Compulsory medical tests, dress code for food industry
The Health Ministry has given strict instructions to all hotel,
restaurant and eating house owners to ensure that their workers undergo
medical tests and conform to a proper dress code.
"The medical tests will have to be performed only at a government
laboratory such as the Colombo Municipal council (CMC) lab for those in
the CMC area; the Government Analyst's Department is open to all workers
islandwide and the Medical Research Institute. No reports of tests
conducted in a private institution will be accepted", Director, Food
Administration Unit, Health Ministry, K. Tillekeratne told Sunday
He said tests on hotel workers conducted at the CMC lab when food
outlets were asked to get their workers medically tested prior to
renewing their licences, had revealed communicable diseases such as
Hepatitis, TB and skin ailments such as eczema.
"No one suffering from these diseases will be allowed to handle food,
let alone serve food. They will have to be treated and given a clean
bill of health if they want to remain in the food industry", he said.
Reiterating that food-borne diseases were on the increase, he said
even star class hotels were guilty of serving unhygienic food which
contained harmful pollutants including ants, flies and other insects. He
stressed that food handlers especially should conform to a dress code
which included, gloves, masks and caps; they should be fully clothed
instead of being bare chested while cooking. Soap and water should also
be easily accessible to all food handlers , he emphasised.
Tillekeratne said training programs for hotel workers and owners on
food safety rules were under way with special programs for Public Health
Inspectors and MOHs on new trends in food technology, to improve food
quality in all food outlets.