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The Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division (FSPID) of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce continues to mitigate rodent infestation in food/feed stores, post offices, prisons and hospitals.
Stakeholders in the food industry have been empowered, through various training programmes and consultations, to take responsibility for rodent control through proper environmental management, according to a Ministerial Report on the performance of the division during 2009/10, tabled in Parliament, recently.
During the year, 20 rodent control programmes were implemented; 123 inspections were conducted; 3,540 bait stations were set; 62 analysis of areas, including breeding programmes, rodenticide evaluations and species identification tests were done; and 1,642 individuals and companies received consolations.
In addition, the strategic move of having an outpost in Montego Bay has resulted in 1,879 food establishments being inspected by the FSPID. The quantity of food inspected was 377,843.85 tonnes, valued $2,464.72 million.
Plans are in place to increase the number of rodent control programmes, as well as the number of consultations with private businesses, individuals and community organisations.
The rodent breeding programme for research purposes will be improved, and emphasis placed on the evaluation of rodenticides to support regulatory activities, the Report said.
There will also be routine monitoring of imported processed food; routine monitoring of bulk grains and raw materials; establishment of CARICOM Standards and Code of Hygiene Practice for bottled coconut water; and to monitor coliform contamination of cured spices, such as ginger and pimento. The Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division operates under the Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Act (1958) and Regulations (1973). It carries out the Government’s programme of surveillance and regulation of the food industry to ensure the safety and wholesomeness of food/feed entering the commerce.