Selangor Journal

Cholera: Check eateries beforehand, clean home foods properly

By Jerry Choong

SHAH ALAM, Nov 16 — Cholera infections can be avoided if society prioritises hygiene before eating or purchasing food at eateries, restaurants, and even stalls, said a public health expert.

Harian Metro reported public health medicine expert Dr Mohammad Farhan Rusli as saying that cholera usually occurs in emergency locations, including places stricken by flooding or war zones. However it can also be traced to water, if the outbreak occurs in the city.

“Therefore what should be done before eating at a restaurant or stall, is to determine if it is safe to do so from a hygiene perspective. This includes knowing if the operator correctly handles the food, and whether they have been vaccinated against typhoid.

“We do not wish to boycott food sellers, but as users we must make the smart decision,” he said when contacted.

Dr Farhan added that food operators on their part must ensure food is prepared according to standards.

Similarly it may be necessary for the Health Ministry to prepare webpages or infographics for the public with clear information on how to prevent the spread of cholera.

Cholera infection can also occur at home, when raw ingredients for food are not properly cleaned, or incorrectly cooked.

“As such we must ensure raw water and food is cleaned properly, and cannot be left outside (exposed to the air) just like that, since there is the concern over salmonella in addition to cholera.

“Food should also be cooked properly, to prevent other bacteria,” he said.

A local woman in Petaling district contracted cholera last month, but was confirmed to have fully recovered by state executive councillor for health Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud yesterday.

The Selangor State Health Department (JKNS) has carried out investigations to identify the source of the infection, with the cause yet to be identified.

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