Certification of all food handlers is now being done by the City Health Department as a means of effectively controlling and preventing the spread of diseases.
Harare has suffered some disease outbreaks such as cholera and typhoid.
City Health Director, Dr Prosper Chonzi revealed the development adding that he had deployed teams to ensure the full certification of all food handlers.
“One of the key drivers of diseases such as typhoid is food, so you would want to know that the food that you are serving to the people is clean and safe.
“What we noted at some stage was that the food outlets were serving substandard food and that some of the food handlers had not been medically examined.
“It is important, before someone works in the catering industry, especially when you are selling food to the public to be medically examined to make sure that you are not transmitting any infectious diseases such as TB or Typhoid,” he said.
People working in the catering industry should go for chest x-rays, a swab of the nails done, stools tested as well as micro-culture sensitivity tests done.
Micro-culture sensitivity examinations are done to test for bacteria and the disease which the bacteria may cause.
“We are in the process of carrying out an exercise in the whole city to examine all food outlets. This we are doing as City of Harare.
“We note that in most instances you will find that one has a food handler’s certificate but would not have gone through the whole process. So we are centralising it again as City of Harare so that we can guarantee the quality of the certificates that are offered and the tests that are done,” he said.