Nation e-Edition

Yes to fish checks!

Yes to fish checks! Fish processor Jonathan Morgan with a manual on food practice and handling which he has implemented at his plant. (Picture by Basil Griffith.)

By Maria Bradshaw | Sun, May 05, 2013 - 12:09 AM

As officials move to enforce rules on the handling and storage of fish at markets, a major fish processor says there should be no “let up” of inspections at markets.

Jonathan Morgan, owner of Morgan’s Fish House, the biggest fish processing plant in Barbados, said the surveillance should be continuous in order to ensure that the public was protected.

He was responding to the recent “surprise inspections” carried out at two markets by quality control officers who found fish which was either spoilt, improperly stored or incorrectly handled.

An industry source has reported a decline in fish sales since the action of the Markets Division. The source added that the Fisheries Division had been inundated with calls from concerned members of the public, prompting a soon to be undertaken educational drive on fish safety.

Speaking to the SUNDAY SUN, Morgan said such inspections were long overdue and should be carried out on a daily basis. He also recommends continuous training for fish vendors.

He said the quality control officers employed by Government were “highly qualified personnel” who knew what they were doing.

Please read the full story in today’s SUNDAY SUN, or in the eNATION edition.

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Posted by Lloyd Gulstone 1 year, 5 months ago
Part 1

As I have said before I applaud the efforts of the inspectors at the respective fish markets. However like all things in Barbados, efforts like these tend to be one off drives, building momentum and having much impetus in the beginning stages only to fade and resort to the unacceptable norm of doing very little thereafter, as time passes.

My concern is that since the inspections, what else have the inspectors/managers done to ensure that vendors adhere to strict guidelines. Are persons in the fish markets still allowed to wear what ever their feel like wearing? Is fish still being exposed for sale without any ice cover? Is it ok for persons to be boning fish in an open environment for such long periods without having them on ice? Will we see the development of a more attractive market with infrastructural changes that will be aesthetically pleasing and cater to a high standard of fish hygiene? It is my belief that the environment shapes the mentally and thinking of those prevailing in it. I therefore strongly believe that these malpractices in fish markets are as a result of the following: the markets drab and poor infrastructural state, the obvious lack of training or the continuation thereof, enforcement issues, vendor indifference and resistance to change and lack of prosecution.

It is ok for Mr. Morgan to come out and support the cause of the inspectors (which I do support) but will the cause be continuous or just simply fade in time?

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Posted by cold winter 1 year, 5 months ago
Lloyd I agree with you, you got the ice boat, fresh fish mix with stale fish, when the ice melts the water is stagnant, these fish sold to the vendors sometime with an ardor, then the vendors as you said have them exposed for sale without any ice cover. Everyone in Barbados will agree with you. It is difficult to uproot bad habits in old vendors that the young vendors are following (but not impossible) peace

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Posted by Lloyd Gulstone 1 year, 5 months ago
Part 2
My interest in the fish market story is that I am a lover of fish and it is an essential part of my diet. I can tell you that having lived in Europe for many years the fish markets there are of a very high standard. For starters there are mostly indoor but offers the same spacing and openness like the markets of Oistins and Bridgetown. They provide for very attractive fish display cabinets in a configuration that compliments the beautiful decor, which is very pleasing to the eye. The fish mongers are all dressed in white with uniformed head pieces. What impresses me the most is the creativity in the way they display their fish.This makes it very appealing to the customer. There are no fish boxes all over the place nor is the floor area always wet. Now this is not to say that every fish market in Europe is like the ones I am describing, I am sure that there are markets that might bare some similarity to those in my native island but I can bet you that they are not engaging in any of the malpractices depicted in the markets of Oistins and Bridgetown.
To bring some closure to my part 2, I hope that the authorities will vest some interest in developing the fish markets. They are major attractions to tourist but in their current state and with the type of practices going on there I am sure some tourist with a camera would enjoy taking pictures of the nonsense that we do with fish and make it a very good you tube movie about our backward approach to fish handling. Authorities please remember the tentacles of the fishing industry go far and wide in Barbados. Think about the implications for Barbados should a tourist become sick from eating fish. Do I have to say more?

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