Beautiful Virgin Islands

Saturday, Jan 28, 2023

We need to be 'more conscious of what we eat'- Health Minister

We need to be 'more conscious of what we eat'- Health Minister

Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Marlon A. Penn (R8) is encouraging everyone working in the food industry to handle and prepare food responsibly so that it is safe and suitable for consumption.

Honourable Penn in a message to observe World Food Safety Day lent his voice to promote food safety in line with this year’s theme: “Safer Food, Better Health”.

Responsible eating

Honourable Penn said, “World Food Safety Day presents an opportunity to highlight the importance of being more conscious of what we eat in order to prevent, detect, and manage foodborne illnesses, and achieve better health.”

The Health Minister, according to a Government Information Service (GIS) press release, said unsafe foods contribute to poor health conditions, such as impaired growth and development, non-communicable or communicable diseases, and mental illness.

According to Minister Penn, our behavior, the way we build food systems and how we organise food supply chains, can prevent toxic hazards such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, chemical residues and other dangerous substances from getting onto our plates. “Keeping food safe begins with farmers and ends with you the consumer,” he said.

The goal of World Food Safety Day is to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks; contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, and sustainable development.

Responsible food preparation

The community is asked to be aware of the following when preparing food.

*  Maintain good personal hygiene

*  Separate raw food from cooked food to prevent cross contamination

*  Cook food thoroughly

*  Keep food at safe temperatures after cooking

*  Use safe water

The community is also cautioned to pay attention to expiration dates when buying food and to report any hazards or unsafe conditions to the Environmental Health Division. Persons should also include the name of establishment, date the food was bought, the type of food, and the type of hazard observed.

Persons, according to the GIS press release, are also encouraged to report signs or symptoms of foodborne illness, by making a report to the Environmental Health Division at 468-5110.

World Food Safety Day was established by the United Nations in 2018, and is celebrated annually on June 7. Its goal is to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks; contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, and sustainable development.


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