Weak monitoring standards may have put large numbers of consumers at risk

Vended drinking water:

Water woes?

Risks associated with purchasing drinking water from retail vendors are sufficiently high for patrons to exercise the precaution of ensuring that their purchases are made from licensed operators, knowledgeable persons in the sector have told Stabroek Business.

Since last week, when the Government Analyst-Food and Drugs Department (GAFDD) disclosed that some establishments currently offering water for sale are not licensed by the Department to do so, Stabroek Business has spoken with three vendors, two of whom conceded that at one time or another, they not only had no licences to sell water but manifestly failed to adhere to the sanitation-related protocols associated with the cleaning of receptacles in which water is sold. “It is true that quite a few vendors have no licences to sell water and some of us are not entirely in compliance with the rules governing sanitation,” one of the three vendors told Stabroek Business.

“It’s a risky situation,” one vendor told Stabroek Business. Even if we are sure about the water that is consumed in our homes, there is really no way of knowing where all of the various vendors, restaurants, snackettes and lunch ladies who offer local beverages get their water from. I’m not saying that they are not careful about where they get their supplies from. I am just making the point to demonstrate the extent to which we might be at risk,” he said…..

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