If the food served at Botswana’s premier cultural event ÔÇô Letlhafula Day ÔÇô does not leave people with nausea, abdominal cramping or diarrhea; it is mainly because of a contraption that should be used at every funeral and wedding and all other cultural festivals.
The electric wire brush is what organisers of the festival have been using through the years to ensure that all rust, grime and dirt are scrubbed away. When the power is switched on, the steel wire bristles of the abrasive implement become part of the electrical current and when they come into contact with the pot surface they scrub out the dirt, leaving pot squeaky clean.
Botswanacraft Marketing general manager, Nicola Hart, says that they have been using the wire brushes since the start of the festival nine years ago. Hart explains that they wanted to avoid a situation where people who ate the food at the festival would suffer food poisoning as happens with funerals and weddings.
“That was our main concern,” she says.
On the whole, Letlhafula Day’s standards of food hygiene are very high and that has been aided in part by the fact that the ‘kitchen staff’ has stayed the same throughout. Hart says that they have provided basic food hygiene training to the cooks and that their food handling is above reproach.
“They know what to do because we have been working together for so long,” Hart says.
It should not be too hard for people to copy what Botswana Craft does. The wire brushes are available at hardware stores and if their use becomes fashionable, there would be fewer people missing work on Mondays because the food they ate at a wedding or funeral over the weekend was contaminated.