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Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards initiates collaboration with government ministries

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Contact: Adhara King

Monday, February 16, 2009 – The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards (SLBS) has set the platform for collective responsibility in ensuring a reduction of food borne illness on island.

Head of the SLBS Standards department, Julius James said no system is foolproof without the participation of all relevant sectors.

“It is recognized that the assurance of food safety must be a shared responsibility and a shared vision. The bureau wishes to express sincere appreciation to these ministries for their positive collaboration on many matters over the years and today in particular for their solid endorsement of this booklet,” said James.

James invited the participation of the Ministries of Health, Education, Agriculture and Consumer Affairs in undertaking frequent collaborative campaigns to heighten and reinforce public understanding of the importance of food safety.

Representative of the Environmental Health Department of the Ministry of Health, David Joseph welcomed the suggestion coming from the SLBS.

An informed person, Joseph said, is one who is capable of making better decisions. As such he highlighted the importance of targeted promotion in ensuring that the message reaches relevant audiences.

“In the last forty years,” Joseph said, “international organizations have produced a large number of technical reports and initiated many programmes to deal with this issue, yet food born illness continues to be on the increase. What is needed to cope with this problem? My colleague highlighted that it’s education of the public in general- mothers in particular- and all those who consume food. Then individuals can take precaution against contamination of food and maintain safe eating habits.”

Consumers’ appreciation of the value of information regarding food borne illnesses, he said, is essential in combating the problem.

Director of the Consumer Affairs Department, Philip McLauren also pledged his support to the cause.

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