Carnival Health and Food Safety Tips

Article edited from Newsday article entitled: Health and food safety at Carnival
Tuesday, February 9 2010,115553.html

Be very careful about where and what you consume this Carnival. Join the concerned food vendor by insisting on:

- Clean food preparation facilities and environment — no garbage, no stray animals, no visible signs of dirt on walls, countertops, equipment and so on.

- Potable water and soap for washing hands and utensils at the food preparation booth or location

- Clean food vendors and food providers — no dirty hands, no dirty fingernails, no dirty clothing, must be wearing full head covering, no jewelry

- Try to avoid water and drinks that are not bottled by reputable suppliers eg do not buy drinks or water in cups, plastic bags or in bottles that have been re-used

- Vendors handling food should not also be handling money

- All food providers must have a valid food badge displayed - it’s the law!

- Only buy from food facilities that have toilet areas for the food providers. If you are buying from a food vendor, ensure that you are aware of toilet facilities nearby for the vendor to use. If you don’t know of any toilet facilities close by, you should be asking yourself ‘ During the course of the day, where is this vendor doing his/her business?’

- Do not eat raw oysters, because the pepper really cannot kill the bacteria. Ensure that the foods you eat are either piping hot (you should see steam) or very cold. Remember “warm” foods sold to you can be contaminated with the thousands of bacteria and other germs that thrive at “warm” temperatures.

- Don’t be fooled by food providers wearing gloves. If the gloves are not changed regularly, you can still get food poisoning by food contamination from dirty gloves. So pay attention and make sure that the food provider changes the gloves if he/she moves away from the food and handle other non-food items. The gloves also need to be changed if the vendor scratches or touches his/her skin, hair or clothing.

- If you are taking your own food on your Carnival lime, the same rules apply to you. Make sure that your foods are stored piping hot or very cold. All cooked foods, salads, sandwiches and homemade drinks should be eaten within 2-4 hours of preparation.

Article edited from Newsday article entitled: Healthy Carnival eating tips
Wednesday, February 10 2010,115569.html

Eating Tips
  • Don’t Go Hungry ­ Never go to an event with an empty stomach. Make sure you have a good breakfast and a light snack before heading out. A light snack can include protein and carbohydrates, even some yogurt, fruits or mixed nuts. This can help you to curb your appetite at those all inclusive fetes.

  • Choose Carefully ­ Look over the spread before you pick up your plate in order to avoid overeating. Make sure to choose vegetables and salads.

  • Think Tablespoon ­ Count in tablespoons, not serving spoons; you can try various dishes, but limit yourself to one or two tablespoons.

    Drinking Tips
  • Remember, you do not need to drink alcohol to have a good time. However, if you do decide to consume alcohol, you are advised of the following:

  • Avoid alcohol or if you must drink, limit alcohol intake ­ Some alcoholic drinks are very high in calories. Limit your intake of alcohol and then switch to water (no calories). Do not drink and drive or use heavy machinery ­ Alcohol impairs your ability to react, causes drowsiness, and affects judgement. If you decide to drink alcohol, please designate a driver.

  • Do not combine alcohol with medications ­ Persons who are on medications and wish to drink should NOT stop taking their medications for the sake of drinking. Please consult your doctor to advise you accordingly.

  • Keep yourself hydrated ­ Alternating alcohol with water will reduce the amount of alcohol you consume.

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