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Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo

Food safety, a key piece to avoid global morbidity and mortality

The INTEC Basic and Environmental Sciences Area held a symposium in which several experts shared about the dangers, challenges and strategies of food safety

Food safety, a key piece to avoid global morbidity and mortality

SANTO DOMINGO. -The Food safety is fundamental part in terms of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and it is estimated that approximately 10 % water content of the población have an episode of transmitted diseases by foods.

He said so Daniel Montes de Oca, in charge of the División Evaluation and Follow-up of the Department of Food Safety of the Ministry of Agriculture, who during the conference “Food safety from animal husbandry and vegetable cultivation” assured that they occur foodborne diseases (ETA) worldwide at an astonishing rate. "PAHO in 2016 said that in the Dominican Republic 1,300 people died from foodborne diseases."

Montes de Oca said that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), every year in the region of the Americas 77 million people get sick from FBD and more than 9,000 people die. He specified that of that total 31 million are children under 5 years of age, of whom more than 2,000 die.

The expert indicated that, on World Food Safety Day this year, WHO makes five calls to action: ensure safety, keep food safe, grow safe food, know what is safe and act together for the safety.

The talk was given at the symposium "Food Safety, ONE-HEALTH approach - "Safer food, for better health", as part of the activities organized by the Area of ​​Basic and Environmental Sciences (INTEC) and the Institute of Innovation in Biotechnology and Industry (IIBI) prior to the XVII International Congress of Scientific Research of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MESCyT), and when June 7 is celebrated as the International Food Safety Day.

Montes de Oca explained that the sources of contamination are: humans, soil, water, tool equipment and animals. On how to implement good agricultural practices, he understands that there must be a system of traceability, documentation and records; product storage and product dispatch.

During the Symposium, doctors Luis Maroto and Edian Franco proposed the creation of the Dominican Food Safety Research Network (REDIIA).

Challenges for the implementation of the HACCP System

Safe food does not represent any danger to the consumer, said Elsy Álvarez, INTEC graduate and Novus Consulab executive, who also explained that the HACCP System (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) is management, in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical and physical hazards.

HACCP is designed for use in all segments of the food industry: plantations, harvests, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, preparation of Food for Human and Animal consumption.

He said that the principles of HACCP are the analysis of food hazards, identify critical points, establish critical limits, implement monitoring control system of critical control points (CCP), establish corrective measures on affected products and processes, verification system to confirm that the HACCP System is effective and Documentation and registration system.

Regarding the main challenges for the implementation of the HACCP System during food processing, he mentioned the lack of commitment from senior management, in the prerequisite program, non-multidisciplinary teams, education and training, activity planning and the lack of correct questions when asking questions. conducting a hazard analysis and lack of experience.

Food safety certifications

Horacio Lomba explained that food safety certifications are third-party verification that certifies that products, processes, and food systems in the food supply chain meet accepted food safety standards.

Regarding the advantages of certification programs, I mention that: it protects the brand, improves consumer confidence and guarantees the integrity of the product; guarantees independence and impartiality avoiding conflicts of interest and complies with legal requirements within the food industry.

In addition, it promotes and improves customer confidence by facilitating access to the market, helps create and maintain a food safety culture in the company, reducing costs thanks to continuous improvement and minimizing inspection costs between certifications.

During the Symposium, “The future of Food Security in a post-pandemic world” was also discussed, by Joel Beltré, clinical nutritionist. In addition, the research "Effect of Two Processing Methods on the Quality Characteristics of the Flour of Three Bean Varieties" was presented. (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) for Use in the Food Industry”, “Evaluation of the Effect of Ipomoea batata L. (Batata) Starch on Quality Characteristics of Cream-Type Ice Cream” and “Evaluation of contamination by heavy metals in agricultural soils of the Municipality of Bonao, Province Monsignor Nouel.

As well as the investigations "Evaluation of the Effect of Vinegar and Dehydrated Citrus Pulp on the Characteristics of Processing and Quality of Conventional and Artisan Sausage Based on Basa (Pangasius hypophthalmus)" and "Characterization of cultivable bacteria isolated from vegetables marketed in Santo Domingo for direct consumption.

In addition, Jorge Ruiz, from the Anáhuac Mayab University, presented "Physicochemical, microbiological and functional characterization of bee honey from the northwestern line of the Dominican Republic for its denomination of origin."

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