MANILA, Philippines – Bruce Lim, the chef in charge of food preparation for the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, assured athletes from the Philippines and rival countries will be served with "the best and safest food."
That includes catering to the dietary and faith restrictions of the athletes.
Lim said the SEA Games will offer halal-friendly food to accommodate athletes from Muslim nations, particularly Indonesia, Brunei, and Malaysia, where most of the delegation practice Islam.
"What we're trying to do is assure our Muslim brothers and sisters that when they come here, everything is good and they can enjoy our Filipino hospitality," Lim said in a press conference on Wednesday, November 27.
To ensure that the food served adhere to the halal standard, there are food safety officers and chef de parties who police everything that go in and out of the kitchen.
Also, there are third-party suppliers which are halal-certified.
"We will definitely double-check that halal chain doesn't get broken," Lim said.
In the case of athletes having certain dietary restrictions, among them being allergic to particular ingredients, Lim said they should be notified to avoid mishaps.
"[W]e will try to contact their coaches and I guess whoever coordinates with us to find out the dietary restrictions," Lim said. "We just have to make sure we double-check and triple-check so no one gets sick."
As thousands of athletes arrive in the country with the SEA Games officially kicking off on November 30, Lim promised a hitch-free service.
In previous days, some local and foreign teams lamented the lack of proper meals for the athletes in the hotels or game venues.
"We will make sure to give our athletes from all countries the best and safest food so they can have the energy to compete in the Games."
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.