Food Safety Tips To Avoid Contamination From Dust And Ash Fall

Written by on April 22, 2021

Given the series of eruptions of the La Soufriere Volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, it has been noted that Saint Lucia is affected by the ash fall. Therefore, the Ministry of Health and Wellness emphasizes the importance of ensuring proper food safety to avoid contamination due to the dust and ash fall. Some of the food safety tips are:

  • Ensure that all produce are adequately washed after harvesting from the field and before packaging and marketing.
  • Ensure that produce that are displayed for sale are adequately packaged to prevent contamination.
  • Ensure that produce (fruits and vegetables) are adequately washed and flushed under running potable water prior to preparation/consumption.
  • Ensure that animal carcasses are adequately protected from exposure to dust and volcanic ash during slaughtering.
  • Minimize the amount of time freshly slaughtered animal carcasses spend under super structures which are not adequately enclosed to mitigate intrusion of dust/volcanic ash.
  • Refrigerate freshly slaughtered meats immediately after it has been inspected for wholesomeness.
  • Ensure meats are properly covered and protected during transportation.
  • Ensure that cooked, ready to eat foods are adequately covered and protected from dust/volcanic ash whiles on display.
  • Ensure that bread and other bakery products are adequately packaged and or protected from dust/ash during display in bakeries, bread retail out lets and vehicles.
  • Ensure that all outdoor Bar B Que grills are equipped with covers and are covered when grilling outdoor.
  • Ensure that appropriate temperature controlled equipment are provided to store food products. They must also be designed to prevent dust contamination during display and storage of ready to eat foods.
  • Undertake cooking in completely enclosed and well ventilated kitchens. Where this is not possible ensure that pots/ utensils are adequately covered when cooking outdoors.

For more information please contact the Environmental Health Division at 468-3700

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