BVI News

BVI’s food safety regulations under review

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 East End have already been assessed, Michael told BVI News.

“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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  1. Anonymous says:

    It is one thing to pay some one a salary to check on items with expiry dates missing or out dated.

    It is quite another to go in those super markets freezers and determine if their meats are genuine or fabricated products from China, Canada or else where.

    You got your work cut out for you.

    For example, mutton is mutton. You can’t fool nobody, especially West Indian with that. So why are people buying meats labelled as a given product and when cooked it turns out be anything other than?

    That is deceitfulness, scary and life threatening.

    To some, that is life threatening to the point where they have stopped consuming meats.

    Why, they could be putting any thing together, including dead people and selling for meat just to make a buck, huge profit and more.


    Will say this up front, do not believe B***y and M**k are knowingly involved in such unfair practices.

    • @Anonymous says:

      I have been shopping at M**k’s and B***y’s supermarkets for a while those are the only two supermarkets that I trust. I don’t believe for a moment the above mentioned would be allowing mystery meats to be sold out of their supermarkets.

  2. Look into everything. says:

    The gold post move every season for those that have restaurants, but those that operate on the street in vans an under tents get away with murder. Dust blowing all over food. Also, please avoid such vendors from setting up tent in close proximity to restaurants. It is not fair at all for those with overhead, staff, etc. to pay, then persons just pitch a tent and drive those businesses into bankruptcy or undue financial hardship. Then those who have restaurants should have the privilege to to set up on the streets right beside them, no matter the location.

    Meanwhile there are other businesses that set up in our waters and don’t pay a cent in tax and other fees and make millions. Where is the justice?

  3. LOL says:

    In roadtown most of the cooking is done under tents and in food vans

  4. Next to the g**t says:

    Hurry up check that place that sells jerk by the —- field they don’t give a s**t and allow fly traffic all over their food!

  5. @next to the g**t says:

    H*lllll to the yeah, I went to get some food from that same truck because I was in the area. I see the flies on and over the food and I walk away. Flies is nasty,when they land on food they throw up on the food or they drop their eggs which turns into maggots. I hate to waste food but a fly land on anything I am eating, I throw it away.

  6. I'm good says:

    I had to cut meat and chicken out of my diet. The only thing in my freezer is a bunch of local fish my neighbor caught in his fishpot that he sold to me. I am so done with the red meats and poultry because it don’t taste right. Chicken should not have a raw rank smell.

  7. true says:

    HACCP is on the way, it is already mentioned on the sheets issued last season.

    Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points

    This system was introduced for NASA

    Some parts are good others do not apply but you get them all, tons of paperwork, but thats life!

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