JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Food-Safety Specialist in the Environmental Health Unit at the Ministry of Health, Collin Cooper, says border security is a critical component of the nation’s health system.
  • Mr. Cooper pointed out that certain foods, plants, animals and related products are restricted from entering the country because they can introduce foreign bodies or bacteria.

Food-Safety Specialist in the Environmental Health Unit at the Ministry of Health, Collin Cooper, says border security is a critical component of the nation’s health system.

Speaking at the recently held Border Security Seminar, hosted by the National Security Policy Coordination Unit (NSPCU) in the Cabinet Office, Mr. Cooper, said that unprotected borders are open doors for illegal foods and immigrants to gain access to the country.

“This can be potentially dangerous because these illegal foods and immigrants can be conveyors and sources of communicable diseases or disease conditions,” he explained.

Mr. Cooper pointed out that certain foods, plants, animals and related products are restricted from entering the country because they can introduce foreign bodies or bacteria.

He said that the Health Department has put surveillance systems in place to monitor what is taken into the island.

Mr. Cooper noted that the law also requires persons entering Jamaica to declare foods, plants, animals and related products at the ports of entry.

“Our regulated ports are doing very well; however, the unregulated ports can become the conduits. If we know of people smuggling uninspected food into the country to avoid taxes or the law, we must alert the port authorities and the local health department,” he urged.