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Food safety has always been relevant to everyone and even much more when the Covid-19 pandemic happened. During this unprecedented time, it is important for everyone to be extra cautious and mindful especially when it comes to good hygiene.

Aside from regular handwashing, an integral part of this is the proper handling of food starting all the way from receiving of goods, preparation, and up to distribution of meals to customers and even at home. In times like this, the last thing we would want to happen to us, of course other than getting infected with the virus, is food poisoning as it is the most common effects of ingesting contaminated food, water and/or ice.  

Last July 9, the Agriculture, Food and Life Science (AFL) division, spearheaded by the Food team of SGS Philippines launched its Enhanced Hygiene Monitored Program, a food safety certification program specially curated to cater the needs of food service industry in implementing effective food safety measures through the free webinar entitled “Recover | Renew | Reinforce: Food Safety Solutions in the New Normal”. This event was attended by around 225 participants from different industries such as restaurants, supermarkets, and hotels.

It is important for SGS Philippines that the consumers understand the significance of food safety especially in the time of a pandemic which is why they have invited key speakers who are experts from different local and international organizations. Dr. Simone Moraes Raszl, Technical Officer from World Health Organization Regional Office for the Western Pacific discussed the risks associated to food and grocery deliveries. According to Dr. Simone, COVID-19 is not known to be transmitted by food, however; the virus can be disseminated through food deliveries if the delivery personnel do not implement protective measures for the control of the virus. Mr. Richard Sprenger, Chairman of Highfield ABC MEA also shared measure for the reduction of risk of COVID-19 in the hospitality industry which can provide them confidence as they re-open for business. To give the consumers a sight of solution, SGS United Kingdom’s Global Technical Manager for Food, Mr. Andrew Booth, shared programs created by SGS to address the COVID-19 impact to the food industry.

To give light regarding the current local regulations for food establishments, Mr. Arturo Boncato Jr. from the Department of Tourism and Ms. Marie Camille Benesa-Castillo from the Department of Trade and Industry discussed the new regulations and protective measures for COVID-19 control implemented in quarantined locations nationwide. To represent the food industry, popular online food community, Let's Eat Pare Association’s very own Mr. Mark del Rosario, emphasized the benefits of having a food safety system during the "new normal” while Chef Natalia Moran from PizzaExpress shared the pains she encountered in food safety implementation and how the SGS Hygiene Monitored Program helped to address these problems in addition to the benefits they had reaped after securing a Hygiene Monitored Mark.

SGS Business Director for AFL and EHS division, Mr. Jeremiah Macias was also there to give his opening remarks to welcome the attendees. As the webinar came to an end, it was SGS Philippines, Inc. and Guam’s Managing Director, Mr. Ariel Miranda who gave the closing remarks.

SGS Philippines AFL division would like to thank all the speakers and attendees who willingly took their time for the webinar. You may also find the SGS’ Recover | Renew | Reinforce: Food Safety Solutions in the New Normal article feature from Philippine Daily Inquirer.

To learn more about SGS Hygiene Monitored Program, please contact:

Jinelle Picones
Agriculture, Food, and Life
Business Manager - Food Sector
m: 
 +63 (917) 838 9611 / (02) 8784 9400
PH.Food.Solutions@sgs.com