University of São Paulo: USP project in Piracicaba trains philanthropic entities for the correct handling of food

A project coordinated by the Luiz de Queiroz Higher School of Agriculture (Esalq) at USP wants to contribute to the adoption of good practices by food handlers who work in philanthropic entities in Piracicaba. Developed within the scope of the USP Municipalities Program, the project initially contributed to nine entities in the city, on two major fronts: diagnosis of hygienic-sanitary conditions in food handling, through the application of a checklist during visits carried out in the entities and training of good practices in food handling, addressing the content established as essential by the Health Surveillance.

The initiative was approved in the 2020 Notice of the Santander Public Policy Program with the aim of solving problems aimed at improving public policies in the municipalities of the State of São Paulo. She was coordinated by Professor Daniele Maffei, from the Department of Agroindustry, Food and Nutrition (LAN) at Esalq, who, due to the restriction measures resulting from the covid-19 pandemic, planned the visits remotely through video calls. .

“To assess the hygienic-sanitary conditions, a checklist was prepared based on the legislation in force in Brazil applicable to establishments that provide food services. With this, it was possible to verify the main conformities and nonconformities in the entities, the limiting factors and their main needs with regard to control measures to guarantee the production of safe food”, explains the professor. She also highlights that entities were offered the possibility of performing bacteriological analysis of the water used to produce meals, a procedure that was carried out at Esalq’s Food Microbiology Laboratory.

In order to carry out the remote training, based on current legislation and reinforcing aspects observed in the first stage of the project, videos were recorded covering important and fundamental themes in good practices. “We work with topics such as food contaminants, foodborne diseases, hygienic food handling and good practices”, Daniele emphasizes.

support kit

As part of the training, each entity was given a kit containing support materials to put into practice the guidelines received, including the training of other employees who may work in the preparation of meals. Among the materials are a spreadsheet with a list of all documents necessary for establishments that provide food services, spreadsheets for monitoring good practices, a visit report with a return on the improvements proposed for the entity, educational posters, plastic labels (reusable) and marker brush to identify products removed from the original packaging, digital thermometer to control the temperature of food, booklet of good practices and flash drive containing the training videos and digital version of the printed materials delivered.

According to the researcher, despite the limitations resulting from the pandemic, it was possible to fulfill the project’s objectives and contribute to municipal public policies with regard to technical training for managing the production and safe distribution of food. “We hope that the work developed and the materials delivered will help the entities in the implementation and maintenance of good practices, in order to guarantee the hygienic-sanitary quality during the preparation of meals and, consequently, the food safety of the individuals served.”

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