Enforce health regulations for food vendors

Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh. - File photo by Faith Ayoung
Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh. - File photo by Faith Ayoung

THE EDITOR: I write to express my deep concern about the increasing numbers of vendors selling fried plaintain. While I understand that these vendors are trying to earn a living, there is a significant public health issue that needs to be addressed.

According to regulations, anyone selling food to the public must apply for and obtain a food badge which ensures that they meet basic hygiene and safety standards. However, it seems that many of these vendors are operating without any visible adherence to such regulations. This oversight is alarming and raises serious critical questions about public safety.

Firstly, has the Health Ministry conducted any inspection of these vendors’ homes or preparation sites? Ensuring that food is prepared in a clean and safe environment is essential to prevent food-borne illnesses. Without regular inspections there is a heightened risk of contamination and subsequent illness among consumers.

Secondly, are there any plan for the ministry to address this issue proactively? Waiting for someone to fall ill or be hospitalised due to food poisoning before taking action is not an acceptable approach. Preventative measures, including inspections and enforcement of food safety regulations, must be prioritised.

The rise in street vendors calls for a balanced approach that considers both public health and the economic needs of the vendors. Providing education on food safety, simplifying the process for obtaining food badges, and conducting regular inspections could help mitigate the risks while supporting these small businesses.

In conclusion, I urge the Health Ministry to take immediate action to ensure that all food vendors are complying with health regulations. It is crucial to safeguard public health and prevent food-borne illnesses. The community depends on the ministry to enforce these standards and protect us all.


San Fernando


"Enforce health regulations for food vendors"

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