EDITORIAL| Safe food handling

AMBULANT vendors may now be more conscious of the importance of proper food handling after the drive of the city to regulate this sector. We presume that this interest to join the seminar on safe food handling is not only borne out of the need to comply and get an ID but on the sincere desire to keep food safe and clean for consumers, as well.

Business Bureau assistant head Maribel Paguican said that the first seminar held last Monday filled the venue to the rafters and the impressive turnout compel them to set another schedule to accommodate those who would like to avail of the training.

It’s about time that safety in food preparation and handling is addressed. In 2012, the Department of Science and Technology and the German-funded Center for International Migration and Development released a study on streetfood sold in Davao City and three other cities. The results of the study in these cities showed that streetfood was unsafe and that the food sold showed significant amounts of salmonella and E.coli. The study also mentioned the poor personal hygiene among vendors or those who prepared the food and the food’s exposure to dust and flies as the cause of the contamination.

The food poisoning incident that happened recently in Caraga region which affected close to 2,000 people triggered this campaign to educate vendors on proper sanitation in food preparation and handling. Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has required food vendors to attend a seminar on food safety, threatening to arrest those who will not comply with his order. Apart from the seminar, vendors are required to get health certificates.

Streetfood is cheap and popular especially among the younger set. Vendors have the responsibility to ensure that the food they are selling are safe to eat and do not make people sick. We hope that this will not end with the food handling seminar but for agencies concerned to follow up and monitor the vendors’ compliance.

Posted in Opinion