The Caribbean Public Health Agency CARPHA recently hosted a food safety and water quality training with the aim of building the capacity of environmental health personnel to monitor food and water quality and to investigate food and water borne disease outbreak.
Chief Environmental Health Officer Parker Ragnanan welcomed the support from CARPHA and says this will assist tremendously in the monitoring of water quality and determining the wholesomeness of food.
“I think this training would put us in a very good position to be able to analyze the quality of the water that is out there in distribution. Therefore, this is a brilliant initiative. When it comes to food safety and our officers go out there to do inspections of foods for wholesomeness, we depend solely on what is termed, “organoleptic” that is where you use your senses like touch, vision, smell. But in 2022, just an organoleptic evaluation and assessment is not adequate,” Ragnanan said.
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sharon Belmar-George says this training is very important and will assist Saint Lucia in reducing the impact of food and water borne diseases.
“This training for our officers would allow us to now do food and water testing from a wide range across the island and as we are aware we depend highly on tourism as well. It will also make our tourism product and a big part of the tourism product is the restaurant and food services of the hotels as well. So it will allow us to pick up in a timely manner where we may have issues with our foods and water quality so that we can put effective measures in place to reduce the impact, reduce the impact that we are seeing on persons within the community,” the CMO said.
The Caribbean Public Health Agency CARPHA also provided training, equipment and laboratory facility to conduct micro-biological testing of food and water.