A valid medical certificate is a must for all food handlers dealing with the preparation and sale of food at the Market Day, which runs each Friday and Saturday at Probyn Street, the City.
This reminder comes from Chief Environmental Health Officer, Tyrone Applewaithe, who is also advising such persons that the certificate should be presented on request to any Environmental Health Officer.
This certificate can be obtained at the Winston Scott Polyclinic, which is responsible for that part of the City.
The advice is part of a set of guidelines developed by the Environmental Health Division to ensure that operators and their assistants maintain proper hygienic practices when serving food to the public during events.
The guidelines point out that, when serving food, stall owners and assistants must wear head covering or hair restraints; no nail polish should be worn and finger nails should be trimmed and kept clean. No jewellery should be worn on the hands or around the neck.
Food handlers are also reminded that no sleeveless tops or vests should be worn when preparing or serving food; light and single coloured shirts, tops or aprons should be worn and smoking is prohibited in food stalls.
In addition, clean glasses and cups should be picked up by their base; and the food contact surface of plates, food trays, forks, spoons etc. should not be touched by the food handler.
The Environmental Health Division is also insisting that food handlers be free of infected burns, boils, cuts or respiratory illnesses. They should wash their hands frequently and thoroughly (particularly before beginning work, after handling raw foods and after using the washroom) in order to prevent the contamination of food. Food handlers should use disposable paper towels and never wipe hands on aprons or clothing.
Chewing of gum or eating while preparing or serving food as well as smoking are all prohibited and the Division is suggesting that food handlers refrain from picking the nose, touching pimples and scratching the head or face.
While members of the public are asked to be vigilant, food handlers and owners are reminded that health inspectors will be on hand during Market Day to ensure that vendors are in compliance with all health and safety regulations.