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26 June 2024 Media Release: Environmental Health Practitioners ensuring food safety at the Oyster Festival

Media Release: Environmental Health Practitioners ensuring food safety at the Oyster Festival

For immediate release
26 June 2024

The Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) based at the Knysna office has prepared for the 41st annual Knysna Oyster Festival well in advance.

They have been planning and are implementing a mitigation and monitoring work schedule before, during and for after the festival.  According to James McCarthy, Chief EHP for the Knysna region: “The purpose of the schedule is to minimise and address any public health issue that might arise at the festival”.

During the first weekend (21- 23 June 2024), thousands of marathon runners were welcomed to Knysna, participating in the annual Knysna Forest Marathon.  The second weekend (28 – 30 June 2024) hosts the Knysna Cycling event which is expected to attract numerous enthusiastic cyclists from across the country.

Pre-festival inspections, as well as inspections during the event are undertaken of all formal and informal food premises, including:

  • Eleven (11) official Oyster potential hotspot food venues have been identified where culinary events will take place for the duration of the festival.
  • Daily inspections at these venues, as well as additional food premises are being undertaken.
  • The local High school sportsground that serves as central Festival “hub “.
  • The return of the ever-popular informal stalls (“Oyster Alley”) at the Festival Ground is a favourite crowd attraction with more than 20 food and craft stores selling their goods to tourists and locals.
  • Inspections are also undertaken at various locations in town, where thousands of oysters are kept under required conditions.

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

  • Public toilet facilities;
  • Accommodation establishments;
  • Festival grounds;
  • Food markets;
  • Tobacco control at premises.


 A strict communication protocol regarding the reporting of any potential communicable disease outbreak between the GRDM and the relevant medical health care providers in the area. This includes both the private and provincial hospitals, general practitioners and pharmacies.

For any additional information regarding the festival, please contact:

Knysna Region
James McCarthy
26A Queen Street, Knysna
E-mail: Tel: 044 382 7214 / Cell: 082 805 9417  /or

Johan Compion
Manager: Municipal Health & Environmental Services
E-mail: / Tel: 044 803 1300 / Cell: 082 803 5161

Feature Image: Supplied