food safety

NFA Sees Change In Market Requirements

NFA during a presentation at the World Food Safety Day, Acting Manager for the Audit Certification Unit, Josephine Komboi highlighted the importance of developing the National Fish and Fishery Products Standard and its experience and market dimensions and access, which is a help to global trading market.  

Call To Develop Food Safety Policy

Stakeholders shared that foodborne diseases due to microbial pathogens, bio toxins and chemical contaminants in food represent serious threats to the health of hundreds of Papua New Guineans.

Stakeholders involved were Department of Agriculture and Livestock, World Health Organization, Agriculture Organization of the UN and Department of Health. Each organization shared the safety of food in and around the country and the standards, challenges, trade, experiences and recommendations moving forward.

Food poisoning investigation ongoing

These authorities include team officers from NCDC Health, National Health Department and World Health Organisation.

While the restaurant management says they are still awaiting NCDC’s outcome on the investigation, an NCDC health representative said the team is yet to establish any findings to the case.

Confirming this, Department of Health’s (DoH) program officer – surveillance and emergency team, Barry Ropa, said the investigation process is complex.

Informal sector: Public health challenge

However, in reality, the most convenient alternative for majority of Papua New Guineans roadside breakfast, lunch or dinner.

This varies…and of course high on the list are: Fried lamb flaps, sausage and potato, fried fish and sago, boiled kaukau (sweet potato), coconut creamed kumu (greens) and chicken.

And for those in the informal sector, this makes good money but with it comes the concern for public health.

Restaurants, Fast-food outlets must follow food laws: Health officer

His office deals with food safety among other health issues within three electorates of NCD.

Hence this reminder comes with the responsibility to see food safety practices adhered to, to prevent health issues such as food poisoning.

Jonathan said each of the three electorates has at least four officers and this poses a difficult task in covering the whole city adequately.

“Best way is to do up a monthly program and monitor according to it, in order to cover a place at a time,” he said.

Keeping fast-foods in check

At least you know how clean it is, what you’re eating and how it’s been prepared.

But in the case of restaurants, kai-bars and fast-foods, you have no idea how they’re treating you.

That’s where Environmental Health Officers come into play. They are simply the eyes of the public.

“We basically monitor and keep surveillance for food safety. We do routine inspections to any business house that sells food,” says Silas Jonathan, NCD Senior Environmental Health Officer.