The Department of State for Health and Social welfare, through its director at the Food Hygiene and Safety Unit, has called on all people involved in the transportation, handling and selling of bread and other foodstuffs to comply to the letter of the law with the Public Health Act, 1990 and Food Hygiene and Safety Act 2005.
Speaking in an interview with The Point recently at his office in Banjul, Programme Manager Food Hygiene and Safety Unit , Momodou Lamin Nget, said that there are recent laws passed out to all bread bakers and foodstuff sellers. According to him, the requirements include that all bakeries in the country must be kept clean at all times, including the premises, and the utensils used in the making of bread. Mr Nget also stated that all bread bakers must wash their bodies and wear clean protective clothing. All bakery buildings must be lime-wash every 6 months, notably in white. He however added that anybody who is involved in preparing, handling, transporting and selling bread must be screened thoroughly against what he called salmonella shegilla and others parasitic infections every 6 months. Mr Nget went on to say that vehicles and bicycle owners who are involved in the transportation of bread must also be made of wood and at all times be kept clean. He stated that ventilation in the baking building, is very important, adding that there must be proper management of dustbins with fittings or covers. He fumed that water being used in preparing breads must be clean and that proper facilities must be provided for use by people working in the bakery. Soaps and clean water must be available at all times. He seriously maintained that people selling bread in the shops must henceforth have proper breads cages made of wood or glass adding that they must avoid touching substances that can bring about cross contamination. He emphasized that they must wash their hands with soap and clean properly.
For him, failure to comply with these laws, will result in severe penalties in accordance with the law and may result in the closure of one premises and legal action being taken against such person. He therefore called on the general public to be vigilant and assist them in reporting to the nearest Health officer any person engaged in unhygienic actions.