JIS News

With the observance of National Food Safety Week (June 15-20) having ended yesterday the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is urging consumers to ensure that their food supplies are clean and safe.
Speaking with JIS News, Communication Specialist at the CAC, Dorothy Campbell pointed out that “the whole idea of observing the week, was to bring about awareness and sensitization to the importance of food safety,” including the basic principles of food hygiene for import, export and domestic purposes.
“The CAC’s specific role is to garner information and through our public education programme to ensure that consumers are aware of the risks involved in consuming unhealthy foods,” Ms. Campbell informed.
She noted that while the Commission targets all groups of people in their food safety campaign, special attention is given to children and the elderly who are most susceptible to food-borne diseases and infections caused from mishandling of foods, and poor hygiene.
“If the public becomes more aware or conscious of how to prevent these things, then various emergencies would be prevented,” she reasoned advising caregivers to simply wash hands and surfaces before preparing food.
The Communication Specialists encouraged consumers to practice the following basic household tips to prevent outbreaks of bacterial infection in the home: . Ensure that areas where food is prepared remain clean at all times. . Ensure that counter tops and cutting boards are clean and properly washed with warm water, soap and bleach.. Sanitize sinks with bleach after each use to prevent bacteria from growing.. Refrigerators are to be kept at about 40 degree fahrenheit to ensure that the food is kept at a proper temperature. Ensure that when food is stored, they are in containers that are covered and made for storage purposes.
Food Safety is the responsibility of several government bodies who must at various stages of food production, food preparation, packaging, storage and delivery, ensure that the consumer receives safe foods whether locally or internationally.
Under the theme: “Food Safety is in Your Hands”, National Food Safety Week was marked with a series of activities led by the National Agricultural Health and Food Safety Coordinating Committee.
The week’s activities included a church service on Sunday, June 15 at the Webster Memorial Church; food safety sensitization sessions at various schools across the island and a breakfast meeting on June 18 at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston where food safety and safe farm practices were highlighted.
The week’s activities closed with a Fair and Exposition at the Emancipation Park in Kingston. The purpose is to expand the discussion about food safety to the general public and to give the consumers access to the experts in the field.

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