Last update: 06-Dec-2013 4:49 am
Friday, December 06, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Mayor to launch ‘DineSafe’ programme
Two more San Fernando restaurants were ordered to be closed by the San Fernando City Corporation yesterday as it continued its crackdown on health violations. Ali’s Doubles on Harris Street and Nature’s Restaurant and Bar on Coffee Street, San Fernando, were ordered closed for major public health violations when the southern city’s Public Health Department paid them a surprise visit.
Yesterday, public health inspectors, led by Alexander Ramnath, visited the restaurants and issued clean-up orders. The restaurants will only be allowed to reopen when all remedial work is completed and reinspection takes place. More than 70 places selling or preparing food, including restaurants, roadside vending areas, and groceries, have been inspected over the past few months and many have been told to close and clean up before continuing to sell to the public.
In a media release yesterday, the office of the mayor said in response to the poor and unsanitary conditions in the city’s restaurants and groceries, it will launch a “DineSafe, City of San Fernando” programme, in conjunction with the Public Health department, with the aim of safeguarding the public and assisting restaurant owners.
Mayor Dr Navi Muradali said in the statement: “The time has come for consumers to become more vigilant and report improper food preparation and handling and also for restaurant owners to get their act together and protect the public interest.” He added that the DineSafe programme “will afford greater transparency to the public and offer restaurant owners and grocers the opportunity to improve their standards regarding food safety.”
The release said the new programme, to be launched soon, will give restaurant owners, food vendors, and groceries an inspection certificate so patrons will be aware of the date of the last inspection. As part of the programme, the city’s hotline number, 211, will also be displayed so the public can report any public health violations to the Public Health Department.
“The toll-free service, available 24 hours daily, will ensure that consumers can confidentially report any restaurant, roadside vendor, or grocery, for poor sanitation or improper food preparation and handling,” the release said.
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