Tips to prevent food spoilage

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 29 2014 08:23 PM | Updated as of May 30 2014 04:23 AM

MANILA -- An expert gave tips on how parents can prevent food spoilage, especially as children go back to school next week.

On Thursday's episode of DZMM's "Sakto", Josie Gonzales, a nutritionist-dietician from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), gave some important tips on how to ensure that children can safely eat their "baon."

Gonzales reminded parents to always maintain cleanliness in the kitchen, and to ensure that all utensils and ingredients are properly washed.

"Maraming sources and microbial growth. Dapat malinis ang mga nanay, malinis ang mga gamit, malinis ang katawan din po nila," she said.

She also advised parents to use different knives and chopping boards for meat and fruits or vegetables, as bacteria can easily transfer from one surface to another.

Gonzales also explained common myths about food spoilage, saying that the ingredients used in a dish does not commonly affect the rate of spoilage, as long as proper food sanitation and handling was observed.

Dishes cooked with coconut milk should be consumed within 24 hours. It is also better to ensure that the coconut milk is well cooked to prolong its shelf life.

Gonzales said that newly-cooked food should not be left without a cover for more than 30 minutes as it can harbor bacterial growth.

"Pwede na halimbawa, 15 minutes, tapos kahit mainit-init pa, puwede na lagyan ng takip."

Healthy meals

Aside from ensuring that a "baon" for the day is fresh and safe to eat, Gonzales also advised parents to include vegetables in their children's food.

Parents can prepare recipes such as Nutri Siomai and Chicken Veggie Wrap, which are healthy alternatives to common snacks.

These snacks are loaded with vegetables that can help children stay healthy and active in school.

Aside from meat, nutri siomai contains squash, carrots and malunggay leaves, vegetables rich in Vitamin A that help maintain a good eyesight, as well as a well-developed brain.

Lettuce, pineapple, cucumber, and tomatoes are also some of the vegetables that can be added to sandwiches and other snack items.

These add fiber and water that helps in digestion. Cucumber is also rich in antioxidants.