Caterers and other businessmen were reminded by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday to practice safe handling of food to prevent illnesses and outbreaks.
The FDA advised these businessmen to keep their work stations clean and store hazardous chemicals away, maintain hygiene and know proper ways to prepare and handle food to prevent and minimize risks from food-borne diseases and outbreaks.
These tips follow provisions of Republic Acts 9711 (Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009) and 10611 (Food Safety Act of 2013), which promote practical ways to keep food safe in restaurants, canteens, carinderias and catering operations.
Foodborne illnesses are caused by intake of contaminated food, which usually affect a person’s gastrointestinal system, and can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
These symptoms are commonly associated with food poisoning.
FDA said these illnesses, which can be contracted by large numbers of people, are caused by food not cooked, stored or handled properly by caterers.
“Establishments that prepare, serve and distribute food for mass catering are responsible to guarantee the safety of the food for prevention of food-borne illnesses and outbreaks,” it added.
The World Health Organization listed salmonella and E.coli as the most common food-borne pathogens affecting millions of people worldwide annually.
This year, several food poisoning cases were reported in different regions in the Philippines.