Food safety concerns Kokopo


FOOD poisoning is a growing problem in East New Britain, health authorities say.
Kokopo-Vunamami Urban local level government revealed in a food safety and quality training last week that about five people fell victim to food poisoning every day in Kokopo.
The training highlighted that although the number of cases was below 10, it did not mean that food outlets in Kokopo City and Rabaul town were all safe.
Participants from various supermarkets and business houses in the provinces who had attended the training learnt that the growing number of fast food outlets in the city was a contributing factor to the rise in cases of food poisoning in Kokopo.
This was because there were too many fast food outlets against only two environmental health officers at the urban LLG which made monitoring difficult.
The training highlighted that the growing number of fast food outlets in Kokopo also meant that there were large quantities of food prepared every day and often leftovers were heated and sold the next day.
It was also highlighted during the training that most fast food outlets in the city employed untrained and careless staff.
The participants learnt 10 common causes of food poisoning: inadequate cooling/refrigeration; too much time between preparation and consumption; inadequate reheating temperatures; inadequate cooking and cross contamination; infected food handlers; inadequate hot holding temperatures; inadequate hand washing; contaminated raw foods and ingredients; and improper cleaning of cooking equipment and utensils.

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