FDA warns vs food–borne diseases

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013


THE FOOD and Drug Administration (FDA) warned the public on food – borne diseases with the advent of Yuletide celebrations.

In order to avoid the disease, the agency issued advisory 064, series of 2013 on food safety tips against food – borne diseases.

FDA advises public to do shopping of dry goods before buying perishable goods. “There is less chance that these perishable items will spoil due to growth and colonization of bacteria. In an ideal environment, a bacterium divides into two every 20 minutes.” It further advised to put perishable goods in cool place because cool temperature retards the growth of bacteria.

Moreover, the public is advised to put meat in freezers to avoid food spoilage caused by bacteria. The meat must be placed in containers or plastic bags in quantity enough for one meal. Fruits and vegetables must be washed before it will be placed in the refrigerator so these will not become contaminants inside the ref.

“Always wash your hands before handling food. Be sure to use soap and liberal amount of water. Dry your hands with clean cloth,” read the advisory. It further stated the public must always wash hands before feeding infants or assisting children when they eat.

These are just few among the 15 tips the FDA provided against food – borne diseases. Others are on basic hygiene on food.

The World Health Organization states “Food - borne diseases encompass a wide spectrum of illnesses and are a growing public health problem worldwide. They are the result of ingestion of foodstuffs contaminated with microorganisms or chemicals. The contamination of food may occur at any stage in the process from food production to consumption (“farm to fork”) and can result from environmental contamination, including pollution of water, soil or air.”

The most common clinical presentation of food - borne disease takes the form of gastrointestinal symptoms; however, such diseases can also have neurological, gynaecological, immunological and other symptoms. Multi - organ failure and even cancer may result from the ingestion of contaminated foodstuffs, thus representing a considerable burden of disability as well as mortality.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 18, 2013.

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