The Government Analyst-Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) says it has observed that some caterers and vendors when delivering and/or selling foods consistently allow food to be kept in unhealthy temperatures in excess of two hours, contributing to food poisoning.
The department said this practice allows for the rapid growth and multiplication of Pathogenic (bad) bacteria that may result in food poisoning or food intoxication by bacteria or their toxins when used by consumers. Unsuspecting consumers are then presented with food-borne disease symptoms such as diarrhea (acute gastroenteritis- AGE), vomiting and stomach cramps in some cases.
As such, Vendors and other operatives in the food service industry (ready to eat food) are being advised to ensure foods are served to consumers at the correct temperature by using warmers and chillers.
In 2009 the Ministry of Public Health in collaboration with the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), conducted a Burden of Illness (BOI) study where it was reported that the overall monthly average of self-reported cases of Acute Gastroenteritis (AGE) was 7.7% and the yearly prevalence was 1.0 episode per person-year. The statistics generated from that BOI appears to be higher than similar studies conducted in other countries. This suggested that diarrheal illness is common in Guyana with public health and economic significance.
Consumers on the other hand are advised to purchase foods that are served in warmers or chillers where applicable.