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Food producers fear ‘food terrorism’

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(photo by r.salonga)

A food industry leader on Monday cautioned consumers against “food terrorism” due to the string of incidents that have downed adults and children due to mishandled meals.

 
Engr. Roger Navarro, Philippine Maize Federation Inc. (Philmaize) president, said this in an interview with DZRH via Dr. Joe Taruc and Milky Rigonan’s “Damdaming Bayan.”
 
Navarro believes that the recent incidents is not isolated cases. “Someone is coordinating with a bigger group to do this,” he said.
 
The food industry leader said consumers should check the bar code on food packs to check the status of the ingredients.
 
Last week, nine high school students were rushed to the Quirino Memorial Medical Center (QMMC) in Project 4, Quezon City for stomach pains and nausea after eating macapuno (sweet coconut candy) sold by an ambulant vendor reportedly inside the Juan Sumulong High School in Cubao, Quezon City.
 
Six of the victims from had to be confined at the pediatric intensive care unit of the. The three others are at the pediatric ward.
 
QMMC attending physician Dr. Jojo Mercado said the candy allegedly has an ingredient called organophosphate.
 
Meanwhile, physician Dr. Willie Ong gave tips on what to do in case of food poisoning:
 
First Aid:
1. First, try to determine the food item that could be the culprit. Try to recall what foods you ate or drank within the past 24 hours or in the past few days.
2. Drink lots of fluids to replenish those you have lost. For mild cases of diarrhea, you can drink juice, soup or water. However, for persistent cases of diarrhea, you need to drink an oral rehydrating solution (ORS).
3. As a home remedy, you can mix a solution of one glass water with two teaspoons of sugar and one-fourth teaspoon of salt.
4. Medicines to stop diarrhea, like loperamide, are used only for severe cases. In most instances, the diarrhea will stop by itself within two days.
5. Rest your stomach. Choose foods that are easy to digest. Foods such as congee, clear soup, gelatin, bananas and tea may help. Temporarily avoid dairy products, spicy foods and fatty foods.
6. Eat slowly and little by little.
7. Take a rest as much as you can. Just lie down most of the time to conserve your strength.
8. Lastly, make sure you don’t get dehydrated. Check your urine color to see that it is still light in color. Dark-colored urine means that you lack fluids in the body. Drink more oral rehydrating solution.
Prevention Tips:
1. Wash your hands before preparing and eating food.
2. Keep your kitchen and utensils clean.
3. Store raw foods safely in the refrigerator or freezer.
4. Cook food completely. Avoid undercooked or half-cooked meat and fish preparations.
5. Don’t let food sit out for more than two or three hours. Store it in the refrigerator. (Joel C. Atencio)

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