A valid medical certificate is a must for stall owners and food handlers dealing with the preparation and sale of food at Crop Over events.

So says Chief Environmental Health Officer, Tyrone Applewhaite, who is also advising individuals that they should also practise proper hygiene.

These reminders form part of a set of guidelines developed by the Environmental Health Division to protect the health and safety of patrons at events.

The guidelines stress that a medical certificate should be presented on request to the Environmental Health Officer and vendors and their employees failing to do so may be fined.

"It is about ensuring that operators and their assistants maintain high standards when serving the public, whether at Bridgetown Market, Cohobblopot, Kadooment or any other event outside of Crop Over," Mr. Applewhaite explained.

When serving food, stall owners and assistants must cover their head or use hair restraints; no nail polish should be worn and 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; only light and single coloured shirts, tops or aprons should be worn. Furthermore, smoking is prohibited in food stalls.

The Environmental Health Division is also suggesting that food handlers be free of infected burns, boils, cuts or respiratory illnesses. They should wash their hands frequently and thoroughly with soap (particularly before beginning work, after handling raw foods and after using the toilet) in order to prevent the contamination of food. Food handlers should use disposable paper towels and never wipe hands on aprons or clothing.

Chewing gum or eating while preparing or serving food is also prohibited and the Division is suggesting that food handlers adhere to these regulations at all times.


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