2011-11-22 | Back

Food Safety, Especially for SMEs

1. The responsibility for supplying safe food lies 
in all involved in the production, post-harvest 
treatment, processing, trade/distribution, & 
consumer or the total food chain.


2. A holistic food chain (farm/sea to fork) 
approach to food safety.


3. Food Safety Issues and Challenges in 
developing countries:


   a. food production systems are diverse with 
many small scale, unorganized producers and 
informal markets

   b. food sector is rapidly evolving with little or 
no technical support for introduction of new, 
more intensive production technologies by SMEs

   c. food processing sector is often 
underfinanced & fragmented with consumer 
demand for safe food as low due to little 
purchasing power

   d. food processing sector lacks technical 
capability on GAP, GMP, HACCP, Food Defense

   e. increased environmental risks due to rapid 
rates of population growth, urbanization, 
changing food production systems, & 
consumption habits

   f. consumers are preoccupied by access to 
food & are ill informed and unaware of food 
safety matters

   g. regulatory frameworks are incomplete, 
outdated national legislation and regulation

   h. regulatory system suffers from inadequate 
technical, institutional and managerial food 
control capacity

   i.  climate change impacts on food-borne 
disease agents (bacteria, viruses, parasitic 
protozoa), animal diseases, toxinogenic fungi & 
mycotoxin contamination, 

       insects & other pests, harmful algal blooms 
in marine and coastal areas, pesticide usage and 
residues in crops & environment

   j.  persistent organic pollutants  compounds 
that accumulate in environment and human 
body like dioxins & PCBs, by-products of 
industrial processes &

       waste incineration, pollution of air, water, 
soil, metals like lead & mercury, cadmium 


4. Food contamination cause enormous social 
and economic burden on communities and their 
health system:


    a. USA  caused by major pathogens $35 
Billion annually in 1997 in medical costs and lost 

    b. Peru  reemergence of cholera in 1991  
loss of $ 500 million in fish & fishery product 

    c. In 2005, 1.8 million people died from 
diarrhea diseases. Great proportion attributed 
to food and drinking water contamination.

    d. Diarrhea is a major cause of malnutrition in 
infants and young children. 

    e. 30% of population in industrialized 
countries suffer from food-borne diseases. In 
the USA, 76 million affected, with 325,000 
hospitalization and 5000 deaths


    f. Developing countries may have less cases 

    g. In the Philippines, for the past 20 years, 
diarrhea diseases are number 1 cause of 
morbidity (ill health) and mortality (death) per 
100,000 population. 

       In 1993 to 2002, most common outbreaks: 
cholera, typhoid fever, hepatitis A.


5. The DOH Food and Waterborne Disease 
Prevention and Control Program (FWBDPCP) was 
established in 1997 focusing on cholera, typhoid 
fever, hepatitis A 

    and others emerging like  Paragonimiasis & 
parasitic worm infection.


6. Philippine food scares in the last few years 
were not of Philippine origin like the mad cow 
disease, bird-flu/avian influenza virus, dioxin 
contamination, Melamine

   in milk, high radiation levels.


7. To strengthen the Food Safety System is 
House Bill 4711 B, or the proposed Philippine 
Food Safety Act of 2011 with four major thrusts: 
strengthen food safety regulation system, 
protect consumer health, facilitate market 
access of local foods and products, and other 
purposes. The activities include: creation of a 
Food Safety Regulation Coordination Board, 
delineation of mandates and accountabilities of 
DA, DOH, DILG; recognition of National Codex 
Organization, strengthening of data collection 
and manpower assessment, empowerment on 
technical development and training to improve 
implementation by government and compliance 

farmers, fisher-folks, consumers and industry. 
Please support this House Bill 4711B by 
communicating with your congresspersons and 

8. Please see the complete presentation, 
minutes of the meeting, & poster at www.map-
abcdf.com.ph   Thank you.