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St James Health Dept standing up for food safety

Published:Friday | May 18, 2018 | 12:00 AMChristopher Thomas/ Gleaner Writer
Lennox Wallace



Lennox Wallace, the chief public health inspector for St James, says the St James Health Department's ongoing drive to bring unscrupulous business operators to book for returning flood-contaminated food to the food chain is continuing to bear fruit.

Wallace told The Gleaner on Friday that to date, five persons had been taken before the courts in relation to putting contaminated food items on their shelves.

In January, the health department destroyed J$8 million worth of foodstuff that was exposed to flood waters after sections of Montego Bay were inundated by heavy rains last October. This was after some business operators were found to be drying contaminated food items in order to offer them for sale.

"We have five persons before the courts, and there was a judgment made for one of them on Wednesday (last week), where we were successful in that case, although I cannot recall the fine the judge ordered," said Wallace.


Public education


To support their food-safety drive, the health inspector noted that the Health Department had also gone on an education drive to sensitise people on the importance of food safety.

"We wanted to sensitise persons as to the roles and functions of the public health inspectorate, so on April 27, we had a food safety fair in Sam Sharpe Square that was highly successful in educating the public on those different roles and functions," said Wallace.