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Restaurants will have to display energy content of foods, says top Health Ministry official

Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Karen Boyle.

Restaurants and other eateries across Guyana will soon be required to state the amount of energy each food item provides to consumers, as part of efforts to ensure that people do not fall prey to non-communicable diseases, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Karen Boyle said Wednesday.

Addressing the opening of a seminar for food handlers organised by the Food and Drug Department of the Ministry of Public Health, she suggested that Guyanese needed to guard against the increasing use of fast foods because they cheap but unhealthy.

She said displaying the caloric content of the menus would allow consumers to make informed and healthy choices and know what they are putting into their bodies.

“We are also moving to the point where we are going to want to have food industry, restaurants to be able to demonstrate what are the caloric values of the menus they have. People must again be able to tell, when they look at the menu, how much calories am I going to be taking in by this particular menu as against maybe another one,” she said.

Boyle noted that in other parts of the world, richer persons were becoming increasingly susceptible to non-communicable diseases,  antibiotic resistance because of the growing consumption of genetically modified produce and meat from animals that consumed antibiotics. “The amount of the antibiotics that we are exposed to is not enough to treat anything that we have but what it does do is that it allows us to now develop resistance so that when we are suppose to use antibiotics to treat some disease that we have, the antibiotics would not work,” she said.

Food handlers participating in a seminar organised by the Food and Drug Department of the Ministry of Public Health

She called on manufacturers to ensure that satisfactory standards of hygiene are used in food preparation.

The Deputy Chief Medical Officer said the Public Health Ministry wants the private sector to pay greater attention to the health of consumers instead of only generating profits. “The Ministry of Public Health recognises the importance of private enterprise in the development of the country and the creation of jobs. We recognise the private sector as the growth engine of any free market economy. However, the need for profit must be balanced with the need to protect the health and safety of the public,” she said.

The seminar focused on fire safety requirements for food establishments, food microbiology, pest control, cleaning and sanitation, and personal hygiene.

  • ExPPP_Man

    Good move, this is long overdue.

    • Col123

      There goes you chicken in the ruff Ex KKK dude…ketch fish guy… bake fish with roast plantain…bake some breadfruit.. the yellow type… and you live til you die…

  • rs dasai

    NRG content ? Really? By whom and how measured?

  • Col123

    Push local products Dr Boyle… Plaintains, tania, eddoes, yams, breadfruit.. fish head soup…etc..etc..

  • rudeo

    Who can quattel with eating right?

  • plantain

    Ban dem Amerikun fast food outlets…they contribute nothing helpful to society but extreme sickness & death….when dem people start getting sick after 5 yrs of Pizza Hut,KFC & Church’s fried chicken consumption who bares the burden of trying to get these folks healthy,it sure is not these Amerikun backed garbage selling outlets.
    It never ceases to amaze me,that people see people eating garbage & somehow they have the urge to consume garbage too.
    tek a look at Amerikuns,most fo dem on medications,10-15 medicines to live,and look at grandma Rodney & finey gal,dem people a stay away from restaurant food & at ninety yrs old still ah goh farm ah backdam.

  • Peregrine falcon

    Well done deputy minister. I hope that you have thoroughly examined your proposal. I
    happen to be one of Ontario provincial appointee under the Healthy Menu Choices
    Act. You can access Ontario Health Menu Choices Act at the following hyperlink:
    https://www.ontario.ca/laws/regulation/160050

  • powerplayer

    Ignorant news

    Ms Minister your priority should be the quality of water available at the restaurants for cooking and washing that run thru their taps that they pay for. The quality of meats in this country available for cooking in our restaurants starting off with your sanitary inspectors doing their job to ensure our health. The quality of foods imported into this country for our restaurant folks to buy Again your peers doing a job they are paid for

    As you pursue those there avenues that fall directly under your portfolio you will have less time to burden folks trying to make a living in the society with the infrastructure that you and your peers are responsible to us the people for

    Quit the distraction and do your job!

    • rs dasai

      Power
      And what is her job description? How can we get a description for each Minister’s job ( portfolio)?

  • rs dasai

    Burcho
    The horse ran away.