The event follows Australian couple Stacey Barnes, 32, and Ryan Prigg, 39, claiming that a meal of Pad Thai they ate at a Phuket food court during a family holiday in 2017 ruined their lives and their business for more than a year. (See story here.)
Also present at the event yesterday were Phuket Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana, Phuket City Mayor Somjai Suwansupana and Central Phuket's Senior Vice President Wilaiporn Pitimanaaree.
At the event, vendors cooked Pad Thai and officials ate it, and free servings of Pad Thai were handed out to the public.
Deputy Public Health Minister Mr Satit assured that his ministry was doing its job.
“We coordinate with the relevant officials, the private sector and local organisations to enforce food hygiene standards and to oversee the level of hygiene at local restaurants, coffee shops, various kinds of beverage shops and street vendors,” he said.
“We encourage business operators to have knowledge about and to cook using clean and safe food standards. Cooking must be without germs, chemicals or heavy metals coming into contact with food,” he said.
“This reduces the risk of disease in food and beverages. It also prevents people and tourists (sic) from food poisoning,” he added.
Mr Satit pointed out that when Phuket was declared a Unesco Creative City of Gastronomy, a total of 453 of the 540 restaurants and other food vendors registered in Phuket had been inspected and passed food health and hygiene standards – granting them the ministry’s “Good taste, Clean Food” certification.
“That is 83.89%,” he said.
Phuket Governor Phakaphong also gave his assurances.
“Since Phuket has become a Unesco Creative City of Gastronomy, Phuket restaurants have continued to improve. I can confirm that Phuket food is safe, in accordance with the Ministry of Public Health’s health and hygiene food safety standards,” he said.
Gov Phakaphong added that after the claims by the Australian tourists of contracting a parasite that left them with a debilitating illness that took almost two years to recover from, the chief of the Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO) ordered his officers to investigate the report. (See story here.)
“Now all 540 registered food vendors in Phuket are certified under the ‘Good taste, Clean Food’ campaign,” he said yesterday.