Ministry of Health Issues Precautions for Purchasing Seafood after oil spill reports

File photo courtesy Loop TT

October 17, 2017: In consideration of the reports of an oily substance on the shoreline and waters in the Chaguaramas area, the Public Health Inspectors of the Ministry of Health have conducted visits to forty-two (42) fish and other seafood vendors located along the coastline of the affected area. The fish and other seafood available for sale were found to be safe. Fisherfolk were advised on measures to provide safe seafood to the public.

Events such as oil spills may impact on the quality of fish and other seafood. Consumers are advised that fish displaying evidence of the following must not be purchased:

  1. A disagreeable/crude oil odour.
  2. Oily to the touch.
  3. Oily deposits on the surface.

Additionally, the Ministry wishes to remind members of the public of the following general measures to apply when purchasing seafood for consumption:

  1. Only buy seafood that is refrigerated or displayed on a thick bed of fresh ice that is not melting.
  2. The flesh should be firm to the touch.
  3. Fish eyes should be bright and clear, and not cloudy.
  4. Fish gills should be a bright red, not brown in colour.
  5. There should be no slime under the gills of the fish.
  6. Fish scales should be tight and adhering to the fish - not flaking off.
  7. Fish should smell fresh and mild. Freshly caught fish has almost no odour.
  8. Shrimp flesh should be translucent and shiny with little or no odour.

The Ministry of Health continues to monitor the situation with particular reference to fish and other seafood vendors so as to safeguard the health of the population.

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