The Ministry of Health will launch an initiative next week aimed at promoting food hygiene and safety in the restaurant sector.
The Food Hygiene Award Programme will be initially launched in restaurants on the south coast in the catchment area of the Randal Phillips Polyclinic, and participating restaurants will be given ratings of up to five stars, depending on their level of food hygiene.
The aim, she said, was to assess current food safety practices in restaurants by observing food handling practices, procedures and temperature control; the layout and structure of premises; and methods of cleaning. Management???s role in providing food safety training for employees will also be assessed.
According to Environmental Health Specialist (Food Safety) in the Ministry of Health, Lana McQuilkin-Prescod, 40 restaurants are participating in the voluntary prgramme, which is being conducted in collaboration with the Barbados Tourism Product Authority and the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association.
Ms. McQuilkin-Prescod said that the exercise should result in a standardised method of inspection for licensing purposes and greater consumer awareness of food hygiene and safety.
The initiative also aims to reward businesses which demonstrate consistently high levels of food hygiene and to encourage other businesses to improve and maintain their standards.??Each restaurant participating in the programme will display their star certificate for public viewing.