Fruit and vegetable hit by Taal ashfall ‘safe to eat’

The Department of Health has confirmed that it is safe to eat fruits and vegetables that have been covered with ash from the eruption of the Taal Volcano.

This is what Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo shared with the media on Wednesday at the Palace.

“The vegetables that were once fruit were covered with ashes just to wash them well and clean, they could eat them,” Domingo explained in a press briefing.

Domingo said after the Department of Agriculture recorded P578 million in agricultural damage caused by volcanic eruptions from Batangas.

Among the 2,772 hectares affected are rice, coffee, cacaoo, banana and other high-value crops.

Unlike animals, toxins do not absorb plants from Taal’s volcanic ash.

The DOH had previously warned about buying and eating fish caught from Lake Taal and Batangas, something that could be the cause of food poisoning.

The lake is one of the sources of fish such as tilapia and endangered herring.

“Definitely we have advisors who are all coming to the Taal and Batangas area, really, no one is buying,” said DOH Assistant Secretary Ma. Francia Laxamana yesterday.

“We cannot expect the safety of our people.”

Nonetheless, some Tanauan, Batangas insists that fish caught from the lake are safe from poison.

For residents like “Rebecca,” it is advisable to check the Taal’s water first before claiming it is sulfuric.

“Our fish is fresh … it’s safe to eat,” he told News5 about the tilapia in the area.

“Since yesterday, so far, we only used fish for fish … Just roast fish because we have no stores.”