Aiming to ensuring that wholesome meat and foods are made available for public consumption, the Municipal Meat and Food Hygiene Department of the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown has been availing special training for those involved in the sale of meats.
Municipal Public Relations Officer, Mr Royston King, revealed that the Meat and Food Hygiene Department has a mandate to make sure that those involved in the sale of processed meats and foods adhere to certain stipulated regulations. As such he noted that the main objective of the training measure is to ensure that the public access suitably processed products at all times.
In this regard, he revealed that over the last five months the department has trained more than 150 persons in food safety; storage and separation of raw foods; storage of cooked foods and personal hygiene of those operating in cook shops, restaurants and other food establishment in Georgetown.
The department has scheduled another similar training session for itinerant vendors and owners of school canteens in the Woolford Avenue and Thomas Land area, King disclosed. More than 25 persons are expected to participate in this training programme.
“These training programmes are particularly vital to Council’s efforts to secure the health and safety of all citizens of Georgetown. In essence, the provision of all municipal services and facilities is to secure public health and safety. This is the general mandate of the Mayor and City Council,” he added.
Meanwhile, persons who are desirous of starting a restaurant or other food establishment should obtain an approved plan from the municipality and obtain land use clearance from the Central Housing and Planning Authority, King said.
Following this, a team of inspectors from the Council will visit the premises to determine whether it is suitable for the particular business. Once found to be suitable, the Food and Hygiene Department will issue a registration and monthly visits to the establishment will commence, according to King. “The Mayor and City Council is calling on all restaurant owners to comply with the appropriate meat and food regulations and to cooperate with its inspectors as they visit different areas. Also, all restaurant owners are expected to have their premises clean and tidy at all times.”
In addition, the Department will seek to ensure that all workers within the establishment are medically examined and are in possession of a valid Food Handlers certificate. However, the operation of A food establishment will not be fully completed, according to King, unless a grease trap is in place to help prevent fat particles from entering and clogging the city’s drainage system.
The owners of entities the likes of restaurants, school cafeterias and other commercial cooking facilities must avoid discharging grease into the sewerage system.
According to information from GWI, typical building codes require all such new or rebuilt facilities to install a grease interceptor to pre-treat grease entering a sewer.
“All units should be fitted with a standard final-stage sample box and interceptors must typically be sized for at least a 30 minute peak waste-water flow detention time from all contributory sources.”
The grease trap mechanism is expected to be placed under the sinks of these entities where greasy substances are allowed to exit.
These mechanisms are passive devices required by municipalities to stop grease, fat, oil, wax or debris from entering the city’s sanitary sewer system. Grease traps could cost as much as $20,000 based on the type of material that it is made of. However, it is imperative that they are installed.
The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) had some time ago commenced a campaign to encourage the use of the grease traps and had even threatened that failure to adhere could see persons being prosecuted in the court of law.
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