CATERING operations and other establishments were reminded by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday on to practice safe handling of food to prevent illnesses and outbreaks.
In the advisory issued by the FDA, safety tips on how to keep workstations clean and keep hazardous chemicals away, maintain proper hygiene, and to know the proper way to prepare and handle food, among others, to prevent and minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses and outbreaks were mentioned.
These tips follow the provisions of Republic Acts 9711 (Food and Drug Administration Act of 2009) and 10611 (Food Safety Act of 2013), which promotes practical ways to keep food safe in restaurants, canteens, carinderias, and catering operations.
Foodborne illnesses are caused by the intake of contaminated food, which usually affects a person’s gastrointestinal system, and can cause diarrhea and vomiting. These symptoms are commonly associated with food poisoning.
FDA added that these illnesses, which involved large numbers of people, were caused by food in mass catering that was not cooked, stored, or handled properly.
“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,” FDA stated.
The World Health Organization (WHO) listed salmonella and E. coli as the most common foodborne pathogens affecting millions of people worldwide annually. This year, several food poisoning cases were reported in different regions in the Philippines.