29 October 2014 saw a real celebration taking place on St Helena as for the past six months Susan White, who has a RSPH international training centre, has been working with Enterprise St Helena to upskill people from the hospitality and food sectors as part of a food safety management programme.
St Helena is a remote island in the South Atlantic Ocean, it is UK Overseas Territory and self-governing with a population of around 4,000.
Food safety legislation at the moment is not as comprehensive as the UK but that will all change in 2015 when new food safety regulations come into force.
The RSPH food safety training courses were well attended with 130 people gaining a 100% pass rate at level 2 and level 3 food safety and level 2 HACCP along with some distinctions, this equates to around 45% of people employed within the hospitality and food sectors on the island.
Following the courses Susan has been working with 23 business owners / operators to implement a robust food safety management system. Each business has shown total commitment to provide safe food for the island and there have been so many positive changes that Susan has seen during the past few months following the training. The food safety management programme will be taken forward by public health in 2015.
As the tourist industry grows on St Helena with the opening of an airport in 2016 there will be a demand for high standards of food safety. By gaining the RSPH qualifications and participating in the food safety management programme, the future for St Helena’s hospitality and food businesses is looking great and heading towards international standards.
2015 will see stage two of this project with more RSPH food safety training courses taking place and a hygiene rating being introduced on the island. Making sure St Helena serves safe food to locals and tourist alike.