Monday 28 September, 2020

Retailers reminded of food safety standards following floods

Supermarket owners and others involved in the sale and distribution of food items are advised against selling any items to the public that have come into contact with floodwaters.

The Health Ministry on Sunday noted the importance of the provision of safe food to the population following weekend floods across Trinidad and Tobago.

The Ministry advised restauranteurs, hoteliers/ guesthouse owners, supermarket owners, market vendors, caterers, roadside vendors and all other food handlers to not use, sell, or distribute any food items including ingredients, prepared food, and bottled water that has been in contact with floodwaters.

The Ministry said these items should be separated to prevent contamination of other food items that were not exposed to floodwaters.

Retailers were further advised that any food items delivered by suppliers on or after Saturday should be stored separately from stock previously on hand.

The Ministry said these delivered goods should be inspected for evidence of contact with floodwaters such as wet labels/ packaging, residue such as mud or silt, and stains.

Retailers are advised to contact the Offices of the County Medical Officers of Health for further instructions on how to manage items in contact with floodwaters.

Public Health Inspectors will be visiting restaurants, hotels/ guesthouses, supermarkets, and other food premises to conduct inspections, and seize and destroy contaminated food items.

Citizens are reminded that floodwaters may carry silt, raw sewage, and microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites, that can make food unsafe and cause diseases.


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