Food security: how not to die or get sick while eating
MANILA, Philippines — The recent viral case of a customer finding a napkin in a piece of fried chicken he ordered for delivery illustrates the importance of safe food handling and draws attention to World Food Day. food security on June 7.
Although the case arose days before the celebration of World Food Safety Day, it provided a picture of the risks people sometimes face with unsafe food.
READ: Jollibee temporarily closes branch amid ‘fried napkin’ mess
When it comes to ordering and consuming food at delivery points, the common assumption is that if brands are trustworthy, there is nothing to worry about.
But consumers are unaware of the processes that go with the preparation of the foods they order.
The Department of Health has discussed food safety at length and has a list of things to know about food and waterborne illnesses and food poisoning and how to avoid getting sick from unhealthy food. The DOH instructions could be useful for consumers.
Unsafe Foods and Health Risks
According to the DOH, food poisoning and water-related illnesses are often caused by:
- Dangerous sources of drinking water
- Inappropriate disposal of human waste
- Unhygienic practices, such as spitting anywhere, blowing your nose, or picking your nose
- Unsafe food handling and preparation practices
Food poisoning, the DOH said, could also occur if a person consumes food contaminated with bacteria, like salmonella and E. coli, or viruses, like norovirus.
Data from the U.S.-based nonprofit Mayo Clinic has shown how quickly a person can experience symptoms of food poisoning, depending on the type of contaminant or the spread of the bacteria or the disease. viral agent involved.
Here is a chart from the Mayo Clinic:
In the Philippines, cases of food poisoning have made the news.
Last February, two children in the city of Santa Ana, in the province of Cagayan, died after eating “kuret”, a type of coral reef crab.
READ: 2 children die, their father in critical condition after eating ‘kuret’ crab in Cagayan
Last May, at least 37 people were hospitalized at the same time with suspected food poisoning after eating “humba”, a Visayan dish, at an event in Cebu city.
READ: 37 artists recover from ‘food poisoning’ in Cebu City
Cross contamination occurs when food is improperly prepared or stored. Other factors can increase the risk of food contamination:
- Do not cook food well.
- Failure to adhere to the appropriate storage temperature for food products.
- Leaving food cooked too long at hot temperatures.
- Does not heat cooked food sufficiently.
- Eat expired foods or food products that have passed the expiration date.
What to do in case of food poisoning?
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some of the telltale symptoms of possible food poisoning are:
- Stomach ache
- Stomach cramps
The Philippines Department of Health has stated that individuals should seek immediate medical attention if they experience these symptoms of food poisoning:
- Bloody diarrhea or blood in the stool
- High fever
- Frequent vomiting
- Alarming signs of dehydration, such as little or no urination, dry mouth and throat, dizziness
- Diarrhea lasts longer than three days
The DOH also recommended keeping evidence, such as contaminated food samples.
On its website, the DOH said potentially contaminated food samples should be securely packaged, marked with the word “danger” and frozen for testing.
Severe results of food poisoning
While it’s rare, the CDC said food poisoning can lead to serious health problems and long-term effects, such as chronic arthritis, brain and nerve damage, and kidney failure.
“Most people only have mild illnesses, which last from a few hours to several days. However, some people need to be hospitalized and some illnesses cause long-term health problems or even death, ”the CDC said.
Globally, at least 600 million people, or one in ten, get sick from contaminated food, according to the World Health Organization.
The WHO added that at least 420,000 people die each year from food poisoning.
“Diarrheal diseases are the most common illnesses resulting from the consumption of contaminated food, causing 550 million sick people and 230,000 deaths each year,” he said.
In the Philippines, the DOH noted that the morbidity rate from diarrhea increased from 1,520 or 100,000 in 1990 to 347.3 or 100,000 in 2010.
However, in recent years, the health department has experienced notable epidemics and attributed the emergence of food and waterborne illness to socio-cultural factors.
The DOH has previously issued guidelines for proper food handling to prevent cases of food poisoning or water illness:
- Kitchen areas should be protected from insects, pests and other animals.
- Avoid placing pesticides around the kitchen to kill indoor insects and pest rodents
- Cleaning chemicals should be kept away from food and should be placed in appropriate containers with labels
- Utensils must be washed and disinfected before use
Food handlers should also always wash their hands before preparing and serving food to their customers, the agency said.
“They are also reminded to stay home when they are sick so as not to contaminate the food they are served. Hairnets and masks are also required during food preparation, ”the DOH said.
Quoting the WHO, the Department of Health also reminded the public to always heed these tips to ensure the safety of the food they consume:
- Keep everything clean, from preparation to food storage
- Separate raw and cooked foods
- Cook food well
- Store food at safe temperatures
- Use potable water and raw materials
For more information on the novel coronavirus, click here.
What you need to know about the Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.
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