The Environmental Health Department of the Ministry Health in July and August of this year published in the Star and Voice Newspapers and St. Lucia Gazette the names of various hotels, restaurants, bakeries and ice-cream parlors who met or surpassed the 80% compliance bench mark set by the Public Health Board and a public health licence to operate.
Food Safety Officer with the Department of Environmental Health, Sementha Tisson said the publishing of this list is primarily to provide the public with information as to the licensed establishments where they should consume food.
Tisson said when health inspections are conducted on food establishments a demerit score sheet is used starting from 100% and scores are deducted as infractions against the Public Health Standards are sited. “So you find that people may violate areas such as their health cards or hand washing sink so hence the deduction from 100% to an 80% bench mark.”
She indicated that an establishment that attains less than an 80% bench mark a report is submitted listing the infringements to be addressed within 14 to 21 day when re-inspection will be conducted.
“If we realize that they’re making an effort to meet the standard we continue to work with them but if they continue violating areas and show total disregard then we will have to sanction them to the Public Health Board where action will be taken.” Tission pointed out.
She said the public can look forward to reviewing the updated list of licensed food establishments in the newspapers and Gazette in the first week of November 2015.
“The first list which was published in July and August noted that a supplementary list will be publish at the end of October however the date will be extended to the first week of November giving proprietors time to meet the standards set and to pay the public health licence.” Tisson stated.