In the spring of 2016, BAC! Fighter Marie Josephine Paredes-Umali of Valencia, California presented Fight BAC! food safety lectures in the Philippines. She found an audience thirsty for this information and learned that there were few readily available food safety training resources.
Invitation to become a BAC Fighter!
Mayors, government coordinators, market vendors and vendors selling RTE foods made up her large audiences. For many, this was the first time they had been exposed to any food safety training. Participants received a Fight BAC! Core Four Practices poster, with extra copies to post in schools, public health centers, markets, and homes. Marie Josephine invited each of the participants to become BAC Fighters.
Food Market Audits
In Makati City, the government unit official requested a food safety audit of the Sunday Market. Marie Josephine noticed many unsafe food handling practices and commented on these during her next lecture. A few days later, she repeated the audit and noticed many positive changes. Armed with food safety information, the food vendors were ready and willing to improve their practices. The Red Cross local chapter will continue to audit the market vendors’ food handling practices.
Though she is “semi-retired”, Marie Josephine opened an office in Manila– MJPU Foodsafety Consultancy—which will will focus on food safety education and helping the Philippines with implementation of FSMA.