The Environmental Health Department of the Ministry of Health and Social Services has conducted an assessment of the Douglas Snackette at Portsmouth and a report has been submitted to the Chief Environment Officer.
On Monday 11 June 2018, a report published by Dr. Montgomery Douglas MD revealed that “the current state of uncleanliness at his family owned snackette on Bay Street in Portsmouth poses a major risk to public health”.
According to a statement issued to the media, this report led to “an unprecedented move to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting calling for a leadership change” at the family owned business.
In the report, Dr Montgomery wrote “The guest house is currently cluttered with rotten debris, obsolete bills, books and stationary, broken and condemned cupboards and glassware, as well as visible rat and roach infestation”.
Douglas, who was born and raised in Portsmouth, currently resides in the United States where he serves as a professor of family medicine at UCoon School of Medicine, and was appointed chair of the Department of Family Medicine and UCONN Health.
“This area is also occupied by three dogs that defecate on site, thus creating an ideal medium for promoting an outbreak of infectious diseases, namely typhoid, dysentery and the deadly leptospirosis,” Dr. Douglas warned shareholders.
Dr Douglas report notes that a “makeshift food operation housed in a section of the bacteria laden snackettes” is being used to prepare food and serve the public “from the outside pavement representing indeed a hurricane both in thought and in action”.
Following the hurricane, the Environmental Health Department embarked on a re-registering process of all food establishments to ensure that they were operating in compliance with health and safety standards.
As part of that re-registering process, food establishments that met the health safety standards were given certificates, or otherwise were ordered to close and effect changes to avoid any health hazards.
The snackette, which was damaged as a result of Hurricane Maria, recently reopened to serve the public before obtaining certification from the Environmental Health Department.
That notwithstanding, an officer visited the premises and conducted an assessment to determine whether it was operating in compliance with health and safety standards.
This report, which reveals that the snackette is not operating up to the Environmental Health Standards, has been submitted to the Chief Environmental Health Officer for her attention and action.
An official of the Environment Health Department has indicated the law does not authorize the Environmental Health Department to order any food establishment to close. The Department, can however, request that the establishment closes but this is solely on a voluntary basis.
An amendment to the law is currently being reviewed by the Attorney General’s Chambers to better empower the Environmental Health Department.
In the interim, the Extraordinary General Meeting is due to take place on June 28, 2018 where Dr. Douglas supported by his sister Elenor Lambert are calling for an urgent change of management of the family business.