The recent collaborative “Blitz” operations that were undertaken by various stakeholders, to inspect the informal ”spaza shop” sector, prompted Environmental Health Officials (EHPs) of the Knysna Municipal Health Services to assist South African citizens from foreign countries that are currently conducting business within the greater Knysna, with health and hygiene awareness.
Initially, the language barrier was a huge challenge which exists between foreigners, especially the Moslim communities from Bangladesh, Somalia and Ethiopia. This inspired EHPs from the Knysna office to design and compile a Health and Hygiene Awareness poster in the most general – spoken Arabic dialect. These posters will assist shop owners with the legal requirements that are required within the applicable legislation as prescribed by the Foodstuff, Cosmetics and Disinfectant Act, Act 54 of 1972.
The following focus areas were included on the posters:
- Procuring foodstuff from certified retailers.
- Selling of compromised foodstuff.
- Temperature control labelling.
- Expired foodstuff.
This project is aimed towards the 2018 World Environmental Health Day theme of, “Global Food Safety and Sustainability” and will be rolled out to the other local authorities within the Garden Route District.
On Friday, 16 November 2018 during a ceremony that was held in Hornlee at the Knysna Musallah Mosquee, the posters were handed over to the designated representatives of the Moslim business sector community of Knysna by the local Environmental Health Practitioners, Mr James McCarthy and Mr Linden Herwells.
During the ceremony, the local Muslim business sector and the Imam of the Knysna Musallah expressed their gratitude towards this gesture. They also committed themselves to provide safe food to the community of Knysna.