Govt tightens food safety regulations
GOVERNMENT has intensified enforcement of health safety regulations that will see strict adherence to annual medical examinations for all food handlers and testing of export and import foodstuffs.
The measures come as food outlets sprout across the country and the influx of foodstuffs that are not properly labelled.
The Sunday Mail has gathered that the Ministry of Health and Child Care has deployed health officers countrywide for inspections and to take action against those in violation of regulations.
This comes as part of Government efforts to safeguard the nation against diseases and food poisoning.
In an interview last week, Health Ministry Food Safety and Port Health Services Deputy Director Mr Victor Nyamandi said, “The Food Handler Order that we are using demands that all food handlers should have medical examination certificates issued by a Government medical doctor.
“This applies to big hotels and any other business operation. They are mandated to send all food handlers for medical exams and our inspectors have been conducting random routine inspections. Food handlers must be screened and tested for TB, typhoid, and cholera, amongst others, annually.”
Mr Nyamandi said the Health Ministry would enforce the Food and Food Standards Act, which many had ignored for years.
“There are specific foods that are not allowed in the country and Statutory Instrument 8 of 2015 addresses how business people can import food into the country,” he said.
SI 8/2015 says anyone importing food needed permission from Government and was expected to meet safety standards.
Mr Nyamandi added, “Before the food is inspected, we need samples to establish if it meets the standards. When the food meets the national requirements and all the justifications of the food to be imported are made then the food is imported.”
Mr Nyamandi said health inspectors at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport had been almost doubled from 17 to 32 to screen food, human traffic and corpses.
Government also inspects all food donations at ports of entry.
Food handlers must be screened and tested for TB, typhoid, and cholera, amongst others, annually