DEH urges food safety

| 26/09/2018
CNS Local Life

DEH staffer Joel Victorine teaching food safety and hygiene on World Environmental Health Day

(CNS Local Life): As World Environmental Health Day was commemorated Wednesday, 26 September, the related department in Cayman called on the public to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones from food-borne illness. In keeping with the theme for the day, “Global Food Safety & Sustainability”, the Department of Environmental Health (DEH) encouraged food safety.

“The globalisation of local food supply coupled with the ever-increasing number of commercial food establishments, augments the need to ensure food safety,” said DEH Acting Director Richard Simms, in a press release.

Simms added that to prevent food-borne illness, food must be handled, prepared, stored and offered for sale in a safe and hygienic manner.

The DEH encouraged residents to protect themselves from such illness by following the following steps:

  1. Use clean water and wholesome foods. Never purchase foods that are past their expiration dates.
  2. Keep food preparation surfaces clean. Wash hands thoroughly with anti-bacterial soap before handling food and after activities such as handling raw meat, using the toilet, changing diapers and handling pets or garbage.
  3. Avoid cross contamination by separating raw foods from cooked foods.
  4. Cook foods thoroughly, to temperatures of at least 70° Celsius or 158° Fahrenheit. This is especially critical for meat, poultry and seafood.
  5. Store foods at safe temperatures. Refrigerate foods within 90 minutes of preparation. Ensure that fridge is set between 32°F and 41°F and freezer is 0°F or less.

In the release, the DEH noted that, through its food safety and hygiene section, the department continues to undertake several activities to ensure that foods are safe for consumption.

Included in these activities are the inspections of food premises, imported foods and locally slaughtered animals; the condemnation and withdrawal of foods that do not meet safety requirements; and the provision of food-hygiene training to commercial food handlers.

Food safety refers to a series of activities including the handling, preparation and storage of foods in such a manner which allows the prevention of food-borne illnesses, stated the press release.

These illnesses most commonly occur as a result of contamination by the presence of microbial pathogens and toxins such as disease-causing bacteria including E. coli, listeria, salmonella and staphylococcus.

Symptoms of food borne illness include abdominal pains, stomach cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting and fever.

For more information on food safety, contact DEH by telephone at 949-6696 or by email

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Category: Food, Medical and Health

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