Update on Suspected Conch Poisoning
May 21, 2021
Re: Suspected Conch Poisoning Update
Further to the update on May 17th, 2021, the BAHFSA Food Safety and Quality Unit continues to advise consumers to be vigilant when consuming raw (fresh) conch. BAHFSA cautions that from March to October, sea temperatures are highest, (www.seatemperature.org), providing conditions favorable for microbial growth and therefore the public can expect that during this time, there may be additional reports of illness.
As investigations continue, however, BAHFSA will allow vendors to resume the sale and preparation of raw (fresh) conch dishes but vendors are urged to engage in industry best practices for hygiene and to ensure food safety such as, the thorough washing of conch under potable running water; washing one’s hands; cleaning and sanitizing countertops, utensils and cutting boards; maintaining proper storage (keeping the conch out of the sun); and ensuring that the conch used is purchased from a reliable and trusted source. BAHFSA also requires that all suppliers of conch, provide a receipt of sale to their clients with their name and the name of their boat and/or business that can be used in future traceability exercises.
As we continue our Food Handling and Preparation, Vendor Training, we look forward to working with all vendors to ensure that their product is safe, wholesome and of the best quality for consumers.
Remember, if you or any family member consumed raw conch, other seafood or any food and experience illness, seek treatment at the nearest clinic, hospital or Doctor’s office