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St. Luke's is the Country's First HACCP Certified Hospital
Taking another innovative step in healthcare excellence, St. Luke’s Medical Center (SLMC) was granted the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) certification by SGS Philippines, Inc. – the country’s leading provider in certification, testing, verification and inspection. This feat is the first of its kind in the Philippines.
Spearheaded by the Food and Nutrition Department (FND) of SLMC Global City and Quezon City, the achievement of HACCP certification was a total team effort, with significant contributions from the Infection Control Service, Quality and Patient Safety, Environment Health and Safety, Biomedical Engineering, Housekeeping Department, Human Resources – Training and Organizational Development Department, Pest Control system (under the Housekeeping Department), and outsourced companies Kitchen Care Consultancy, Inc. (cleaning and sanitizing kitchen and service tools and equipment) and Sentrotek Company (conducted microbial tests for food served to patients).
The main objective of HACCP is to provide patients with the highest standard of safe and healthy foods. Good Manufacturing Practices or GMP is a prerequisite to achieve HACCP certification, and FND had to ensure that vital aspects of GMPs were firmly in place. These were: primary production, which involved the handling, storage and transport of raw materials sources (including the personal hygiene compliance of suppliers); design, layout, facilities and equipment, particularly their proper maintenance, cleaning and disinfection to minimize contamination, and protection against pest access and sufficient harbourage; establishment of maintenance and sanitation programs, pest control systems, waste management and of course effective monitoring of all these; wearing of masks, mob-caps, aprons and other personal protective equipment or PPEs by kitchen staff, as well as handwashing every 30 minutes, had to be strictly followed – depending on their area of workplace; time and temperature control from receiving of raw materials to the preparation of these for cooking, cooling, service and storage had to be closely monitored (water safety was also an integral part of the process, from water source to the time it flows to faucets; control points (clean and disinfected from the growth of pathogenic or spoilage microorganisms) for any mode of transportation or vehicle that carries raw materials or ingredients and finished products; adequate product information (origin, handling and nutritional/health needs) to espouse consumer awareness; and fundamentally, it all boils down to staff training (awareness on, preparation and handling of food), which is essential in any food service system.
Top Management’s support in the certification process was very evident through the acquisition of new tools and wares, and providing equipment with corresponding training – internally and externally – since the early strides to achieve HACCP certification began two years ago. The effort of everyone involved was worth it because the ultimate goal of “food safety is patient safety” was affirmed by SLMC’s HACCP certification.
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