Vendors urged to pay more attention to food safety
July 27, 2010
Vendors urged to pay more attention to food safety

Vendors of agricultural produce here are being encouraged to pay more attention to the presentation {{more}} of their goods at the country’s markets and produce outlets.

Minister of Health Dr. Douglas Slater said on Monday that too many root crops are being sold with soil on them.

Slater, a medical doctor, expressed his disappointment while addressing the opening ceremony of the Food Safety Training course in Kingstown on Monday.

“Food is much more than just the raw products. There are some aesthetics about it and I believe this is one of the issues we should also deal with in food safety,” Slater said.

“Many of us who go to the market – and I do, I think we are a little disappointed to see the way they present, especially ground provisions. Why shouldn’t we wash them when we have so many rivers and water is cheap or free,” Slater said.

He said washing the farm produce removes harmful organisms and makes them move presentable.

Slater later told SEARCHLIGHT that the Ministry of Health was not opposed to a formal policy that would guide the presentation of agricultural produce.

“I don’t like generally to have to enforce things that to me are seen to be logical and desirable, but it seems to me that we have to do so,” he said.

He said the problem with policy is that the state does not have the human and financial resources to police them.

He however added that a competitive market suggests that customers would buy from vendors whose produce are cleaner and more presentable. (KXC)