Sector Interests Must Collaborate on Food Safety – Samuda


Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Karl Samuda, has said that food safety is an important issue, which requires collaboration among the various sector interests for the prevention of food-borne diseases.
“Food safety is an issue that requires strong and cohesive action and our farmers, food processors, retailers, consumers and the Government all have an important role to play in protecting ourselves from contaminated foods,” he stated, in a message read by Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Reginald Budhan, at a public education seminar put on by the Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division (FSPID), on November 19, at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge.
“Food borne diseases can significantly affect our health and well-being and can also result in serious economic consequences for individuals, families, communities, businesses and indeed our country,” he noted further, while pointing to the need for public education seminars, which will heighten awareness of the issue.
According to the Industry Minister, the nation’s approach to food safety should be proactive and preventive, and ensure the integrity of all food/feeds consumed locally and those destined for export.
“We must ensure that we have a food supply system that allows Jamaicans to have continued confidence in the foods they buy, especially in these challenging times when every single dollar counts,” he stated.
The Minister said that while much has been achieved in terms of ensuring that Jamaicans consume safe food, the regulatory and inspection system will still need to advance further. “That is why we have been introducing, through the FSPID, measures and initiatives to ensure that Jamaicans continue to feel confident in the food that they are buying, whether domestic or imported foods,” he stated.
He commended the operators of the 535 food establishments across the island that have been inspected and have received certificates.
The FSPID is charged with ensuring the safety and wholesomeness of all food/feeds from post harvest through to retailing, which are destined for commerce.
It consists of the Inspectorate and Dis-infestation Unit (IDU); five testing/research laboratories (microbiology, pesticide residue/mycotoxin, post harvest technology, entomology, and rodent biology and control); and a Training and Information Unit.

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