STREET food is being looked at as among the two causes of the diarrhea outbreak in the South of Davao City

The other reason is water. However, the Davao City Water District (DCWD) said based on their tests, the water sources of the areas affected by the diarrhea outbreak are safe.

"DCWD reports that all chlorination facilities are working 100% with chlorine residual within the normal limits (0.8 ppm). This residual is enough to inactivate bacteria causing waterborne diseases such as diarrhea," DCWD said in their press statement on Facebook on July 17, 2022.

But CHO Head Dr. Ashley Lopez said they are conducting a quantitative testing analysis to identify the cause of the diarrhea outbreak in Toril.

"Medyo mas accurate gyud ni (This is more accurate), so once we get the results from the SPMC Laboratory plus the report sa (in) DCWD we could probably come up with the final diagnosis," Lopez said in an interview with Davao City Disaster Radio on July 19, 2022.

As of July 22, a total of the 21 barangays were affected by the outbreak with 18 being in the Toril District – Alambre, Bangkas Heights, Baracatan, Bato, Binugao, Camansi, Catigan, Crossing Bayabas, Daliao, Daliaon Plantation, Eden, Lizada, Lubogan, Marapangi, Mulig, Sirawan, Toril Proper, and Tungkalan. The other barangays are Barangay Dumoy, Baliok, and Matina Aplaya.

A total of 233 diarrhea cases have already been recorded. Of this number, three have already died.

Meanwhile, CHO reported that based on their investigations, several of the patients with diarrhea reported that they have eaten street food from stalls in the Toril area.

As a result, the CHO has ordered the temporary closure of food stalls in the area. It has also conducted food handling training among street food vendors.

Following the outbreak and street food being looked at as one of the causes, it might be time for the city to come up with a more comprehensive plan or policy revolving around street food.

While there is already an existing policy under CHO on food sanitation and safety, it might need to make it more known to people.

Probably, if they do not have it yet, conduct monthly food sanitation and safety seminars for existing and new food establishments.

They might also want to consider having a downloadable document on the Davao City website on the basics of food safety for those who get into a food business. It also has to ensure that the materials are in English and the local language.

Making this information readily available to the public, be it reminders posted at food establishments or downloadable content, can help ensure food safety in the industry, at the same time prevent diarrhea outbreaks and other food-related incidents.