250 food establishments checked, 7 kitchens closed

PHILIPSBURG–The Inspectorate of Public Health inspected a total of 250 food establishments between January and February of this year, and closed seven for varying violations.

Health Minister Emil Lee did not name the seven establishments where kitchens were closed when he provided the information during the Council of Ministers press briefing on Wednesday.

Lee said it was not the role of the Ministry to “shut down” business establishments, as the Inspectorate does not have this authority. “We can, however, shut down kitchens when anomalies are found,” he explained.

Inspectors look for a range of violations during inspections, such as signs of pest infestation; food being prepared under unhygienic conditions; no temperature-control practices; improper methods of defrosting foods; food handlers being without food handling certificates; food handlers lacking personal hygiene and proper attire; and the absence of a proper cleaning programme.

Lee said that although it had been a busy time with the just-ended snap parliamentary election, the ministry and its staffers have been proactive and have been working.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/74180-250-food-establishments-checked-7-kitchens-closed