PRESS RELEASE – THE Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Environmental Health Department of the Ministry of Health and Wellness have combined efforts to execute a mission that would benefit consumers.
The environmental health department completed a one- day training session on Wednesday October 31st for food handlers and proprietors of small food establishments.
The aim of the workshop, which was hosted in collaboration with PAHO, was to improve standards on foods and services offered to consumers.
Ernie Pierre is an environmental health officer and the facilitator for the event and he explained, “Our role is to empower them more or less into safe food production within their food establishments.
“Through routine and inspection we would have recognized that we need to focus quite a bit on training, because even when the equipment is provided within food establishments, the practices can predispose persons to food- borne illnesses if the food handlers don’t know what they are doing; and so today we are embarking on a drive.
“Basically, we have had two sessions, one in the south and one in the north to empower those persons and to ensure that they are equipped with basic food safety principles, so that when they produce food from their establishments, they produce safe foods.”
Pierre said this training workshop is beneficial to the persons who are involved and by extension the consuming public.
According to him, “We are looking forward to seeing an improvement in terms of sanitation in food establishments, in their practices, food hygiene principles in terms of how they handle food coming out of this workshop.
“Secondly, it therefore means it can ease the burden on the Ministry in terms of less inspections, the frequency of visits if those persons are in fact in compliance because if you are not incompliance you will see us a lot more often.
“It will also cause a lot of those food establishment to raise their standards and to ensuring that they meet the benchmark and by virtue of that it therefore means they will not be predisposing the consuming public with poor food practices, because they would be enlightened as to how to prevent some of those outbreaks and how to prevent food contamination, how to handle food safely; so all of those topics are being discussed here.”
Ministry officials are appealing to food handlers to comply with safe and healthy practices to prevent any future mishaps. (Ministry of Health)