Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
Officers from the Environmental Health Division are conducting spot checks of supermarkets and restaurants to ensure food safety following the recent floods.
Acting Chief Environmental Health Officer, Mrs. Yolanda Penn said there are concerns that retailers may be putting products on the shelves that were damaged as a result of the impact of the flood.
Ms. Penn said while store sales floors may not have been flooded, items may have been damaged while in storage, warehouses or storage containers. She said as a result, her team has been deployed and any damaged items found on shelves will be pulled and condemned.
“If contaminated items are found a condemnation certificate will be given which will contain information about how much items were disposed and why it was pulled from the shelves,” Mrs. Penn said.
Mrs. Penn further stated that following inspections of supermarkets, her team will then visit restaurants, especially those located in low lying areas.
The Acting Chief is also advising consumers to note product packaging and avoid purchasing items that appear to be water logged, have any evidence of contamination, or frozen items that appear to have thawed and refrozen evidenced by ice crystals.
“We just want to ensure the quality and safety of food during this time and we want consumers to pay special attention as food quality and safety may be comprised,” Mrs. Penn added.
Persons may contact the Environmental Health Division at 468-5110 to report concerns or have their questions addressed.
The Environmental Health Division is committed to ensuring that all aspects of the environment with the potential to negatively impact health are managed efficiently to enable all persons in the BVI to attain and maintain optimal health and social well-being.