IntroductionKava also known scientifically as Piper methysticum forst., is a member of the Pepper family. For thousands of years it has been cultivated and used as a traditional drink and in all traditional ceremonies in Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Hawaii and in Micronesia.
In Port Vila and other urban centres in Vanuatu, kava brings people of all walks of life together at the end of the day to share stories, meet and discuss important issues or just to destress after a long day at work at the Kava Bar.
Kava Bar Standard Survey
With the increasing number of tourists that are arriving in Vanuatu who want a taste of the real Vanuatu, it is essential that serious action is taken with regards to the level of food safety in all food businesses owned and operated by locals such as Kava Bars, Market Food Vendors, and Roadside Food Vendors as these are the areas often do not meet basic hygiene standards required to protect the health of citizens of and visitors to Vanuatu.
To provide a clear view of the issue faced by health authorities, the Vanuatu Bureau of Standards conducted a survey in 2016. A total of 57 kava bars were surveyed to determine the level of hygiene. The results of this survey are documented in the Kava Bar Hygiene Survey – the current situation.
What can you do?
Kava bar owners
- Get a copy of the checklist of requirements from the Municipality. The requirements on the checklist is aligned with the Food Regulation.
- Consider hygiene when selecting a kava bar, bring your own shell, spit in the designated areas for spitting and especially away from people as many diseases are transmitted through spitting.
Civil Servants, Member of Parliaments, Board members, etc…
- Kava hygiene is a very relatable topic to the citizenry of Port Vila and Vanuatu and may provide an easy point of entry for sustained dialogue with the citizenry at large on topics related to health and hygiene which may open the door to discuss other concepts, such as various standards, services, policy needs or other departmental communication goals.