Pinoy-style spaghetti can pose greater safety risks if…

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

The Department of Health–Center for Health Development (DOH-CHD) in Western Visayas again reminded the public to be wary of food safety amid Christmas parties and social gatherings this holiday season.

DOH-6 warned the Ilonggos to cook and handle well food served during Christmas parties, especially those that spoil quickly.

Caroline Tumabotabo regional nurse coordinator of DOH 6 said that spaghetti, Filipinos’ all-time favorite Christmas dish, pose food safety risks because of its ingredients such as cheese and pasta.

Ang spaghetti number one gakapan-os because of the ingredients parehos sang carbohydrates sa noodles. Dali mapan-os ang cheese kag ang cream nga ginagamit,” she said in a press conference Thursday.

Compared to Italian spaghetti, Filipino’s famous sweet style spaghetti spoil faster, according to DOH-6 Health Education and Promotion Officer (HEPO) III Darlene Antonette dela Peña.

Aside from cheese and other milk-based products that are used in cooking sweet-style spaghetti, Dela Peña said heat when the food is transported also hastens spoilage.

“Huge factor man ang heat kay gina-transport magkadto sa tropical country kag ang handling sang spaghetti would add up sang high cases of food poisoning,” she said.

In December this year, the health department recorded 59 cases of food poisoning in Bago, Negros Occidental because of spoiled spaghetti.

Eleven of the victims were admitted in the hospital but were already discharged, Tumabotabo added.

DOH-6 recorded a total of 274 cases of food poisoning in the region so far in 2019.

For this reason, the health department warned the Ilonggos to ensure that food serve in the holidays are safe by following these tips:

  • keep clean and wash your hands before handling food often;
  • wash and sanitize all surfaces and equipment used for food preparation separate meat, poultry seafood from other foods;
  • use separate equipment and utensils such as knives and cutting boards for handling raw foods;
  • cook thoroughly; and
  • keep food at safe temperatures and use safe water and raw materials.

Tumabotabo said the public should monitor the signs and symptoms of food poisoning such as stomach ache, migraine, dizziness, and vomiting.

Kon mag-exihibit symptoms like nagasakit tiyan, observe naton kon magsuka, dal-on dayon sa hospital,” she explained.

She said food poisoning can be fatal, especially when the patients suffer from dehydration due to vomiting.

According to DOH 6, approximately 1.8 million children in developing countries, including the Philippines died from diarrhea caused by microbiological agents, mostly from food and water.