AS THE traditional Noche Buena during Christmas nears, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) called on the public to ensure that the food that will be offered are cooked, stored, or handled properly.
“Food borne illnesses and outbreaks that involve large number of people are usually caused by food produced for mass catering which were not cooked, stored, or handled properly,” said in FDA Advisory No. 2015-066.
To avoid food-borne illnesses, the FDA said those in charge of food preparation should always wash their hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds in a designated hand washing sink.
In addition, the FDA said the kitchen must be kept clean; protected versus from insects, pests, and other animals; and always use clean utensils, including sanitized surfaces and equipment used for food preparation.
Finally, the FDA said raw food must always be separated from cooked food in order to avoid cross contamination.
“Dangerous microorganisms from raw food may be transferred onto other foods during preparation and storage,” said the FDA.
For its part, the Department of Health (DOH) encouraged a well-balanced meal during Noche Buena .
“Make sure that vegetable and fruits are on the table together with your traditional ham and queso de bola,” said the DOH.
The health department also asked the public to eat in moderation and drink plenty of water and fruit juices to facilitate excretion. (HDT/Sunnex)