Food safety campaign launched for Independence

food-safety-guaranteeing-taking-easy-steps-30377475An activity geared at raising awareness among the Dominican public about food safety, has been launched.

Food Safety Consumer Awareness Month, an initiative of the Environmental Health Department, was introduced to the public on Wednesday.

Acting Chief Environmental Health Officer, Sylvester St. Ville, said at the launch that the Independence celebrations bring about an increase in food consumption and this has heightened the need to keep an eye on food safety in the country.

“There are large numbers of individuals gathering for the World Creole Music Festival and the Independence celebrations. Also, at this time marks the beginning of the cruise ship season, so it’s important as it relates to food safety,” he explained.

St. Ville said many of the foods consumed are unique to Dominica and many attend the celebration to taste the food which they may not have eaten for years.

“Our concerns stem from the possibility that practices during preparation, exposure and sale of these foods can lead to food borne illness,” he said.

He further noted that food borne illnesses can create a serious burden on the nation’s health services and can impact negatively on the country’s economy.

“Loss of man hours which results from illness and temporary replacement cost to businesses and health care cost have been estimated to have been in the millions of dollars for any food borne illness in Dominica” he said.

He said the department has planned series activities to promote safe buying of foods by consumers.

St. Ville said food vendors should also play their role in ensuring that their foods meet standard.

“Although food vendors are responsible for preparing and presenting the foods they sell in a manner to prevent diseases, consumers can play a role in determining how the foods are presented by identifying bad practices,” he explained.

The activities planned include a program with vendors and organisers of all activities nationwide to ensure guidelines and standards are considered when offering food to the public.

Environment Health Officers are also expected to be present at all activities to conduct public health monitoring.

The Environmental Health Department is implementing the project with assistance from the Pan American Health Organization.

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5 Comments

  1. serene
    October 3, 2013

    Wat bull $#*t. And those same vendors are not required to do stool test or urine test or blood tests in order to receive their food handlers permitx? Tell the ministry will and cum again. DNO u must investigate y food handlers dont require any test done before they r given their liscense to sell food to d public.

    • Tweety Bird
      October 3, 2013

      Couldn’t agree more. I work for a doctor and we were reading this today and he asked that same question. this vendors should be sent to do all there test and blood work as well.

  2. Nancy
    October 3, 2013

    Standards are not part of the Dominican Culture..

    Good luck to their food safety campaign…

    If Dominica and Dominicans generally upheld protocol and standards across the board, they would not be Rated the Poorest island in the eastern caribbean.

    Just the Dominican mindset.

  3. Visitor
    October 3, 2013

    As a visitor from a neighboring island, I was previliged to attend the ceremonial parade last year. However, after the ceremony I wanted a good breakfast and I was unable to get it. At that time of the morning I dont wish to eat anything like a hamburger. Anyway I got a small bread with nothing else but some cod fish. Can I suggest that at least vendors prepare some veg like tomatoes, lettuce, avacado and put it with the cod fish?…I will be back for creole festival /independence with the hope of seeing some improvements..

  4. 2 CuTe
    October 3, 2013

    I coudnt agree more .And please make sure the crab is properly done.I am hoping to get some of the following :

    – crab backs
    – green banana a.k.a FIG with cucumber and pear &
    salt fish
    – souse
    -crab backs
    -callalou (national dish) :wink:
    -cher dasheen sanchoche with cristophine and
    coconut milk
    -black pudding

    And More……

    No law or constitution will prevent me from enjoying my Creole Season… :lol:

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