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Public warned vs drinking samalamig

Rhodina Villanueva - The Philippine Star
Public warned vs drinking samalamig
A vendor prepares cups of halo-halo along Moriones Street in Tondo, Manila on March 28, 2023.
STAR / Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has warned the public against patronizing samalamig or locally produced flavored iced refreshments being sold on the streets during the dry season.

“(Samalamig) is popular during summer, as you can see – this is being sold in most of the streets you pass by. However, this is not pure water,” DOH officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said at a recent press conference.

“Even buko juice, though it is also good for the body – remember that when you drink liquid with sweeteners and you feel hot, the more you will get thirsty,” Vergeire added.

Coconut and fruit juices are OK as long as the person drinking is not diabetic, according to the DOH official.

She advised vendors of these thirst-quenchers to make sure that the water and ice they use for the drinks are safe for consumption.

Vergeire also stressed that sanitation officers of local government units should monitor and check the drinks being sold on the streets.

“This is to make sure that the public will be able to drink clean liquid refreshments so as to prevent buyers from getting sick of gastrointestinal diseases,” she said.

She noted, though, that it is still best to drink water when one is dehydrated to be able to replenish electrolytes.

At the same time, the DOH advised school canteen owners and operators to avoid cooking and selling food that can spoil easily.

“If the temperature is high, food can last, at most, for two hours only and after that, should not be consumed anymore,” Vergeire said.

She also reminded students to bring drinking water to school.

“They should drink water often. School officials should also monitor the students and immediately coordinate with health care facilities if they find anyone suffering from heat stress,” she said.

The DOH likewise advised the public to avoid going out from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or even 4 p.m. to prevent heat stroke or heat stress. – With Mayen Jaymalin

DOH

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