Fruits, vegetables with Taal ash washed off safe to eat: DOH

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 15 2020 01:14 PM

MANILA -- Fruits and vegetables covered with ash from Taal Volcano are still safe to eat as long as these are washed properly, the Department of Health said Wednesday.

Unlike animals, produce cannot ingest toxins from the volcano’s ashfall, Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo told reporters.

“‘Yung gulay tsaka prutas na nalagyan ng abo basta hugasan lang ng mahusay 'yun at linisin, puwede po kainin 'yun,” Domingo said in a press briefing at Malacañang.

(Vegetables and fruits covered with ash can still be consumed as long as these are washed properly)

Taal Volcano's unrest has left P577.4 million in initial damage to farming, including some 2,700 hectares of farmland and almost 2,000 animals, said the Department of Agriculture. 

Domingo also reiterated the health department’s plea to refrain from eating fish from the Taal Lake as toxic chemicals from the rumbling volcano could affect marine life there.

“Hangga’t di tayo sigurado, might as well be cautious because we know that toxic substances have been thrown out of the volcano and na-dissolve 'yan sa tubig…Kapag naingest natin ito, baka malipat ito sa katawan ng tao, itong toxins na ito,” he said.

(Until we’re sure, might as well be cautious because we know that toxic substances have been thrown out of the volcano and that gets dissolved in the water. If we ingest this, the toxins might harm our health.)

Freshwater fish such as tilapia and tawilis are known to be abundant in Taal.