PHO urges LGUs to regulate ambulant food vendors

THE Provincial Health Office (PHO) urges local governments to take steps to regulate activities of ambulant vendors particularly those operating around schools.

This, as Dr. Ana de Guzman, PHO head, reiterated her warning to school administrators and parents about the risks and hazards posed by food and snacks being sold by ambulant vendors around school premises.

De Guzman warned that ambulant vendors do not secure sanitary and health permits and several have been found to be suffering from hepatitis and TB.

She cited the recent case of food poisoning suffered by 33 students of Bacayao Elementary School in Calasiao, a case still being investigated to determine the kind of bacteria that caused it.

De Guzman asked school administrators to encourage parents to prepare snacks prepared at home for their children or to buy snacks only in school canteens.

She said her office has to wait for two weeks for the results of the laboratory tests on the chicken burger patty from San Fernando to determine the kind of bacteria that caused the food poisoning.

The 33 students were confined and treated at Pangasinan Provincial Hospital after suffering from severe stomach ache, vomiting and headaches, symptoms of diarrhea after eating chicken liver-intestines burger sold at P5 by a male ambulant vendor who drove around in a tricycle.

PHO already recorded 4,000 cases of gastroenteritis covering the period January to June 29 this year.  (Nora Dominguez)