT students are trained to have scientific eyes for Food through the application of science generally Chemistry and Microbiology, FT students treat food just like how a doctor is to a patient. Food is observed, examined and studied in the Laboratory mainly because we all know that food is the basic requirement for human beings in order to sustain life thus it should be rendered SAFE.

In 2013, RA 10611 or the Food Safety Act was enacted, however the Law was somehow generalized on who is equipped with the proper set of skills to reach its objectives. For me, this is where the FTs come to the picture and as defined in section 3 par. c of SB 1269

“ Food Technologist refers to a person qualified to practice food technology as provided in this act xxx”

From the above definitions, I think it is safe to say that one role of a Food Technologist is to ensure Food security and for a better understanding, I took the liberty to google it and found this

“Food security, as defined by the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, is the condition in which all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”

Indeed, food technologists play a major role in the society, thus the more necessity there is to have it professionalized. Senate Bill 1269 is one way to enhance the compliance mechanisms of the Food Safety Act because the former will give birth to professionals who are sufficiently equipped with scientific and technical knowledge about food, in effect, the former will strengthen the spirit and intent of the latter. We are now in the stage wherein we can say that it is just a matter of time.

I cannot tell when but a little learning in Political Law might help, my professor then taught me that a bill has to pass three readings wherein it has to be read, scrutinized, debated and voted on before it’s sent to the other chamber pursuant to the bicameral system of our legislative department then for the approval or veto (hope not) by the president.  Senate bill 1269 has recently passed the three readings of the senate and we’ll be expecting it to be read, scrutinized, debated and voted on by the other chamber any time soon.

 January 29, 2017, the Philippine Association of Food Technologists – Gamma Chapter (PAFT-Gamma) of De La Salle Araneta University formely “GAUF” celebrated its 50th anniversary. The school was the third institution to offer BS Food Technology in the Philippines and I am proud to be a part of it. As it turned gold, a new chapter will begin and a very promising one especially to the new graduates for the long wait is soon to be over.

Cheers!

-Jols