How to avoid food poisoning during 'Undas'

Most Filipinos pack food to be eaten by their families when visiting the graves of their dead during Undas. However, bacteria thriving in the residues in containers that are mixed with the new food has been found to be a possible cause of diseases, even poisoning.
Date Posted: Oct 30, 2015

MANILA -- Most Filipinos pack food to be eaten by their families when visiting the graves of their dead during Undas. However, bacteria thriving in the residues in containers that are mixed with the new food has been found to be a possible cause of diseases, even poisoning.

"Kahit konti lang 'yung food residue na natitira 'dun, so when you put in new food na malinis naman, puwede pa ring ma-contaminate," said infectious disease expert Dr. Jill Buensuceso.

Take the example of Mila Borbe, a mother who often prepares food for her family to bring to the cemetery. She keeps the food in plastic containers.

As a mother, Borbe makes sure her family is eating clean food. "Hinuhugasan ko nang mabuti. Hinuhugasan ko ng bareta," she said.

However, sample from the kitchen sponge she uses, when inspected under a microscope, revealed to be a thriving place for germs and bacteria.

The bacteria found in the kitchen sponge may be transferred to the containers and then to the food her family eats.

When this contaminated food is eaten, according to Buensuceso, viral diarrhea may occur. This may be caused by norovirus and rotavirus. Bacterial diarrhea diseases is also possible from aeromonas, campylobacter, clostridium difficile, e.coli, salmonella, and shigella.

Germs and bacteria spread quick, especially in conditions that are conducive for them to multiply. This Undas, packed food may bring harm to your family if not properly handled.

Germs and bacteria must be minimized to lower the chances of food contamination. An expert advised that it would help to use a dishwashing liquid with antibacterial component in cleaning the dishes.

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