More Than 10,000 Food Services Paralyzed In Villa Clara For Health Infractions / 14ymedio, Zunilda Mata

Hygiene rules require workers to protect food from human hair and not to take money with the same hand that served the food. (EFE)
Hygiene rules require workers to protect food from human hair and not to take money with the same hand that served the food. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Zunilda Mata, Havana, 8 January 2015 – More than 10,000 services in Villa Clara have been paralyzed for health infractions, according to a report from the Department of Health Inspection Control published in the official press on Wednesday.

In addition, the repeated failure of 11 establishments to comply with the health regulations has led to their being brought to court. These businesses many not open again until the health violations are resolved.

Food exposed for hours, undercooked meat, and inadequate cleaning are some of the most common health infractions detected in2015 in state and private food services in the province. The inspections led to the closure of 19 food establishments in Villa Clara, the withdrawal of 1,200 licenses for self-employment, and the imposition of 13,000 fines.

As revealed to the press by Manuel Santos, a department official in Villa Clara, centers for the processing and sale of food, including snack bars, restaurants, coffee shoos and workers dining rooms, have been affected by the preventive measures.

Another of the most common infractions is committed by employees who serve food with their hands, without correctly using protective clothing designed for kitchens and food service. To this is added the placing of raw meat near sausages and smoked meats, increasing the risk of salmonella, a disease caused by a bacterium that causes severe diarrhea, vomiting and headache.

The drought affecting the country has aggravated the problems in hygiene in many places serving food, as their water supply has diminished in recent months. Other difficulties, including acquiring detergent, transport, and appropriate refrigeration equipment affect both government and private businesses.

Health standard violations storing, handling and preparation of food put consumers’ health at risk. First Deputy Health Minister Jose Angel Portal Miranda confirmed in the National Assembly, last December, that acute diarrheal diseases had decreased by 13.5% in 2015 over the previous year, but not as much as in 2014 when they were down 25.6% compared to 2013.

In recent weeks television has reinforced messages urging consumers to avoid eating foods that have not been properly protected, or that have some into contact with dust or flies. The adds alert staff not to handle food with the same hand that touches money.