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Health Checks Underway In St. James To Ensure Safety Of Food

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MONTEGO BAY, Sept. 23 (JIS):

The St. James Health Department is carrying out regular health checks on food establishments and food storage facilities in the parish to ensure that all meat was of a high quality and fit for human consumption.

Over the last few days, public health inspectors have visited a number of facilities and have condemned large portions of meats that were found to be unfit for eating.

Chief Public Health Inspector for St. James, Desmond Clarke, told JIS News, that in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan, a number of food establishments in the parish lost electrical supply, which affected the quality of meat in storage.

“We therefore targeted these food establishments and had to condemn great volumes of meat that was thawed and in some cases, started to decompose … We have had to condemn even a trailer-load of meat because of the quality in which we found it.”

“In effect, we were really on top of that situation and was very happy that our officers were vigilant in that respect. We have a protocol to follow and so made sure that such meats did not reach the market but rather sent to the dump instead,” Mr. Clarke assured.

He pointed out that the Health Department got full cooperation from the operators of the food establishments and had even received calls from them requesting that their meat supplies be examined.

The Chief Public Health Inspector urged all consumers to be extra vigilant when purchasing meat, to ensure that there is no discolouration and that it has the usual bright colour. “They should not buy if there is any doubt whatsoever,”

Mr. Clarke stressed.

The Public Health Inspector is also encouraging all citizens to be very careful about the consumption of water and to ensure that it is properly treated. “We are advising all citizens to boil all drinking water once they have the means to do so. Failing this, then they should seek to purify with the required amount of bleach, which is two drops of bleach to a quart of water.

“Citizens are encouraged to get their water from a fairly safe source, making sure that the water does not have too much contaminants, as the bleach may be ineffective,” Mr. Clarke noted.

He is also urging parents not to let their children play in pools of stagnant water as these might pose serious health risks. He said that water was scarce at this time and all citizens should seek to preserve what was available.


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