Bureau of Standards to launch national food safety project

The Dominica Bureau of Standards on Monday, March 21, 2011, launched the implementation of a national food safety project titled “Improving Food Safety Management Practices among Food Vendors, Caterers and Processors in the Commonwealth of Dominica.”

The project to be implemented over an 18-month period commencing March 21, 2011, is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and facilitated by the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute (CARIRI) of Trinidad.

The key objective of the project is to promote the sustainable development of Dominica’s tourism industry by improving food safety management and practices in the food service sector.

“This project, which is an eighteen month project, is one geared at the tourism sector and more specifically, the food service sector,” Dr. Steve John of the Bureau of Standards said. “As a result, we are talking to people who are involved in street food vending, catering, agro processors, the restaurants and hotels. Why are we talking to them? Here in Dominica, over the last ten years, we have seen events like the World Creole Music Festival and our Carnival growing bigger and bigger. Therefore, there is the need to put systems in place that assures the food that we prepare, produce, serve and store remain safe. This is critically important.”

At the end of the eighteen month period, a number of major outcomes are expected to be recognized. Among them, an improved National Food Safety Control System, and a cadre of well-trained highly qualified food safety control auditors.

The Bureau of Standards will also implement a national food safety certification program. The Bureau is hoping that at least 12 business entities will be certified under the national food safety certification program.

Dominica will be assisted by the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute in implementing this national food safety project.

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  1. Farmer's son
    March 25, 2011

    I agree with the preceeding comments. Tourism has become an important part of Dominica’s economy and we need ensure that all visitors enjoy that which we have to offer ,including food products. At the same time the adoption of appropriate food safety management standards are important for both local and foreign consumers of our food products. To this end the ultimate objective of the program should be to develop management practices for the benefit of all consumers.

    In what is becoming all too familiar, almost every development in Dominica is being tied to the so called tourism product. While I understand that in order to attract funding fom partner agencies the applications have to be cloaked in the tourism blanket, but the news reports do not have to follow the same pattern.

  2. pedro
    March 25, 2011

    Initiatives such as safety and quality standards, health care and the environment should be driven by the public good. The Dominican public comes first. Whereas the outcome will be beneficial to all, its a poor message being sent when this appears that vital issues where locals should should come first are driven by concerns about the Tourist industry. We should have good systems, effective monitoring, standards and effective planning for the people who deserve it the most: the everyday Dominicans. Obviously there will be spin-offs for tourists. Let us set standards and support quality service not because of visitors, but because its the right thing to do!

  3. William McLawrence
    March 24, 2011

    Food Safety like Food Security are important for our national health and wellbeing. People must have access not only to safe food but also to readily available food on a daily basis. We have to ensure that every Dominican national has access to at least one nutritious meal a day and that such meal must be safe for consumption. I do hope that, apart from targeting the visitors, the project also took into consideration the need for Food Safety for the local population as well.

    The importance of Food Security cannot be over emphacised especially in light of growing demand of safe food production and safe drinking water world wide. Dominica is well positioned to be a supplier of food and water to the region. We need to look at our Food Safety Policies (which I hope this project will consider), Food Security Policies, especially with regard to the agricultural production, livestock/poultry/fishing etc…

    This project in my opinion is timely and should certainly assist Dominican Food and Beverage Stakeholders to improve their Food Safety Management Practices not just for tourists but for the local population as well.

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