Food handlers of Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients underwent safety training on Basic Food Hygiene and Food Safety Hazards by the Food Safety Team of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-CALABARZON.
DOST conducted the 4-day Online Seminar-Training last May 28-29 and June 1-2, 2020, for seven food handlers including the owner of the catering service contracted for the provision of meals to the VCO clinical study participants in Sta. Rosa City, Laguna.
The DOST training was done to ensure the food safety aspect of the on-going study, “The Beneficial Effects of Virgin Coconut Oil among Suspect and Probable Cases of COVID-19”.
The contracted food catering service plays a vital role in the VCO project as they are assigned to prepare and supply the meals of the study participants with the guidance of DOST-Food Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI).
Niña Sherylle Giron, Science Research Specialist II of PSTC Rizal and member of DOST-CALABARZON FST, discussed several topics on Basic Food Hygiene and Food Safety Hazards. Other members of DOST-CALABARZON FST, Diane Ulan, SRS II of DOST-CALABARZON, and Jake Lloyd Peña, Project Assistant-II of DOST-CALABARZON, also helped in the facilitation of the seminar-training.
The training started with a pre-diagnostic exam to assess the participants’ knowledge in these areas. Lectures, showing of re-recorded activities and AVPs, discussions, and exams were the methods used to train the participants. A post-diagnostic exam was conducted at the end of the training and resulted in a passing and high score from all the seven participants.
On June 2, DOST-CALABARZON also conducted a monitoring visit and provided IR temperature gun for daily monitoring of temperature of food servers and food delivery service staff. Hand sanitizers were also provided to the food delivery service staff and they were instructed on its proper use to ensure safety of the food being delivered to the study participants.
This community-based research project is being led by DOST-FNRI, as the research agency, funded by DOST-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA), and DOST Regional Office-CALABARZON, in cooperation with LGU Sta. Rosa as the project site.
The study on VCO is one of the major initiatives of DOST to help fight the coronavirus disease pandemic with hopes to increase the number of recovered cases in the country. Other DOST initiatives include the development of the first Philippine-made COVID 19 test kit, the RXBox vital signs monitoring device, PPEs, and healthy beverages for frontliners.
An informal study on using VCO to keep medical frontliners healthy has been conducted through a private initiative.
SEND CHEERS in the comments below to DOST for ensuring the safety aspects of the Virgin Coconut Oil treatment clinical trials for COVID-19 patients.
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