Pressure on food safety for 500 000 visitors in 2010

2009-11-16 00:00

THE upcoming 2010 Fifa World Cup will put enormous pressure on local food producers and the government to ensure the safety and quality of all food to be consumed during the event, said Carlman Moyo, director for the sub-Saharan Africa region of food safety testing company DuPont.

Provincial and municipal health authorities will be responsible for ensuring suppliers in their region are adhering to the necessary food safety levels during the World Cup.

It is estimated that over 500 000 visitors are expected to descend on South Africa next year. They will eat more than 30 million meals over a five-week period.

Catering for breakfast alone will require about 116,5 tons of cereals, 93,2 tons of bread, 69,9 tons of bacon, 4,7 million eggs, 311 777 litres of milk and 116 510 litres of yoghurt, said Moyo.

Moyo said that having proper systems in place to test food quickly and accurately will be important for produ­cers, as incidents involving contaminated food could be extremely costly from a financial and reputational point of view.

Dr Doris Engesser, a business director of DuPont, commended South Africa for being in the forefront of food safety technology and surveillance and monitoring, but said the country should be on guard to allow for early detection of contamination.

“Many opportunities for food contamination exist,” said Engesser. “Products that are not stored at the appropriate temperature or cooked adequately can harbour bacteria that cause food-borne illness. Poor personal hygiene, such as not washing hands adequately before and after handling food can introduce bacteria into food products and the food chain.”

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