JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division (FSPID) is making significant strides in protecting public health by ensuring the safety of food entering the local market.
  • In April of this year, the Division, which is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, became the first International Standardization Organization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) 17020 accredited inspection body in Jamaica.
  • The accreditation specifies requirements for the competence of bodies performing inspection and for the impartiality and consistency of their inspection activities.

The Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division (FSPID) is making significant strides in protecting public health by ensuring the safety of food entering the local market.

In April of this year, the Division, which is an agency of the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, became the first International Standardization Organization/International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO/IEC) 17020 accredited inspection body in Jamaica.

The accreditation specifies requirements for the competence of bodies performing inspection and for the impartiality and consistency of their inspection activities.

The entity is now working to attain ISO 9001 certification as well as having its testing laboratories accredited to the ISO/IEC 17025 standard.

“This will confirm our competence in laboratory testing,” said Acting Storage Officer at the FSPID, Tamara Moore.

She was addressing a recent open day staged by the Division at the Ministry’s Hope Gardens headquarters in St. Andrew.

She said that the FSPID will “be pushing forward with the establishment of a food database, where regulatory agencies can share information on the testing of food”.

“This would streamline information for coordinating activities for border regulatory agencies,” she noted.

Mrs. Moore said that certification to international standard is key in ensuring the quality and safety of food entering the consuming market.

“Without inspections, standards in food safety will not be maintained and this will result in increased incidents of food-borne illnesses… ; accreditation gives that stamp of approval,” she noted.

Mrs. Moore said that the FSPID inspectors are vigilant in carrying out checks at warehouses, schools, hotels, ports (including ships), and all places where food is stored or manufactured, with strict adherence to the Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Act and Regulations.