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PIA Press Release
2006/12/28

Feature: Four rights in food safety

Bacolod City (28 December) -- December brings us numerous events to celebrate and with that comes the abundance of different types of food. But where we got it, how it is prepared and kept always gets us into trouble.

Food poisoning cases are mostly attributed to not so fresh source or raw ingredients, unsanitary preparation, improper cooking or unreliable storage. There are four rights – right source, right preparation, right cooking and right storage in order to make healthy and safe foods to eat this season of celebration and for ordinary times as well.


Right Source

It is suggested that primarily, the food we eat should come from the right source. Meat, fish, fruits and vegetables we used as main ingredients in our dishes should always be fresh and clean. For processed and canned foods, it is necessary to check the expiration date and should be free from dents, bulges, deformation, broken seals and improper seams as these may provide bacteria and germs the way to get into the can or packages. As for the source of water, when in doubt as to whether it is clean or not, better to boil it for 2 minutes before using.


Right Preparation

Before starting the preparation process, make sure that the utensils and wares to be used are washed and should also be kept clean after using. Contact between raw food and cooked food should be avoided. Vegetables like lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and carrots that will be eaten raw should be washed thoroughly. Sweep kitchen floors to remove food droppings and prevent the harbor of rats and insects especially after the preparation process.


Right Cooking

As children, we are always reminded to wash our hands before and after eating. The same habit should be practiced even as adults when cooking our food and when eating them. Food should be cooked thoroughly with all parts of the food to reach 70 degrees centigrade when being cooked. It is always best to eat food immediately after cooking to get the best taste.


Right Storage

When leftovers cannot be avoided, it is best to keep them in a right storage to extend the life span of the food. All cooked foods should be left at room temperature for NOT more than two hours to prevent multiplication of bacteria. Be sure to store food under hot conditions (at least or above 60 degrees centigrade) or in cold conditions (below or equal to 10 degrees centigrade). The mentioned temperature is vital if you plan to store food for more than four to five hours. Foods for infants should not be stored at all. It should always be freshly prepared. Do not overburden the refrigerator by filling it with too large quantities of warm food. Reheat stored food before eating. Food should be reheated to at least 70 degrees centigrade.

After mentioning the four rights in food safety, it is important to keep in mind yet another important rule to a safe food intake: “when in doubt whether the food is still safe for eating or not, just simply throw it out”. (PIA/EAD) [top]

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