When are we going to regulate the coconut street vendors?

Dear Editor,

Let me first say, I am all for the small businessmen making a dollar. However, everything must be done in decency and order.

At the very least, they can arrange for garbage pickup of the unwanted husks. It is indeed an eyesore and invites unwanted rodents.

It must be a lucrative business as they are popping up left, right and center.

A food handlers certificate should be displayed at these outlets.

My observation suggests that no common knowledge of food handling protocols are adhered to. No gloves, no mask, no hand wash stations or sanitizers are visual. Who can verify that the bottles themselves are sterile or its content is?

I suggest that they be made to obtain a business license (cutting out all of the unnecessary red tape); they be made to attend the food handlers course sponsored by the Ministry of Health and they be made to rent booths, something like Fish Fry or the straw market where the price is affordable and there is running water and proper garbage disposal.

They should bark the coconuts and keep them in their shells only penetrating the eye with a straw at the time of consumption. This will ensure that the contents remain sterile. Keeping them in a cooler with ice would be an added bonus.

Bottling in containers should desist until a proper environment is achieved. If a customer requires a gallon, the seller ought to know by experience if 15 or 20 coconuts would equate to a gallon. (This would put the responsibility on the buyer to keep the product sterile when transporting to another container).

Running water would not only be used to wash hands but to keep cutlasses and other utensils safe and clean.

No preparation should be done at ground level. All preparation should be done on a well-organized and clean solid surface.

Please let’s fix this before it becomes a problem and people become sick because a vendor used the bathroom and didn’t wash his hands.

Trust me, we have a lot of other things to worry about so let’s nip this one. There are a lot of food borne illnesses that can be life threatening. The current state presents a very viable possibility for error.

Kind Regards,

– Lisa T

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