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Public health inspectors partner with Chinese nationals to enhance food safety

Friday, November 16, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Public Health Inspectors in Clarendon are being lauded for initiating a programme that trains Chinese nationals and their Jamaican workers in food safety, in order to improve the standards in their establishments.

Some 24 Chinese nationals were trained recently in areas of personal hygiene, food protection, proper hand washing, solid waste management, food storage, pest control, general sanitation, keeping bathrooms clean and how a food handler should dress.

Their Jamaican workers were also given training in workplace ethics, interpersonal relationships, and how to deal with the language barrier.

Public Health Inspector from the Clarendon Health Services, Gabrielle Jackson, who is the zone supervisor for the Spalding Health District, explained that normally people who work in food establishments would take a test for the food handler's permit, but for the Chinese nationals, the language barrier has been playing a part in maintaining satisfactory levels of food safety compliance.

She noted that the Clarendon team decided to take a new approach and train the Chinese nationals and their Jamaican workers in an effort to assist them with functioning effectively and adhering to the food safety requirements.

“We had a desire to do something that would make a change, a difference. We initiated the workshop which would train the Chinese nationals in the required food safety areas. We had to meet them halfway because they weren't able to close the facilities to attend the training and so we decided to take the training to them and have the training in groups,” Jackson said.

Jackson pointed out that the training has been successful as the group used interpreters and presentation tools to assist with the workshops.

“Some of the Chinese nationals have little knowledge of the English Language so we had to get dramatic and practical which we realised resulted in them understanding us better. We gave them group work and they had to make presentations on what they would do on a written food handler's permit examination, and the groups did very well. They will receive their food handler's certification at a later time,” Jackson said.

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