A highly successful event was held at the Thembalethu Community Hall, on Wednesday, 26 September 2018, in commemoration of Wold Environmental Health Day (WEHD), initiated by the International Federation of Environmental Health. This year marks the 7th celebration of the event in South Africa, in recognition of the need to improve environmental health to protect human health.
The theme for 2018 is “Global Food Safety and Sustainability”, aimed to support the provision of safer food, for people to make use of the precious water and nutrient resources and for communities to increasingly value sustainable food production, distribution and consumption.
Approximately 80 people, consisting of informal and formal food and meat traders, small farmers, caterers, crèche cooks and community members, from Thembalethu, were present at the interactive information session. The objectives of the event were to educate, share and discuss the legal requirements in the food industry as well as major threats to food safety, in particularly the incorrect handling of foodstuff; climate change; anti-microbial resistance; antibiotics in meat; food wastage and access to safe water and chemicals.
Mr Tony Dyers of the Veterinarian Service delivered an informative presentation on meat safety, followed by Dr Dyason of the Department of Agriculture, who shared facts about Rabies, the symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention of the disease in animals.
The Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) of the George Municipal Health Office furthermore enlightened attendees on counterfeit foodstuffs; “best before” dates and the five keys to safer food.
Similar celebrations were conducted in other areas within the Garden Route District, and according to the organisers of the event, the envisaged goals were achieved.
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela