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How to Handle Food Safety Irregularities

The Food Safety division of the Inspectorate VSA has noted an increasing amount of complaints about food safety violations in the (social)media. The Inspectorate wants to notify the public that inspections are conducted on a continuous basis at all food establishments, bars and roadside eateries on the Dutch side of the island. All non-compliant establishments have received instructions to rectify the violations within a short period of time (24 hours -7 days) in order to maintain operational status 

Most of the of the major supermarkets on the island have been inspected and were instructed  to make certain improvements, discard items and make the necessary corrections. During follow-up inspections it was concluded that all or most of the violations that were found had been corrected. 

Establishments are urged to use safe food practices when handling, preparing and storing foods that are for human consumption. All persons preparing and serving food in the industry must have their food handler’s certificates, all permits must be readily available for the inspector’s viewing. 

The Inspectorate has instructed all food establishments to have a Hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) system in place. This is a systematic preventive approach to food safety from biological, chemical and physical hazards that can cause the food product to be unsafe. A HACCP plan establishes measures to reduce these risks to a safe level. 

Controls are done in a more rigorous manner, inspectors will be stricter in their enforcement of the law, and the division will be visiting establishments more frequently to ensure compliance. The Inspectorate also inspects all food establishments before an operational license is issued. 

The Food Safety division will also be employing more tactics to engage the community that it serves, creating more awareness by releasing more information, to get the public involved and informed about food safety. The Inspectorate is always in contact with the FDA/ USDA/ FSIS when it comes to recalls and questionable food products from the United States.

The Inspectorate is an enforcement entity, that needs the assistance of the public to be able to perform its tasks more effectively. If you find any product in a supermarket, restaurant or bar that seems to be unfit for human consumption, the Inspectorate asks that you please file a complaint at the Inspectorate instead of posting about it on social media as this can create confusion. When an official complaint is filed, an investigation will be launched. Images and videos that are sometimes posted on social media are hoaxes. Sometimes this is done deliberately to harm a certain person or entity. Please take pictures and/or videos if possible as evidence for your complaint. 

An official complaint can be filed in person at the office of the Inspectorate located on the second floor of the Vineyard Building. You can also call us at 721-520-2936 or send us an e-mail to inspectoratevsa.sxm@gmail.com.

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