3 October 2012

Gambia: Food Vendors Urged to Observe Best Hygienic Standards

Photo: Siegfried Modola/IRIN
A Nairobi City Market trader displays his produce.

CRR — Food vendors in the Central River Region island town of Janjangbureh have been strongly urged to adhere to the best hygienic standards as a measure to enhance public safety.

The public health officer at the Janjangbureh health facility, Alice Demba, made the call during an interview with this reporter, after concluding her routine inspection exercise conducted under her catchment area. She said the purpose of the daily inspection is to assess the level of hygiene of foods being kept and sold on the streets for public consumption. Demba urged them to comply with the Food Act and to sell their food in an enclosure.

While pointing out that microbiologic hazards associated with foods and food preparations are receiving public attention, the public health officer underscored that the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare attaches great concern to food safety and hygiene in the attainment of quality health care services for the Gambian people. She reiterated that to reduce and prevent food poisonings, all food dealers are referred to the laboratory for screening exercise against shigella, salmonella and other parasitic infections prior to their certification.

He explained that the provision on food safety measures stated under Public Health Act and food Act 2005 was used as a term of reference to articulate and correct these undesirable issues. She called on the general public to strengthen and cooperate in maintaining healthy and safe food circulation, something she stressed needs concerted efforts to achieve.

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