The Ministry of Health says it has received reports from the public on the use of roadside drains as source of water for agriculture.

It explains that the Public Health Inspectorate has investigated these reports and observed numerous instances wherein water is being pumped from roadside drains for agricultural purposes.

In a media release the ministry noted that this practice is especially concerning given that the water is used to irrigate fresh fruits and vegetables that are not traditionally cooked prior to consumption.

The Ministry of Health indicates that it will collaborate with the primary authority for enforcing good agricultural practices, the Ministry of Agriculture and the relevant Regional Corporations, to address this concern.

It is also reminding the public of the following tips

Wash your hands, kitchen utensils, and food preparation surfaces, including chopping boards and counter tops, before and after preparing fruits and vegetables.

Clean fruits and vegetables before eating, cutting, or cooking, unless the package says the contents have been pre-washed.

Wash or scrub fruits and vegetables under running water—even if you do not plan to eat the peel—so dirt and germs on the surface do not get inside when cutting the fruit.

Cut away any damaged or bruised areas before preparing or eating.

Dry fruit or vegetables with a clean paper towel.

Keep fruits and vegetables separate from raw foods from animals, such as meat, poultry, and seafood.

Refrigerate fruits and vegetables you have cut, peeled, or cooked within 2 hours (or 1 hour if the outside temperature is 32.2°C or warmer). Chill them at 4.4°C or colder in a clean container.