Practice proper food safety during Carnival

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The Mount St. John’s Medical Centre (MSJMC) is urging consumers and vendors to be more vigilant with the consumption and handling of food during the carnival celebrations.
The state-owned hospital issued a number of tips on the matter of food safety and suggested that that safety may be compromised around Carnival time for various reasons such as improper cleaning and sanitation practices as well as poor personal hygiene.
Consumers are encouraged to take plenty of moist towelettes or baby wipes and instant hand sanitisers to clean their hands before touching food and eating.
They are also cautioned to avoid water and drinks that are not bottled by reputable suppliers.
Registered dietician, Avias Jonas, further insisted that consumers need to be more aware of their surroundings and not be afraid to ask questions.
“First thing they should look at the vendor, look at the attire if [he or she] is well covered, you want to know whether that person has a food handler’s badge.
“You also need to look at the surroundings to see if it is clean and tidy and that the station is also clean and if there is a sink to wash hands.”
Jonas then urged vendors to follow the five keys to food safety: fastidious cleanliness, a separation of raw and cooked foods, thorough cooking of foods, keeping food at safe temperatures and using safe water.
“Keeping clean is where the hand-washing comes again – washing hands properly before, after and during food preparation. Vendors should also ensure that all utensils are clean, and that they separate raw and ready-to-go foods, as well as ensure that foods are adequately covered to prevent cross-contamination which can cause full blown illness,” she concluded.

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