Food safety closes shop

Last week, a local business at Apia was closed down due to safety issues for the public.

A local customer from Apia, Taute’e Leio said that it’s good that the Ministry of Health is investigating and inspecting shops and supermarkets in Samoa.

“I am one of the local customers at the shop, and I am sure that they’re not the only bakery that the Ministry should look at,

“They should also realize that no one can hide forever, there’s always a time that you would be caught if you’re serving your customers unhealthy or unclean food to eat,

“All businesses, restaurants, must work together for the safety of our country especially when it comes to food,

“This matter will also be an alarm to all the businesses in the country, because I believe, this is not new,

“There is heaps of unhealthy food and products reported to the Ministry every day and we have also seen some cases revealed on television and in the papers.

The owner refused to comment further when he was questioned over the matter.

“No! The bakery is good…bakery here is good,” he insisted.

“Just some ants on the floor that the man from the Ministry spotted where we stored the food…everything is clean now, just one day we were closed…one day,

“We’ll take care of everything for the safety of the public.

The official at the Ministry of Health who refused to be named, confirmed that the Ministry issued a letter in relation to ‘food safety’ to the business.

“They were advised not only about food safety but also the hygiene standards in the whole shop.” the official said.

The shop re-opened yesterday after it was closed for a few days ago.

In a previous report in May this year, the Minister of Health, Tuitama Dr. Leao Talalelei Tuitama, unveiled the Ministry’s plan to further strengthen Samoa’s ability to ensure the safety and quality of its food supply.

“We are taking action for the future to ensure that Samoans continue to access safe and suitable food locally and at the same time ensuring that Samoa’s food business operators continue to produce safe and good quality food for both domestic and international markets,” he said.

“To achieve this we introduced a modern Food Act in 2015, we are finalizing new food safety and quality regulations with a strong scientific foundation and are developing guidelines on food recall for both government and food business operators.”

On Monday 2 May 2016, the Director General for Health, Leausa Toleafoa Dr. Take Naseri, advised a combined group of government officers and food business operators that “Food production has been industrialized and its trade and distribution have been globalized. 

“As a consequence, the diversity and quantity of food available to populations around the world, including our Samoan population, has increased significantly.” 

Dr Naseri said the commitment to protecting people’s health and safety is the main focus of the Ministry’s plan to further strengthen Samoa’s ability to ensure the safety and quality of its food supply but also emphasized that a cooperative relationship among public health officials, other government agencies and industry is also important for the food industry’s contribution to Samoa’s economic growth and social wellbeing.

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