Bad food

Health officials insist on best practices at campus

Environmental health officers from the Ministry of Health are meeting tomorrow with all island associations, clubs and societies at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies to discuss food safety.

The meeting, which is an effort to educate students about safe food preparation, handling and distribution, follows an incident on Tuesday when food prepared by the Antigua and Barbuda Student Association (ABSA) for a cultural food day, was ordered to be thrown away.

The order was given by a health inspector after it was found that the food was not being kept at the required temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

The session tomorrow, which was scheduled before Tuesday’s incident, will involve simulating conditions under which food is usually sold on campus by student groups to facilitate their understanding of what is required, said a news release issued by the management of UWI Cave Hill.

The discarded Antiguan dish – seasoned – rice, was being kept at 91 degrees Fahrenheit, 49 degrees below temperature regulations.

Noting that the Cave Hill Campus has struck up a relationship over the years with the Ministry of Health in establishing guidelines for food handling, the release said health and safety guidelines provided to students were as a result of this ongoing relationship to ensure that there were no public health threats resulting from the sale of food on campus.

The release said when students are assessed by the Student Health Clinic for food handlers’ certificates, they are advised to make sure they know the health regulations that govern their events. The requirements are also discussed at student activity planning meetings with the various clubs and societies on campus.

Giving the background to Tuesday’s incident, the release said the health official attached to the Brandford Taitt Polyclinic on Black Rock, St Michael, visited the campus to oversee the set-up and display for the students’ food distribution and sale at the cultural event. His conclusion was that the organisers had not complied with prescribed protocols to facilitate the safe handling of food.

In an incident at Cave Hill approximately two years ago, 60 students became ill as a result of food distributed for a breakfast event.

Campus management said following the simulation exercise, the ABSA would be offered another opportunity to restage the food event under conditionalities conducive to accustomed and approved standards.

The incident made headline news in the Antigua Observer with the student group expressing concern that they were discriminated against.

After meeting with the health inspector, the Office of Student Services, and members of the Guild/Student Government, the group suggested that the $800 spent on the preparation of the Antiguan food should be reimbursed.

6 Responses to Bad food

  1. carson c cadogan September 25, 2015 at 7:28 am

    It is alleged that the Health Inspector also threw bleach on all the food not just the rice.

    She ruined the Antigua and Barbauda Students day. The matter could have been handled with more tact and understanding.

    The students ought to take the matter to CCJ Court. One would think that after the Shanique Myrie case that Civil Servants in Barbados would be more careful. But it seems like they have not learned their lesson as yet. That is why the country is now faced with a US$1million legal bill to Myrie’s layers.

    And we wonder why the people of other Caribbean countries dont like us.

    I aplogise to the Antigua and Barbuda students on the behalf of all right thinking Bajans.

  2. dave September 25, 2015 at 10:16 am

    I support Margaret Knight in everything said.

  3. lswiltshire September 25, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    carson c cadogan
    what the hell do you know about public health
    the public health inspectors carried out their duties according to their training
    they would made sir maurice byer the father of our great public health system very proud

    it is amazing how medical illiterates in barbados pontificate on things that they know nothing about

    the Antigua and Barbauda Students ruined their own day by seeking to sell contaminated food in Barbados

    prevention of the spread of shigella, salmonella, klebsiella etc in barbados is paramount —it has nothing to do with tact and understanding

    the public health officer determined that the food was not being kept at the required temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
    this gives them the medical and legal right to ditch the food

  4. carson c cadogan September 25, 2015 at 6:32 pm


    Who the dog likes, he licks and who he hates he bites. Just remember that.

    Just two examples.

    (1) Yesterday I visited a facility where large volumes of fruits and vegtables are sold. Before I could even enter the doors of the place , I was greeted with boxes and boxes of rotting oranges, English potatoes, Grapefruits. This is even before I entered the place. I had reason to look into one of their cold storage rooms, the room was filthy. Now this is a place which sells to restaurants, Hotels, roadside vendors, Supermarkets, house holders. I had to say to myself where are the health Inspectors? Not one in sight. And this business operates every single week of the year.

    (2) Take a drive down to Baxters Road, there is a place called the fish fry village or some such name right next to the Traffic Lights. The place is dirty most of the time, black and dingy, with all types of improvised cooking utensils. Yet food is prepared there night after night for human consumption. I would not be caught dead in that place. I would let you tell me the last time you saw a Health Inspector anywhere near there with a Gallon of Bleach in her hands.

    So tell me again about ” shigella, salmonella, klebsiella etc”. Do they only live at the booth of the Antigua and Barbuda students at UWI?

    This matter could have been handled in a different and better way other than ruining these childrens day just because they are from down the Islands.

  5. lswiltshire September 25, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    your argument is a non sequitur

    we were discussing bad food at uwi

    our competent health inspectors made a decision which was in their power based on science

    if you know of places that need inspection by health officials, you should report this to the relevant branch of the health inspctorate

    let eustine teach you not to bring your stupid arguments here
    you are a medical illiterate and a public health illiterate and you do not know a thing about

    let eustine teach you shut up and let the trained health inspectors do they job

    clearly you do not know where they would expect to find ” shigella, salmonella, klebsiella etc”

    the public health officer determined that the food was not being kept at the required temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
    this gives them the medical and legal right to ditch the food


  6. carson c cadogan September 26, 2015 at 5:26 am


    The Courts can.


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