FDA issues safety tips for caterers
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - September 25, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday came out with “food safety tips” for catering operations and similar establishments to prevent and minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses.

The tips were issued in the wake of several mass food poisoning incidents involving food bought from fastfood restaurants or prepared for parties or special occasions.

In Advisory No. 2015-066, Health Secretary and FDA acting director general Janette Garin said foodborne illnesses and outbreaks “that involve large numbers of people are usually caused by food produced for mass catering which were not cooked, stored, or handled properly.”

Garin noted that establishments that prepare, serve, and distribute food for mass catering are supposed to guarantee the safety of the food.  

She added that food handlers of restaurants, catering operators, canteens and carinderias should observe some safety tips to prevent contamination. 

According to the FDA, kitchen areas should be protected from insects, pests and other animals by keeping them clean. 

Utensils and equipment used for food preparations, on the other hand, should be washed and sanitized. ?

“Avoid placing pesticides around your kitchen to kill indoor insect and rodent pests. Cleaning chemicals must be kept in suitable labeled containers and stored away from food,” the FDA said.

The agency also urged food handlers to observe hygiene, which includes washing all parts of the “hands by rubbing them together vigorously with soap and water for at least 20 seconds in a designated hand washing sink.”

Food handlers should stay at home when they are sick with vomiting or diarrhea or while afflicted with wounds, skin infections and sores.

The FDA added that food should be cooked thoroughly – especially meat, poultry, eggs and seafood.

“Keep food out of the danger zone. Keep cooked food hot (more than 60°Celsius) prior to serving. Refrigerate promptly all cooked and perishable food (below 5° Celsius),” the agency said.

The FDA added that to avoid “cross contamination,” raw food must be separated from cooked food because “dangerous microorganisms from raw food may be transferred onto other foods during preparation and storage.”

ACIRC CATERING COOKED DRUG ADMINISTRATION FDA FOOD GARIN HEALTH SECRETARY IN ADVISORY NO JANETTE GARIN NBSP
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