Public Health intensifies inspection services
December 13, 2013
Public Health intensifies inspection services

The Public Health Department within the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment has intensified its inspection services throughout the nation, with particular emphasis on food and meat hygiene and vector control.{{more}}

A release from the mMinistry said this is in an attempt to further safeguard the health of all citizens during the Christmas season.

“With immediate effect, public health officers will make daily routine visits within Kingstown and its environs, including the ports of entry, to ensure that food entering the state and food offered for sale are in compliance with Public Health requirements,” stated the release, signed by Permanent Secretary Luis de Shong.

“While most business places adhere to public health requirements, the Department is fully aware that one mistake in the food chain can have disastrous effects on the population. There is an increasing tendency for supermarkets and similar retail food establishments to offer for sale repackaged pieces of uncooked cut dry smoked ham. They are often recognized as small pieces of ham encased in plastic wrapping at an affordable price.

This practice is not acceptable, because it allows for the introduction and growth of pathogens and spoilage organisms, especially when stored at room temperature for a very long time. The Department, therefore, appeals to retail food establishments to desist from such practice. Failure to do so may result in condemnation and/or legal action taken against the offenders,” the release said.

The public is advised that while purchasing fresh meat from local butchers, they should ensure that the meat was inspected by the Public Health Department and that it was properly stored and protected from sun and insects.

“Inspectors are currently deployed in the districts ensuring that all environmental conditions for slaughtering of meat satisfy the requirements and that butchers and slaughter men are registered and certified.”

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment is also encouraging persons to add value to their waste by recycling or reusing unwanted materials. This action will not only result in money being saved but in a reduction in pests.