Saint Lucia: The Ministry of Health Wellness and Elderly Affairs took the initiative to aware local public regarding the food safety. According to the ministry the best way to make sure the food is safe is by handling it with care.
As per the experts, to prevent food-borne diseases or illness, prepare the food and store it in air-tight containers or places which are moisture-less and dry.
People make these common mistakes and usually purchase and consume more foods than needed, especially during festive season.
The Health Ministry issued some important food safety tips to avoid the diseases which occur from food items. Following are the tips that should be kept in mind:
- Examine the food or eatables carefully before purchasing them. Check for damages and expiry dates.
- Avoid purchasing canned foods that are not labelled, dented, leaking, bulged out or rusted.
- Keep food away from danger zone. As germs can grow rapidly between 40°F (40°C) and 140°F (60°C). After the meal is prepared, keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
- While reheating the food ensure that it is hot at least of temperature 165°F or 75°C.
- When larger portions of meal are cooked in advance, divide it into smaller portions or in shallow containers and then place it in the refrigerator. Ensure that the air circulation around the containers is good.
- Foods such as raw meat, chicken, poultry products and seafood should be handled with care. Separate them from cooked or ready to eat foods such as bread, fruits and vegetables.
- Use different cutting boards and utensils for raw meats and ready to eat foods.
- Use separate utensils for serving different dishes especially when serving foods, so that it doesn’t cause allergic reactions.
- Wash your hands with soap and water and keep them dry, to avoid any infections.
- Look for the inspected and passed stamp while purchasing meat products from local butchers. The passed stamps indicate that the meat has been examined by the officers of the Environmental Health Division.
Notably, the Department of Environmental Health encourages the people to follow food safety measures and look forward to have an enjoyable season.
Recently, the Government of Saint Lucia collaborated with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to strengthen the social protection system. The collaboration is formed to respond in a better way to the challenges posed by climate changes and natural hazards.
The Federation of Saint Lucia and WFP signed an agreement to enhance the institutional capacity. The agreement was signed to assist the most vulnerable people by connecting social protection systems to pay-outs made by the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIFSPC).