The Ministry of Health has apologised for naming Pizza Hut and Mika Hotel as being cholera infected when their results are not yet out.
In a statement, Ministry of Health Head of Communications and External Relations Stanslous Ngosa blamed the mistake on a “mix up.”
Mr Ngosa said, “Dear colleagues! Kindly be advised that the Debonairs referred to during the press briefing is at Levy Mall and not Woodland. Samples collected from Mika and Pizza Huts awaits results. We apologise for the mix up,” Mr. Ngosa.
Briefing on Friday morning, Health Minister Dr Chitalu Chilufya announced that swabs collected from the said outlets had tested positive for cholera-causing bacteria.
And PizzaHut says it maintains the highest standards of hygiene at all its stores.
“We would like to inform the public that reports about our store being closed due to links to the Cholera outbreak are untrue. As a global brand we continuously train and try to maintain the highest standards possible . We have the following in place as our minimum standard.”
“All staff wash hands every 20 minutes with soap and sanitiser – all work surfaces cleaned regularly but sanitised every 2hrs without fail. Sanitiser buckets at all work stations which are changed every 4hrs – Sanitiser solutions are tested to maintain the correct level of anti bacterial solutions,all staff wear single use disposable gloves when prepping food – All staff have valid Food Handlers certificates this means they have been tested medically to work. Anyone is welcome to request to see any of this in any of our stores upon arrival.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Health Chitalu Chilufya has disclosed that his ministry has so far collected 144 water samples and swabs from various sources to test for cholera traces.
Speaking when he addressed the media in Lusaka Dr. Chilufya said of the 144 water samples collected, 99 have been tested so far and 34 have proved to be contaminated with Cholera.
Dr. Chilufya said government has also extended inspections to all food outlets because food stuff contamination is one of the major carriers of the cholera epidemic.
He has since advised residents of Lusaka to maintain high hygienic standards if the fight against the cholera epidemic is to be fought.
Dr. Chilufya said among the food outlets that have been put on high alert are Pick n Pay woodlands, Debonairs Levy, a Bakery in Matero, while Kumunshi Restaurant in the showgrounds has been closed down.
He said the ministry has started the testing of food handlers in all eating places especially in up market restaurants.
Dr. Chilufya said government will take tough but compassionate measures to ensure that all testing guidelines are implemented.
He has commended the University of Zambia for shutting down the institution in the wake of Statutory Instrument number 79.
Dr. Chilufya said the ministry is also in the process of burying shallow wells as safe water is cardinal in the fight against cholera.
He said cleaning up of markets is still ongoing, as they remain closed and shall only be opened once it is established to be fit.
Dr. Chilufya said government is working swiftly to ensure that the epidemic is contained and will advise when to open markets.