Food importers, manufacturers urged to apply for licences

The Analyst Food and Drug Department urges all food importers, owners of food storage, manufacturers and owners of repacking bonds to ensure that their premises are inspected and licensed for the year.

According to a press release from the Government Analyst Department, the deadline for both the Food Import Permit and licence is March 31. Application forms can be uplifted from the Food and Drug Department, Institute of Applied Science and Technology, University of Guyana compound, Turkeyen.

In order to obtain an import permit, premises must be suitably constructed, in good repair, well painted and have defined storage areas for wholesome and damaged food and non foods.

Floors should be marked depicting aisles between rows of stocks on pallets. There should also be established sorting areas, records of stock rotation, updated written records of cleaning schedule and pest control and storage temperature/humidity control gauges to avoid product abuse, the release said.
Additionally, persons or companies applying for food import permits in newly registered premises must submit written approval from the Central Housing and Planning Authority (CH&PA) or National Democratic Council, a copy of the Certificate of Registration for the business and a Certificate of Fitness from the regulatory body from the country of origin of the products.

The release said in order to obtain a license to manufacture, the premises must be suitably constructed, in good repair, well painted and there must be a defined storage areas for raw materials and finished products.

The layout of the process line should provide a regulated flow to successive stages in the process in order to minimize the possibility of cross contamination.

Also, an effective sanitation programme should be in place, an updated written cleaning schedule record should be in place, updated pest control records must be provided, an effective means-of solid and liquid waste disposal should be provided, updated factory records must be provided, a  basic Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points Plan should be provided, competent personnel should supervise processing operation and all potential and current food handlers must undergo at least 16 hours of food hygiene training by the department before the permit is issued.

The release said too persons or companies applying to manufacture food in newly registered premises must also submit written approval from the (CH&PA), a copy of the registration certificate, a sanitation programme and schedule, a floor plan of the factory, a process flow diagram for each product to be manufactured and drafts of proposed labels to be vetted.

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