Trinidad & Tobago Food Safety



Whether you are a consumer or a vendor these are steps outline by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs to enure the food is safe for the public

Consumers

  • Make sure you buy only from vendors whose food is properly covered and is not in a dust-ridden environment. In other words, be selective about the locations from which you purchase food.

  • Examine food items. Check colour, complexion, odour, texture, temperature.

  • Do not taste "to see if it is really spoilt".

  • Select clean and healthy vendors. A Food Badge indicates Registration under Public Health Laws.

  • Buy only from vendors attired in clean clothing and with clean, valid, visible Public Health Department food badges.

  • Do not consume food and drink that have been exposed to dust, flies and other insects.

  • Be careful from whom you buy doubles, corn soup and other prepared foods. Not everyone is careful about using hygienic methods. Be aware of the risks.

  • Avoid contact of food and drink with body paints, lotions, oils, sweat.

  • Be wary of special sale price or half price on food items. Food is either good or bad. It cannot be half good or half bad.

  • Avoid the use of "left-overs".

  • Buy only those cold beverages that are properly sealed and have been stored in ice, rather than just in tubs of cold water. This is because water serves as a medium for contaminants far more readily than does solid ice.

  • Wipe or dry off bottles, tins, cold coconuts -- taken from tubs, barrels or disused refridgerator bodies.

  • Do not use "drinking ice" that is otherwise used for cooling tins, bottles or for storage of meat, fish or fruits.

  • Drinking from the same glass or container may demonstrate friendship and trust but it is an unsafe and unhealthy practice.

  • Look for evidence that there is running water available close to booths from which you wish to buy food or drink.

  • Do not use unsafe or unclean water.

  • Wash hands before eating. Sanitised napkins can be used.

  • New and unused plastic of styro cups and plates are desirable.

  • Make use of disposable hand towels, napkins etc.

  • Make use of garbage collection bins, bags or other suitable containers.

  • Vendors

  • To get a "good product; good items" are needed.

  • Sell yourself before you sell your product. Dress appropriately and be well -groomed. Whether or not a consumer will buy from you depends heavily on your physical appearance.

  • Be selective of the environment where you set up. Make sure it is clean and has enough room available for your operation.

  • Food handlers must be properly attired and registered with the relevant authorities.

  • Do not cater, way in excess ("over cater").

  • Keep all foods covered; free from dust, flies, rodents, insects.

  • Do not mix leftovers with freshly prepared foods.

  • Foods that are cooked, partly cooked or raw (meat, fish, fruits) should not be transported in the same vehicle and at the same time with masqueraders, revellers, pans, drums, costumes, animals, building material, items of waste intended for the "dump", detergents, insecticides, or other chemicals.

  • Never touch prepared food with your bare hand.

  • A clean and safe water supply is essential.

  • All water containers must be properly covered or is screened. Use fitted draw off taps.

  • Use factory or machine made ice cubes for drinking; instead of chipped or crushed "block ice".

  • Use disposable (styro, plastic) cups, plates, forks etc. Do not reuse.

  • Provide and supply disposable napkins, towels etc.

  • Provide bins, bags, or other suitable garbage containers.

  • Use the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system. If you follow this system, the risk factors associated with your operation are, according to studies, nil.

  • Courtesy the Ministry of Consumer Affairs...Guardian, Monday August 14, 2000 edition & Guardian, Wednesday, February 2, 2006






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