SIXTY TWO food vendors in Region 5, many of whom sell food to school children, were awarded certificates of competence in food safety earlier this week, after they successfully completed courses held by the Regional Department of Health in June, and during the school holidays.
The courses had been run by the Environmental Health Department of the Regional Health Department and the certificates were handed over to the beneficiaries at the office, at Bush Lot Village, West Coast Berbice. Regional Health Officer, Dr. Nicholson, told the beneficiaries that their training was done because the Health Department felt that food handling was not a subject to be taken lightly.
“Safe handling and production of food is an important part of maintenance of good health and I urge you to ensure that you put the skills you have learnt into practice so that you can better serve the people with the good and wholesome food that they expect from your businesses,” he said.
Head of the Environmental Health Department, Mr Ignatius Merai, disclosed that a total of sixty two persons from areas throughout Region 5 (Mahaica/Berbice) had completed the training. The elements of food safety they were trained in included typical food hazards and food borne diseases, hygiene measures to prevent contamination of food, required conditions in an establishment where food is being prepared, and five keys to food safety, among others.
“They all completed the training and did well,” he said. The main resource person for the training was Ms. Andrea Cummings, Senior Environmental Officer within the Department. Other speakers during the presentation of the certificates included Deputy Regional Executive Officer, Sherwin Wellington, who, among other encouraging remarks urged them to continue to develop their skills in preparation for the changes that are ahead, with Guyana being beneficiary of an oil-based economy. “These certificates are important for you to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities in the food sector in the near future.” he said.