GREAT BAY (DCOMM):— The Collective Prevention Service (CPS), a department in the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, is advising households and restaurants to increase and be vigilant in applying on a high level basic food hygiene practices, such as cooking food thoroughly, as a preventative measure against Escherichia coli (E. coli).
E. coli is a bacteria that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms. Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some can cause serious food poisoning.
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) is a bacterium that can cause severe foodborne disease. Primary sources of STEC outbreaks are raw or undercooked ground meat products, raw milk, and faecal contamination of vegetables. In most cases, the illness is self-limiting.
STEC is heat-sensitive. In preparing food at home, be sure to follow basic food hygiene practices such as “cooking thoroughly”.
Following the World Health Organization (WHO) “Five keys to safer food” is a key measure to prevent infections with foodborne pathogens such as STEC.
The five WHO keys to Safer Food to prevent food poisoning are: keep clean; separate raw and cooked; cook thoroughly; keep food at safe temperatures; and use safe water and raw materials.
CPS advises following the aforementioned steps to avoid foodborne illnesses.
Some residents still face the challenge related to a stable power supply to keep and maintain refrigerated/frozen food, as well as water, this places considerable pressure on providing safe food for consumption, consumer providers are advised to maintain high food safety and hygiene practices.
For additional information, you can contact CPS at 542-2078 or 542-3003.
Source: St. Martin News Network http://www.smn-news.com/st-maarten-st-martin-news/27588-cps-advises-preventative-measures-against-e-coli.html