Be care­ful to avoid food poi­son­ing dur­ing Yule­tide sea­son — CAC

Daily Observer (Jamaica) - - CLOVIS TOON -

AS the fes­tive sea­son ap­proaches, Ja­maicans are be­ing warned by the Con­sumer Af­fairs Com­mis­sion (CAC) that the risk of food poi­son­ing is es­pe­cially high dur­ing the busy sea­son.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion spe­cial­ist at the CAC, Dorothy Camp­bell, is ad­vis­ing con­sumers of mea­sures to em­ploy as they han­dle their food dur­ing the hol­i­days.

“Con­sumers need to en­sure that the places they are pur­chas­ing food from are ad­her­ing to food-safety reg­u­la­tions, whether it’s from the mar­ket, su­per­mar­ket or meat shop,” Camp­bell said, as she ad­dressed a Ja­maica In­for­ma­tion Ser­vice (JIS) ‘Think Tank’ re­cently.

Tips were also shared on how to pre­pare food to min­imise the risk of food poi­son­ing.

“Per­sons must en­sure that they sep­a­rate raw from cooked food to avoid con­tam­i­na­tion that can lead to food poi­son­ing and hos­pi­tal­i­sa­tion. Make cer­tain that the food is clean when you are pre­par­ing it [and] have a sep­a­rate cut­ting board for meats and veg­eta­bles. You also need to con­stantly wash your hands while cook­ing,” she em­pha­sised.

The com­mu­ni­ca­tion spe­cial­ist noted that young peo­ple and the el­derly are par­tic­u­larly vul­ner­a­ble be­cause their im­mune sys­tems are eas­ily com­pro­mised.

Camp­bell said that the qual­ity of cooked food can be af­fected dur­ing stor­age.

“Ap­por­tion your foods be­fore stor­ing them, so that when you re­heat the food you don’t re­heat the en­tire amount and then put it back into the re­frig­er­a­tor, to avoid bac­te­ria en­ter­ing the food. If you have the food out for more than two hours, es­pe­cially if you add sauces or condi­ment to the food, it tends to spoil quickly, so try and store the food early so you don’t put your fam­ily at risk,” she ad­vised.

Fam­i­lies who will not be cook­ing for the hol­i­day pe­riod also re­ceived ad­vice from Camp­bell.

“If you are eat­ing out, en­sure that the en­vi­ron­ment in which you are tak­ing your fam­ily for Christmas is one that you can trust that the food is be­ing pre­pared in a clean en­vi­ron­ment. We en­cour­age con­sumers to take pre­cau­tion when pur­chas­ing street foods such as jerk chicken or pork, soup and crab, to en­sure it’s from rep­utable per­sons,” she added.

(Photo: JIS)

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Spe­cial­ist at the Con­sumer Af­fairs Com­mis­sion Dorothy Camp­bell speaks at a JIS ‘Think Tank’ re­cently.

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