CARIRI’s Caribbean Food Safety Centre (CFSC) has a proven track record in improving food safety in the Caribbean. As a result, we were given the responsibility of two major projects funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB),involving work with food vendors and micro-processors.
Food Safety Project – Tobago
The first project - “Improving Food Safety Standards Among Street Vendors and Micro-Processors in Tobago” - took place in 2008 and, due to its tremendous success, another project followed in 2011.
Food Safety Project – Selected OECS Countries
The second project - “Promoting Knowledge Management through Learning Communities - Improving Food Safety Management Practices among Food Vendors, Caterers, and Processors in Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines and the Commonwealth of Dominica” - was also successful, with both satisfying all the IDB’s expectations.
Activities of the projects included:
- Food Safety Forum –to raise awareness among food handlers of the project and of food safety generally.
- Baseline Assessment – CFSC conducted an initial audit/gap analysis at each selected food handler’s facility, to ascertain existing practices and procedures.
- Implementation Visits -to assist participants to improve existing practices and implement recommendations.
- Monitoring Audit –to determine progress that auditees were making in their food handling operations
- Final Audit –to measure the degree of improvements made from the start of the project.
- Microbiological Analyses –CFSC tested food and water samples at participants’ facilities, both at the beginning and end of the projects to help determine whether there were improvements in food handling practices.
- Construction of a Food Safe Vending Booth
- Development of a Food Safety Manual and CD – specific to the food culture, lifestyle and practices of the specific country
- Training programmes tailored for the various project stakeholders
- Creation of a database for food handlers –to track their performance in implementing GMPs, etc.