The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), in accordance with the Public Health Act and to ensure public safety, has destroyed expired products valued at GH¢41,027.9 seized from traders in the Upper West Region.
The perished products deemed hazardous to public health included non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks, toffees, canned tomatoes, canned or tin fish, milk, herbal medicines and other items.
They were seized by the FDA through an operation mounted across the Region to protect consumers as the Christmas celebration gathers momentum with people engaged in multiple purchases for the festivities.
The expired products were sent to the Wa Municipal Refuse Dumping Site for safe disposal as the official set them ablaze to prevent people, particularly children, from accessing and using them.
Mr Albert Ankomah, the Upper West Regional Head of FDA, said the products were seized during keen market surveillance and investigations into complaints by several consumers.
The concerns triggered a full market operation conducted by the FDA who deployed personnel to the field to ensure that products being sold were safe for consumption.
Mr Ankomah charged consumers to be bold enough to expose those dealing in unwholesome or expired items by reporting them to the Authority for immediate action.
The FDA is operating with the Public Health Act, he said, and warned that anyone identified selling expired goods would face the law for risking the lives of the people.
According to the law, a person caught selling expired products could be sanctioned to pay GH¢25,000.00 for products with low risk and ¢50,000.00 for products with high risk.
They could also be jailed for a prison term of not more than 15 years and not less than four years, depending on the quantity of the expired products put on the market.
Retailers and warehouse owners should voluntarily inform FDA whenever expired items were found among their consignments for the Authority to arrange for safe disposal, Mr Ankomah said.
He charged consumers to critically check the expiry date, batch number, labels of food items and legibility of the manufacturers before purchasing the product.
He also advised them to properly examine the products to satisfy themselves of the quality and the expiry date before buying them.