Producers of bottled water in Guyana are being given one week within which to register with the Government Analyst Food and Drug Department, and in doing so, comply with the Department’s minimum standard of water purification.
This was posited by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Commerce, Manniram Prashad, at a press conference on Wednesday. “Most of the people who bottle the water have some standards and most of the water that is sold to the consuming public is treated water; water that is free from bacteria.”
“One week,” said the Minister, “and there will be no compromise for quality and standards.”
He added that some of the businesses who bottle water in Guyana can stand up to the scrutiny to the standards of the Government and of the Food and Drug Department; however, some cannot.
The Minister noted a case in Albion, Berbice, where one such defaulting business, which did not practice hygienic standards, would be forced to either shut down, or comply with the health standards imposed by the Government and the Food and Drug Department.
Most of the water producers of Georgetown, East Coast and East Bank Demerara were represented at the press conference, and agreed to register with the Food and Drug Department, and as the Minister said, “get themselves in order.”
Once water producers have registered with the Food and Drug Department, the Minister said, the premises of the business would be inspected, and if the inspection test was passed, a licence would be issued.
There are different levels of water purification. If the water is not purified properly, individuals consuming it can become quite sick. While most of the water producers in Guyana comply with the acceptable standards, the Minister noted that his Ministry would be monitoring the situation with the Food and Drug Department and the Guyana Bureau of Standards.
The production of ice also fell under scrutiny. It was highlighted that the ice produced for fishing should not be used in restaurants or bars. Party ice versus fishing ice, noted the Minister, needs to be monitored.
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