Ho marks World Food Safety Day
The World Food Safety Day has been marked in Ho, Volta Regional capital by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) with a call on actors to collaborate and ensure food safety along the value chain.

Date Created : 6/9/2019 12:00:00 AM : Story Author : Maxwell Awumah

The day was marked for the first time after it was initiated by the United Nations World Health Organisation and the Food and Agriculture Organisation in 2018, as a global day to ensure food safety.

Mr. Gorden Akurugu, Volta Regional Director, FDA said players in the value chain including farmers, processors, distributors, and consumers needed to ensure the safety of food at all levels.

He said about six million people, globally, were affected by contaminated food with 40 percent of that figure being the vulnerable in society, mainly children under five years.

Mr. Akurugu said Sustainable Development Goals two, three, 12, and 17, which basically touched on food safety, food nutrition, and sufficient food needed to be mainstreamed, and called on government agencies to work towards achieving the targets.

"We appeal to Ministries, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to set agenda and advocate for sufficient, nutritious and safe foods," he said.

The Regional Director of FDA said, "Farmers should ensure that all agronomic practices are put in place at the right time, weeding at the right time, harvesting and storage at the right time as safeguards against contamination."

Mr. Akurugu warned processors against the addition of adulterants with the motive to make a profit, while only succeeded in risking the lives of consumers.

"Ensure that the environment of processing is clean also to prevent food contamination," he added.

Mr. Akurugu said adulterants were being used as agrochemical applications to "Momoni,"-salted fish, burnt sugar into honey, "Sudan 4 dye" for palm-oil, formaline for "Koobi," carbide for false ripening of fruits, and the use of hormones to fast-track greening of vegetables.

He said most of the adulterants contained carcinogenic agents with public health consequences and called on the public to report activities of recalcitrant processors to law enforcement agencies.

Mr. Charles Adjei Mensah, Senior Regulatory Officer, FDA, urged food sellers and vendors to limit microbial contamination, avoid unhealthy practices and habits at the points of food preparation and sale.

He advised food vendors to continue to undergo environmental health screening to obtain certification and urged the public to be particular about expiry dates on canned food and avoid rusty or dented cans.

Mr. Mensah entreated the public to shun unhygienic commercial grinding, milling, and meat joints.

The day was climaxed at the Ho Central Market with food sellers and members of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union on the theme: "Food Safety is Everybody's Business," after educational shows held in schools as well as radio and television programmes.