Observing that food preparation is among the fastest-growing economic sectors, with the COVID-19 pandemic seeing an increase in food handlers, the Saint Lucia Bureau Of Standards (SLBS) has organized virtual training in basic food safety.
An SLBS release announcing the March 30 event quoted Head of the Certification Department Dr. Xanthe Dubuison as saying that the ranks of food handlers have swollen due to the need for people to provide for their families.
“A number of people entering the sector have never had any formal training in health and safety standards in food reparation. With the expansion of the service there is need for guidance as unchecked there is the potential for the spread of food borne illnesses with severe consequences for the health of consumers, ” Dubuison noted.
The SLBS will deliver its basic food safety training via Zoom as part of the digital transition of activities due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
The training will promote and encourage standards for health and safety in food preparation and will be open to food handlers who prepare food in whatever form and offer it for sale to consumers.
SLBS says food handling is critical to livelihoods. Therefore, the bureau has improved surveillance for safety standards and provides this very important level of support to ensure the sector operates appropriately.
“While establishments which provide ready to eat foods have come under serious scrutiny from the public, the spotlight also falls on handlers of meat and fish who must ensure safe environments in the provision of fresh cuts of meat or fish for sale,” according to the SLBS release.
The SLBS encourages those who handle food to take advantage of the training, noting that prospective trainees can call the bureau to inquire about the upcoming training schedule.