FOOD outlets in Honiara have been warned to provide safe, healthy and hygienic services to the general public.
Chief environmental health inspector of Honiara city council (HCC) has called on food outlets in town to put public health and safety paramount in their daily service deliveries.
George Titiulu said kai-bars, cafe, restaurants and any food providers must not forget that the service they provide is just as important as their profit making goal.
“Safety and health of the public is important when delivering your service. People will eat what you prepare and it is important the process and handling of food preparation meets stringent health and safety standards,” Titiulu said.
Asked what his department do about the filthy and disgusting environment of food outlets, Mr Titiulu said this is one important issues his team of inspectors are monitoring.
He said any food outlet who fails to meet healthy standards on their checklist will be warned and put on notice to improve their outlets or face temporary closure.
Titiulu said their other task is to work with food service providers giving awareness of healthy and safe practices when handling and processing food for public consumption.
“We are working on hygiene practices for food outlets to ensure they meet hygienic standards in terms of food preparation and service. This is one of the issues that need improvement and my team is working on this,” Titiulu added.
When further asked about mouldy or reheated food sold in some food outlets, the chief environmental health inspector said selling of reheated food is not allowed and must be reported to them for inspection and verification.
Most of the Chinese owned food outlets in town have reportedly re-heating leftover food that has raised health concerns for the public.
Titiuly strongly warned food outlets to stop this practice because it is posing health risks to the public.
“The public must report to us immediately if they found out any food they buy that is mouldy or believed to be reheated. So that our team of inspectors can inspect the outlet and verify that with lab tastings,” Mr Titiulu said.
He called on business owners and the public to work together with them on this very important issue to improve the service to gain public confidence and assure them of the best and healthy service.
However he said council too must provide proper venues like the market for food vendors.
“We are warning food outlets but on the other hand as a provider of avenues to selling food like the market, council need to step up and provide a healthy and hygienic environment where vendors can sell their food,” Titiulu said.
Meanwhile he urged all food providers to be responsible and prioritize public health and safety in their food preparations and service delivery.
By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA