Best practices in the food industry a must
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The food industry (restaurant, shops, and anywhere food is purchased) is very vital to Jamaica’s economy. And there is a threat to it: lack of consistent sanitary practices.
A few weeks ago, in Kingston, I saw a young lady – a member of staff of one of the most popular and long-standing fast-food restaurants – come into the bathroom. Upset by her plight of finding the toilet unclean, she voiced her displeasure and was so distracted that after she used it, she exited the bathroom without washing her hands.
Best practices must be the aim of food-related industries because food-borne diseases have been a major cause of sickness.
Not long after this, I went to a gas station food mart. I went to the glass showcase where pastry was sold and proceeded to ask a male attendant the cost of something of interest. He had on transparent food gloves. Just before he answered me, he deposited something into the garbage bin that was nearby. His hand touched the bin sufficiently to require that he take off the gloves, but he did not. Instead, he went on to ask me politely what I wanted from the showcase. I declined his offer right away and left the mart because were he to hold my food, he would be handing me contaminated food. People in the restaurant and food industry do this absent-mindedly every day or lack the knowledge of proper hygiene when handling other people’s food.
Best practices concerning proper hand-washing should be reinforced until it can no longer be overlooked – until it becomes like breathing to food handlers.