KAMPALA, UGANDA – Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has inspected 3,737 eating places as part of an exercise to certify them safe for public use.
This is part of the authority campaign to improve hygienic standards and protect the public health. The campaign that started three months ago, has seen the authority inspect a number of eating places in Kampala both the high end and low end restaurants as stipulated in the Public Health Act.
Speaking to East African Business Week, KCCA spokesperson Peter Kaujju said there are many eating places which do not meet sanitation and health standards as stipulated by the Kampala City Council Authority Public Health Department.
“KCCA’s regulations stipulate that all eating places whether formal or informal have to pass a suitability test. The regulations do not provide for the establishment of road side eating places that are not gazetted,” Kaujju said.
As part of the certification, Kaujju said the eating places must be clean, well ventilated and have toilet facilities. A medical examination of all workers handling food must be done to avoid the risk of contracting food borne diseases.
He emphasized that inspection is compulsory to check for food borne diseases such as Tuberculosis, Cholera, Dysentery and Typhoid.
“Workers in the eating places must renew their certificate of health completeness every six months,” he said.
Eating establishments must have proper food handling and storage facilities, evidence of vector and vermin control, presence of safety and health equipments, proper waste disposal, employees’ observance to high levels of personal dress and hygiene and safe water source as well as ventilation among others.
In most of the divisions under KCCA, for instance in the Central division along the Nakivubo channel, constitute a line of eating places that serve hundreds of people from Makerere Kivulu, Kisekka market, Wandegeya and Old Kampala because the food is cheap.
However, just along the line of restaurants is a drainage channel that spews sewage from numerous places including rest rooms.
The visibility of this place is on the same side with temporary washrooms while other businesses like the washing bay, scrap and old tyres are close.
Crossing the channel, on the immediate side there is a hip of garbage with cows feasting on the banana peelings, next there is a small restaurant which also doubles as a bar with beer posters as a group of ten ladies peeling Matooke.
Also notable before the eviction of vendors in Kampala city was the open sale of food in the late evening hours along Kampala streets mainly targeting late night travelers. Apart from not being gazetted, the food and other eatables were uncovered and left in close contact with contamination from dust and flies.
This unhealthy environment among other issues according to Kaujju has forced the institution to sustain the inspection until all eating places comply with the standards.
He further noted that a team was brought on board to facilitate the scale-up of premises’ inspection and mobilization of food handlers and employees of the personal service sector.
“We will be intensifying sensitization campaigns in areas such as markets, schools on the importance of medical examination of the aforementioned employee categories,” he added.
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