Health Unit to start checking roadside stands and water trucks

NIC-RoadsideStandBy David Judd
The health unit is about to start checking jam, pickles, pies and other processed food sold at roadside stands in Norfolk and Haldimand.
The unit suspects about a dozen vendors are selling products that may be hazardous to buyers, Patti Moore, general manager of health and social services, reported to Haldimand-Norfolk’s board of health on July 15.
Ms. Moore presented photos of two potentially unsafe jars of pickled eggs seized from a farmers market vendor in May.
The jars had been reused and were leaking.
Improperly preserved foods pose threats of botulism.
They may also carry moulds, bacteria, viruses or parasites that may result in enteric illnesses.
Fruit, vegetables, honey and other unprocessed products from local farms are exempt from provincial regulations.
But the health unit will work with vendors to ensure jams, pickles, baked goods and other processed foods comply with food premises regulations.
These products cannot be made in home kitchens.
They must be made in inspected and approved kitchens, such as kitchens in churches and community halls.
Labels must list ingredients, dates of manufacture and contact information for producers.
Until now the health unit has not sought to inspect farm gate products.
But the unit has become aware of close to 60 vendors listed in local tourist publications.
The health unit must inspect these places to avoid liability if products cause illness.
Trucks that deliver drinking water will be inspected starting next year.
About 50 trucks deliver drinking water for 25 companies in Haldimand-Norfolk, Patti Moore, general manager of health and social services, told Haldimand-Norfolk’s board of health on July 15.
In Haldimand alone, the trucks haul 220 million litres of water a year.
Water contaminated through improper sanitation, poor vehicle maintenance or unsafe equipment handling may cause serious, even fatal, illness.
The local health unit will start inspections in 2015.
For the first two years, inspectors will work with operators to achieve voluntary compliance.

Posted: July 24, 2014

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