Un­fit food for sale in mar­kets

Jamaica Gleaner - - FEATURE - DAVE RICHARDS d1­darichards@gmail.com

JUST THIS Satur­day, my mom came home re­lat­ing an in­ci­dent at the mar­ket. There was a cart with 2lb pack­aged and branded su­gar be­ing sold for $100. Need­less to say, these were go­ing quickly.

Now since she buys pack­aged su­gar reg­u­larly, she was taken aback at the price. Nev­er­the­less, as she was about to buy one, she de­duced that this might have been dis­carded su­gar from the flooded ware­house on Mar­cus Gar­vey Drive last month. It cer­tainly would sug­gest why that qual­ity and quan­tity su­gar was sold for that amount; it wasn’t good.

Now I will not sug­gest that my mother’s de­duc­tion was cor­rect, but there is a greater con­cern. What hap­pens to food deemed un­safe? How is it dis­posed of? What mea­sures are taken to en­sure that this food can­not re-en­ter a chain of sup­ply? What en­force­ment is ex­e­cuted by the health depart­ment and the Con­sumer Af­fairs Com­mis­sion?

Of­ten­times, I have walked through ‘Back Mar­ket’ in down­town and seen ven­dors sell­ing meats, chicken, chicken parts and pro­cessed meats from buck­ets and igloos. Some­times these meats are dis­coloured! Far be it from me that this is safe.

Many times, I have heard that peo­ple rum­mage the dumps and col­lect dis­posed foods and sell it for prices well be­low mar­ket rate, which means they go quickly, ei­ther by un­sus­pect­ing, in­dif­fer­ent or des­ti­tute con­sumers. Now I hope that I am over­re­act­ing, but the idea that some­one will sweeten their por­ridge to­mor­row with su­gar flavoured with flood waters is more un­set­tling.

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