November 2, 2012


Bacteria are everywhere - in the air, in the water, in the ground, on our food, on our skin, inside our bodies. Scientists have various ways of classifying and describing these bacteria. As food workers, we are interested in a way of classifying them that may be less scientific but is more practical to our work.

1. Harmless bacteria = Most bacteria fall into this category. They are neither helpful nor harmful to us. We are not concerned with them in food sanitation.

2. Beneficial bacteria = These bacteria are helpful to us. For example, many live in the intestinal tract, where they fight harmful bacteria, aid the digestion of food, and produce certain nutrients. In food production, bacteria make possible the manufacture of many foods, including cheese, yogurt, and sauerkraut.

3. Undesirable bacteria = These are the bacteria that are responsible for food spoilage. They cause souring, putrefying, and decomposition. These bacteria may or may not cause disease, but they offer a built-in safety factor: They announce their presence by means of sour odors, sticky or slimy surfaces, and discoloration. As long as we use common sense and follow the rule that says “when in doubt, throw it out,” we are relatively safe from these bacteria.

We are concerned with these bacteria for two reasons:

• Food spoilage costs money.
• Food spoilage is a sign of improper food handling and storage.

This means the next kind of bacteria is probably present.

4. Disease-causing bacteria, or pathogens = These are the bacteria that cause most food-borne illness, the bacteria we are most concerned with. Pathogens do not necessarily leave detectable odors or tastes in food. In other words, you can’t tell if food is contaminated by smelling, tasting, or looking at it. The only way to protect food against pathogenic bacteria is to use proper hygiene and sanitary food handling and storage techniques.

Each kind of bacterial pathogen causes disease in one of three ways:

1. Intoxications are caused by poisons (toxins) the bacteria produce while they are growing in the food. It is these poisons, not the bacteria themselves, that cause the diseases.

2. Infections are caused by bacteria (or other organisms) that get into the intestinal system and attack the body. Disease is caused by the bacteria as they multiply in the body.

3. Toxin-mediated infections are also caused by bacteria that get into the body and grow. Disease is caused by poisons the bacteria produce as they grow and multiply. Most food-borne diseases are toxin-mediated infections.

[source: professional cooking sixth edition]

Negative Evaluation

Rules in handling negative evaluation from others:

Rule #1

If someone is criticizing something you’ve done, that’s a sign that you’ve done something to criticize! You’ve taken a risk and chosen something that’s a challenge. Receiving criticism is therefore a badge of courage. Congratulate yourself! Doing something new and challenging, even if you’re not yet good at it, is infinitely more rewarding than being praised for doing the same old thing well.

Rule #2

Consider criticism to be valuable feedback. If you don’t take criticism as a personal attack, but rather look at it as an indicator of an area in which you need to improve or change course, you can use the feedback to self-correct. Think about a guided missile system. It has built-in monitors to detect when it’s heading off course so that other parts of the guidance system can make the correction and get back on track. If you can put aside feeling personally attacked, you can use the feedback in criticism as part of your own self-correcting guidance system.

Rule #3

Do not defend yourself if criticized. When you receive criticism, it’s very easy to feel as if you’re being put on the defensive; this can make you feel that you need to take a stand and defend your work or your actions. Once you begin to defend your work, it is very unlikely that you will learn anything from the information others are trying to give you. Instead, you will entrench yourself in the position against the criticism. You learn nothing and your critic has wasted his or her breath in trying to give you some feedback. The worst-case scenario is that you’ll actually launch a counterattack, and the person who was offering you feedback will become your adversary. Even if someone has delivered hostile or unjust criticism (perhaps out of jealousy or spitefulness), do not defend your position. Rather, thank the person for their feedback and ignore the criticism. Do not be pulled into battle by a hostile critic.

Rule #4

Rephrase the main points of the criticism. In most cases, spitefulness or hostility is not the motive for the criticism. Therefore, listen actively to what the person delivering the criticism has to say (that means you don’t spend the time while they’re talking to you planning what you’re going to say back to them). When they’re finished, paraphrase in a neutral (not angry or sarcastic) tone the points you think they were making. Example: “Okay, it sounds like you think my novel moves too slowly and that I need to develop the character of Edward more. You also think the description of the dinner party is too long. Is that right?” Now the person delivering the criticism can straighten out any misunderstandings, and he or she will feel that they’ve been heard. Note that this rule also applies if the person has delivered their criticism via e-mail, letter, or newspaper opinion column.

This rule has two advantages for you: first, it takes the personal sting out of the criticism; it’s much easier to hear the criticism when it’s voiced in your own words. Second, it defuses the confrontational aspects of the criticism and makes the criticism part of a collaboration; it puts you and the critic on the same team working together to make your work better. When engaging in creative work, it’s always better to have helpers rather than adversaries.

Rule #5

Thank the person criticizing your work for their feedback. Note that by thanking the person, you are not agreeing to incorporate their criticism. In private, you can analyze the criticism and decide whether to use it or disregard it. This step is also a good way to deal with blowhards and naysayers who are criticizing you for criticism’s sake or to make themselves look important.

Rule #6

Determine the value of the criticism objectively. Once you’ve received criticism, look for the evidence for and against its validity. Try to do this objectively, and analyze each point of criticism separately. Even blowhards can offer valid points of criticism. After you’ve done an evidential analysis, you can decide whether to make changes based on the criticism. This rule also removes the subjective sting of the criticism and helps you deal with it objectively.

[Source: Your Creative Brain Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation in Your Life]


An allergen is a substance that causes an allergic reaction. Allergens affect only some people, and these people are said to be allergic to that specific substance. Not all allergens are biological hazards, but the most important ones are. Allergic reactions to food may occur as soon as the food is eaten or, in some cases, merely touched, or they may not occur until hours after the food is eaten. Common symptoms of allergic reaction to foods include itching, rash or hives, shortness of breath, tightness in the throat, and swelling of the eyes and face. In severe cases, allergic reactions may lead to unconsciousness or death.

Foods to which some people are allergic include wheat products, soy products, peanuts and other nuts, eggs, milk and dairy products, fish, and shellfish. Non-biological allergens include food additives such as nitrites, used in cured meats, and monosodium glutamate (MSG), often used in Asian foods.

Because these products are common and are perfectly safe for most people, it is difficult to avoid serving them. For the sake of people who are sensitive to these foods, food service personnel, especially all dining room staff, must be well informed of the ingredients in all menu items and be able to inform customers as needed. If any staff member does not know, when asked by a customer, if a food might contain an allergen, that employee should tell the customer so and then find someone who does know or else urge the customer to order a different item.

[source: professional cooking sixth edition]

October 31, 2012

ART with a HEART

Blankly and innocently staring at her artwork for a dull moment while waves of endless reality and luminous stream of ideas scampered through her mind, the sudden bolt of thinking halted her. Unselfishness enveloped her. A simple plan at first among kind hearts turned into reality. The assumption of being and having to return the grace to those who need it the most became her agenda.

Then, the existence of the blessed brainchild called ‘’SINING GALING’’. It’s a fund raising project for the pupils of Marulas Elementary School in the Philippines. It’s a 6 session arts and crafts classes conducted free of fees by my good friend that started last October 23. An exhibit showcasing the kids' artworks and masterpieces will take place come November 23, 2012. The proceeds will surely go a long way to further develop the academic and progressive skills of the pupils.

I wish that plenty of selfless hearts with a precious cause like my friend would spread contagiously like virus. It may be rare in times like these but my  selfless aims are high. Kudos to the students and to the organizers of this project with a heart!

October 28, 2012


A special burst for a special person on her special day...

I would not expect to solicit that filial mode of appreciation as I have and assured my unworthiness in your life. I will just use my biological existence and the simple fact that my blood runs into you and the uncontested reality that we look almost the same.

I’m asking the heavens to bless your new life as a woman. I believe honestly in you. The courage and your current disposition in life will get you through the challenges and miscues in life. Continue to draw strength from those whom you value the most.

It’s an entirely new chapter in your life so make it worth. Even in my present predicament, I may have been gone for a while but now, I can assure you that your big man will not leave you anymore. I’ll renew my being a father, a close friend, confidant, mentor, eating and ‘’leverage’’ buddy to you once again.

After some time, a girl suddenly turns into a woman. All I ask of you is to remain the same Jing-Jing at heart. Inspire and move others by showing an honest and good example. I LOVE YOU and Happy Birthday!!!


I need nothin’ else to say
i could live my life on through another day
a thousand words I want to speak
but I need nothin’ else to say.
And through me, eyes will see
there will be only you... only you....
- After Image

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 10:46-52

As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd, Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus, sat by the roadside begging. 

On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, son of David, have pity on me." 

And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me." 

Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take courage; get up, he is calling you." 

He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. 

Jesus said to him in reply, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied to him, "Master, I want to see." 

Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you." Immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.