Ministry of Health advises public on food safety during the 2016 Carnival Season

(Photo courtesy

January 20, 2016: Every year millions of people across the world become infected with some type of food borne illness. This can be avoided and in this vein, the Ministry of Health would like to share tips on how citizens can protect themselves and their loved ones from unsafe food and water, especially during the Carnival period. 

Cleanliness of food handler/vendor

Observe the appearance and personal habits of the food handler:

  • The food handler should have a valid “food handler badge” prominently displayed at all times
  • Person should have clean clothing and their head should be covered
  • Nails should be short, clean and there should be an  absence of nail polish and excessive jewelry
  • Persons should not have rashes and other visible skin infections
  • Persons should not be smoking, picking their noses and scratching other parts of their body
  • Persons should not be coughing, sneezing and displaying other symptoms that suggest they are ill


Cleanliness of food area

Observe the general cleanliness of the area in which the food is being offered for sale:

  • Dirt and garbage will attract flies and other pests which can contaminate food
  • There should be provision for hand washing and bathroom facilities for both food handlers and patrons


Display and sale of food

  • Food offered for sale should be protected at all times from contamination by use of appropriate containers and covers
  • Purchase foods that are displayed on warmers or chillers. Hot foods should be served hot (above 60°C) and cold foods served cold (below 5°C). Avoid foods that have been sitting at room temperature. Examples of food that should be served hot include meats, rice, vegetables etc
  • Foods that are cooked in your presence should also be safe
  • Do not buy food you think may not be thoroughly cooked
  • Food must be served in single service items
  • Cooked foods should not be displayed next to raw foods.
  • Appropriate utensils should be used for handling foods e.g. tongs, spoons etc. Different tongs should be used when handling different foods.
  • Food handlers should wear disposable gloves and should not handle money.
  • Straws must be individually wrapped


Water and Ice Safety Tips

  • Once a food contains or comes in contact with water,  that food is at risk of being contaminated if the water is unclean
  • Foods that are high risk include beverages (juices, drinks etc), fruits & vegetables, bottled water, snow cone, stored water etc.
  • Ensure that water and ice are free from color, haze, odor, debris and off-taste
  • Use only ice made with potable (clean & drinkable) water
  • Do not use untreated water for food preparation, washing of utensils, equipment or hand washing.
  • Use cleaned & sanitized utensils & tools to handle or store ice and water
  • Keep potable water in a cool, sanitary place to avoid microbial growth & other contaminants
  • Do not store water or ice in containers that did not previously contain food e.g. paint buckets
  • Use clean ice to cool foods
  • Purchase water & ice from only reputable suppliers (this includes bottled water)


For further information please contact:

The Corporate Communications Unit

Ministry of Health


Food safety
Carnival 2016
Ministry of health food safety tips
Ministry of Health
Minister of Health
Terrance Deyalsingh
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