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.