THE Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Sunday warned the public against buying holiday promo items, including buy 1, take 1 items and freebies.
FDA Acting Director Kenneth Go said the public must not carelessly patronize food products being sold through a promo or given free.
“Double check on holiday promo items (buy 1/take 1 and freebies), which should still be of quality and within safety guarantee period,” he said.
Aside from being wary of promos, the FDA also said it is important “to buy food only from reputable sources; avoiding dented, bulging or deformed canned goods; reading cautiously the ingredients and food information; checking the expiry dates; and avoiding unlabelled food products”.
The agency likewise called for the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables; washing hands before, during, and after food preparation, and after using the toilets; and preparing food in clean work areas only and using clean utensils.
As for food storage of party foods, the FDA said it is important to keep hot food hot and cold food cold; and keep all food covered to prevent insects from coming in that could result to contamination.
The FDA also reminded that spoiled and suspected to be spoiled food must be discarded immediately.
“During the holiday rush, consumers must always remember to be very careful in the selection, purchase, preparation, handling, and storage of food,” advised the FDA.
Go said they issued the reminder as they fear of the possibility of having an increase in food-borne illnesses this Christmas season considering the numerous parties being held successively these days.
He said among the illnesses the public may acquire are hepatitis A, gastroenteritis, cholera, typhoid fever, amoebiasis, and food poisoning.
He said common symptoms of these illnesses are vomiting, diarrhea, and flu. (HDT/Sunnex)