The British Virgin Islands’ food safety regulations are under review.
Chief Environmental Health Officer Lionel Michael said the objective is to bring the territory’s food safety system up to par with the rest of the world.
“Our food safety regulations are dated way back, and clearly food safety has changed drastically throughout the world,” he told BVI News on Monday.
“We are looking at the legislation that governs food safety, and we need to strengthen them and bring the system in line with modern approaches.”
Michael further mentioned that various legislations are being put forward. He said that will not be ‘in isolation’.
“We will need the full corporation of the general public because we want to show them that legislation is not punitive, but it is facilitative, and it will improve their business competitiveness,” he said.
Changes to inspection programme
Meanwhile, as part of that review, the department also re-assessed its inspection programme, and immediate changes have started. Nightly inspections are being carried out, and at least 12 establishments in
“We want to believe that with the training programmes that we are having will equip them with the necessary knowledge and skills, and we want to believe they are practising safe food handling. However, we want to verify that one of the ways to do that is to carry out inspections.”
He said the findings of their assessments have been ‘good’ overall. He said whenever deficiencies are discovered at local food preparation establishments, suitable recommendations will be made.
“But we think that a concerted effort is being made by the food businesses to comply with the food safety standards,” he noted.
More training programmes
In the meantime, the chief said more training programmes are being held for stakeholders in the food and beverage sector.
“We moved from conducting training programmes in the mornings alone. We are now doing evening sessions and sometimes on weekends,” he said.
Michael further said this move is to ensure that everyone is able to attend the vital training with the hope that it will be implemented in the various food establishments territory-wide.
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