DOH issues tips on how to prepare safe ‘baon’ for school kids PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 June 2014 13:41

Now that it’s back to school, the Department of Health (DOH) reminds the public, especially parents, on how to prepare a safe “baon” for their kids by following these five food safety tips:

1. Keep clean.

Wash your hands before handling food and often during food preparation. Wash your hands after going to the toilet. Wash and sanitize all surfaces and equipment used for food preparation. Protect kitchen areas and food from insects, pests, and other animals.

2. Separate raw from cooked food.

Separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from other foods.Use separate equipment and utensils, such as knives and cutting boards, for handling raw food. Store food in containers to avoid contact between raw and prepared food.

3. Cook food thoroughly.

Cook food thoroughly, especially meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood. Bring food, like soups and stews, to boiling to make sure that they have reached 70°C. For meat and poultry, make sure that juices are clear, not pink. Ideally, use a thermometer. Reheat cooked food thoroughly.

4. Keep food at safe temperatures.

Do not leave cooked food at room temperature for more than two hours. Refrigerate promptly all cooked and perishable food (preferably below 5°C). Keep cooked food piping hot (more than 60°C) prior to serving. Do not store food too long even in the refrigerator. Do not thaw frozen food at room temperature.

5. Use safe water and raw materials.

Use safe water or treat it to make it safe. Select fresh and wholesome food. Choose food processed for safety, such as pasteurized milk. Wash fruits and vegetables, especially if eaten raw. Do not use food beyond its expiry date.

On the other hand, in cases of suspected food-borne disease, here is what the public should do:

* Preserve the evidence. If a portion of the suspected food is available, wrap it securely with a “danger” label and freeze it.

* Seek treatment as necessary. If symptoms persist or are severe (i.e., bloody diarrhea, excessive nausea and vomiting, or high temperature), immediately consult a doctor.

* Report the incidence to the local health department.

Food and Water-borne Diseases:

These constitute a group of illnesses caused by any infectious (bacteria, viruses, and parasites) and non-infectious agents (chemical, animal and plant toxins).

Common causes of food and water-borne diseases:

* Unsafe sources of drinking water.

* Improper disposal of human waste.

* Unhygienic practices, like spitting anywhere, blowing or picking the nose.

*  Unsafe food handling and preparation practices (i.e., street-vended food)