Jamaica is stepping up food safety measures for the benefit of the domestic market, and in compliance with North American and European food importation regulations.
The latest move is Cabinet’s approval of the National Food Safety Policy, and plans for its implementation.
Cabinet has also given the nod for the drafting of food safety legislation to reflect the Policy; and the roles and functions of the Inter-ministerial Food Safety Committee, the National Food Safety Council, and the food safety regulatory agencies.
This will make way for the establishment of a single food safety regulatory body.
Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, explains that currently, Jamaica’s food safety regulatory programme is administered by six entities across three ministries.
“It is important that there is traceability of all foods consumed. It is felt that this is best achieved with a single food safety entity,” the Minister emphasised.
Senator Falconer said the body would be responsible for regulating all activities in the food chain.
She noted the stringent requirements to export food to North America and Europe, including having a national food safety body, through which complaints can be made, and interventions co-ordinated in the event of food related illnesses.
By Alphea Saunders, JIS Reporter