Category: <span>Food Control</span>

13 July 2022 Media Release: GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners annually ensures Knysna Oyster Festival safe

Media Release: GRDM Environmental Health Practitioners annually ensures Knysna Oyster Festival safe

For immediate release
13 July 2022

Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) of the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) fulfils their mandatory duties by ensuring that hygiene standards at all festivals are maintained.  The recent Knysna Oyster Festival is one of many examples where EHPs worked diligently to ensure quality health standards were maintained.

Role and interventions during the festival

EHPs from the GRDM Knysna office prepared for the Knysna Oyster Festival well in advance.  They had to plan, and implement mitigating and monitoring activities for the entire festival. This already started days before the festival commenced and concluded after the festival officially ended.

Food control

  • All informal food premises were inspected before and during the festival, including daily inspections at Oyster Festival “Hot spots”;
  • Inspections were also conducted at various locations in town where thousands of oysters were kept under prescribed conditions;
  • Several batches of oyster samples were dispatched to the Merieux NutriSciences Laboratory in Cape Town for bacteriological analysis, prior to the start of the festival, to establish the status of the holding tank water, as well as the bacteriological oyster quality. This lab requested EHPs from the Garden Route District assist with the surveillance of oysters procured from other areas within the Southern Cape; and
  • The drinking water to be provided to the athletes participating in the Forest Marathon was analysed to ensure compliance with the Bottled Water Regulations: “Regulation 692 of 1997, promulgated under the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectant Act (Act 54 of 1972)”.

Water quality monitoring

Bacteriological water monitoring of the Knysna Estuary was conducted by sampling water at 14 sites in and around the estuary.

Health surveillance of premises

Regular inspections and health surveillance of premises of all related public amenities was undertaken during the Festival, including:

  • Public toilet facilities;
  • Accommodation establishments;
  • Cycle race registration;
  • Marathon;
  • Food markets; and
  • Tobacco control at premises.

Communicable disease outbreak

The local EHPs and relevant medical health care providers have established a strict protocol for reporting communicable disease outbreaks. Hospitals, general practitioners, and pharmacies, both private and provincial, were included.

After the festival, the EHPs participated in debriefing sessions to discuss the best practices and challenges identified.

For any further information, please contact GRDM Lakes (Knysna) Region Municipal Health Services:

Mr James McCarty

Chief:  Municipal Health Lakes (Knysna)

Tel: 044 382 7214

Cell: 082 805 9417

Address: 26A Queen Street, Knysna

 

 Mr. Johan Compion

Manager: Municipal Health & Environmental Services

E-mail: johan@gardenroute.gov.za

Tel: 044 803 1300

Featured image:  Picture taken during an oyster competition at Taste of Knysna.

12 April 2022 Media Release: Saasveld road construction is nearing completion

Media Release: Saasveld road construction is nearing completion

For immediate release
12 April 2022

Good progress is being made on repairs of Madiba Drive, also known as Saasveld road. Months of earth-and foundation work have been done by the Garden Route District Municipality’s (GRDM) Roads Services.  Ten Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP)  contract workers are appointed to assist with the project. The work is performed using in-house resources, personnel, and EPWP contract workers. The Saasveld road has been inaccessible since November’s flash flood last year.

Earlier this year, the old Armco structure under the road was removed, and the work area was accessed. Approximately 600 m3 of material had to be excavated to reach the bottom of the pipe and to lay the 200 mm diameter pipe (bypass pipe) in order to prevent the trench from flooding.

On Tuesday, 1 March 2022, a further 600 mm was excavated due to the wetness of the in-situ material. The GRDM Construction Team had sourced more materials to strengthen the bedding before they could lay off the 1.8 m concrete pipe.

Four to five layers of bedding were constructed; the first was rock-filled, the second was gravel material mixed with cement, and the third, the laying of the pipes.

 

Pipe laying commenced on 4 April 2022.  Mr John G Daniels, Executive Manager of the GRDM Roads Services and the Portfolio Chairperson of Roads and Transport Services, Alderman Petru Terblanche, were on-site to witness the laying of the first pipe.  The anticipated date to finish laying all the pipes is 14 April 2022.  Upon completion, in-situ material mixed with cement will be used as a cradle to support the pipes and bulk backfilling to 300 mm below road level will commence.  Three layers will then be constructed; 150 mm of sub-base, 150 mm of base course and the surface layer.

According to Mr Lungisa Qendu, Senior Engineering Technician on the construction site, they have already laid six units.  “The in-situ material has been taken to the laboratory for testing, and other materials are currently in the procurement process,” said Qendu.

Mr Qendu further explained that the team’s aim and priority are to lay all pipes, backfill, and open the road as soon as possible.  Activities like headwalls and gabions will not affect road users as these are outside the roadway.

The road closure has caused inconvenience to regular users of the road who has to make use of alternative routes. We thank them for their patience and assure them that we are doing everything possible to have the route reopened as soon as possible.

Click on the link below for a short video of on-site operations.

 

17 March 2021 Media Release: District food control measures remain key to ensuring safe food consumption

Media Release: District food control measures remain key to ensuring safe food consumption

For Immediate Release
17 March 2021

Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) is one of the 44 district municipalities and eight (8) metro municipalities in South Africa who has to monitor all food premises to ensure that food is produced, handled, stored, processed and distributed safely. It is therefore important for Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) to inspect food premises to assess that food products purchased by customers are safe for human consumption and are of exceptional quality.

In order for GRDM to align itself to the provisions of health related legislation, regular inspections are conducted at all premises where food products are handled and/or stored.  These businesses, be it formal or informal, are not limited to hotels, restaurants, spaza shops, dairy farms, butcheries school feeding schemes and retail outlets.  While at a premises inspection, EHP check if food products are labelled correctly, hygiene standards are in place, storage is done according to generally accepted standards, food products are handled correctly and also ensure that preventative measures are in place to avoid pest control issues. These inspections are done in accordance with the Regulations governing general hygiene requirements for food premises and the Transport of food; Regulation 638 of 22 June 2018.

The following figures of work outputs for the period January 2017 up to December 2020 are of interest and provide an indication of the number of site visits, which were conducted by GRDM EHPs throughout the region.

  1. Number of food premises inspections: 42 404
  2. Number of water samples taken: 7 784
  3. Food samples taken: 2036
  4. Health surveillance conducted at premises: 92 436 (these include non-food premises)

The general public can be assured that measures are in place to ensure that safe and healthy food products are provided to all consumers. Furthermore, the public is urged to report any irregularities, complaints or non-compliance to their nearest GRDM Municipal Health office, or to lodge such issues via phone to 044 805 1550 or e-mail info@gardenroute.gov.za.

All complaints will be attended to and timeous feedback will be provided.

ENDS