By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) in collaboration with the Food and Drug Department on Tuesday, September 15 opened a food safety workshop at the Herdmanston Lodge; however representatives from one the most important sectors in the industry were absent.
Representatives from street side snackettes and Chinese restaurants were absent from the event which was geared towards enhancing safety practices in the delivery of services to customers.
Head of the Food and Drug Department, Marlon Cole explained to reporters that the event was the initial workshop and these entities would be included in future workshops.
Cole explained that invitations were sent out to one Chinese restaurant – Hilton, however that entity received the invitation too late hence could not make the event.
He explained that initially there were 45 persons that chose to attend the workshop but this was reduced to 32 after some persons did not manage to pass the proficiency examination.
Representatives from Church’s Chicken and Juice Power were at the three day workshop.
“We invited 42 persons but the training is only for 32….we could not have targeted roadside vendors, you guys know, most if not all, roadside vendors would not have been exposed to food safety training before,” said Cole.
He later added that some amount of “tweaking” would be done to ensure that roadside food vendors are given the opportunity to attend the workshop.
Meanwhile, GCCI President Lance Hinds stated that training would present Guyana with the ideal opportunity to increase its standing in the Caribbean and around the world as it relates to tourism.
“ServSafe is an international recognized food and beverage safety certification programme that is administered by the National Restaurant Association of the United States and it is accredited by the American National Standards institute,” Hinds stated.
He said that GCCI would readily lend support to such initiatives since it would lead to the betterment of the tourism industry.
“We believe that if we are going to compete in the region further afield it is critical that our services are up to par,” said Hinds.