Khrisna Russell of Tribune 242 reports food safety officials are cautioning against the consumption of fresh conch after several suspected cases of conch poisoning.
The authority warned consumers to avoid fresh conch until officials are able to determine the source of the contamination.
Conch poisoning is typically caused by the bacterium, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, with contamination attributed to poor hygienic practices during its handling and preparation.
Health Minister Renward Wells said there had been about 10 reported cases of conch poisoning.
Vendors should also avoid having the conch sit in the sun for long periods of time and after the conch meat is removed, it should be gutted and rinsed thoroughly under potable running water for enough time to carefully remove all the slime and debris present. Also, vendors should wash their hands before and after preparation with liquid hand soap and warm running water for 20-30 seconds.
Gloves should also be worn when preparing conch salad or other fresh preparations where further cooking is not done.
Hair nets and disposable aprons should also be worn to prevent cross contamination. Gloves should be changed regularly if they become torn or in between tasks.
Other precautions include conch salad vendors utilising separate cutting boards for slicing vegetables and the conch. Cutting boards and utensils should be cleaned and sanitised in between preparations to avoid cross contamination or the carryover of contamination between preparations.
Consumers are urged to be vigilant to ensure that wherever they are purchasing raw conch dishes, vendors are following hygienic practices. Those who purchase raw conch to prepare at home should follow these preparation steps as well.