Food safety: Situation has improved considerably in Colombo – doc

By Dilanthi Jayamanne  

The Colombo Municipal Public Health Department yesterday observed that food samples taken for analysis from hotels and restaurants in the city indicated a 50 percent reduction in contamination. 

Chief of the Public Health Department, Dr. Pradeep Kariyawasam said that most often food was contaminated due to unhygienic food handling practices. The situation had improved due to stringent action taken by the PHD against errant food handlers, he said.

Dr. Kariyawasam said that many of the complaints his department had received were due to new comers into the industry. Many employed in the industry migrated after two to three years of training in a local food establishment in search of better prospects. Those who replaced them need to be schooled in the trade. He observed that majority of hotels were particular about the hygiene of those they recruited.  

The programme would be extended to small scale hotels and eateries in collaboration with one of the trade chambers. The aim was to improve conditions in them as they were mainly affected by structural problems due to lack of space. However the food prepared in them was more hygienic, the PHD Chief said.  

"It does not mean that the food handlers in these places are more hygienic but that the food is served while it is still hot and a majority of the kitchens are open,so that patrons can see what goes on there." 

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