The Food and Drugs Authority in the Upper West Region has destroyed quantities of unwholesome products as part of measures to help protect the health and safety of consumers.
The products, worth GHc34,619.81, included food items such as non-alcoholic beverages and canned food, orthodox and herbal medicine as well as some tobacco products.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Wa after destroying the products, Mr Albert Ankomah, the Upper West Regional Head of the FDA, said the unwholesome products were seized through their regular Post Market Surveillance activities from January to December 2020.
He said the FDA visited 420 shops out of which 117 shops had unwholesome products, representing about 24 per cent of the total shops visited in the region in 2020, while 507 shops were visited in 2019 out of which 245 contained unwholesome products representing 48 per cent.
Mr Ankomah noted that though the FDA could not visit more shops in 2020 as compared to those visited in 2019, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the reduction in the number of shops containing unwholesome products was an indication that shop owners were responding positively to the education.
He said they would increase the number of shops they inspect and expressed the hope that the number of shops that contained unwholesome products would reduce as they continued with the education on discarding unwholesome products to help the FDA to protect the health of the consumer.
He said the education and sensitisation for shops and Over-the-Counter (OTC) operators were still on-going to enable the operators to surrender their unwholesome products to the FDA for safe disposal.
“I must say that some of the pharmacy shops are now doing that. When they have expired products, they collect them themselves, and then inform the FDA to safely dispose them off”, explained.
Mr Ankomah added that the FDA was still educating the shop owners, especially food sellers, to ensure that they surrendered their expired and unwholesome products to the FDA for safe disposal.
He said shop owners who contacted the FDA to dispose off unwholesome products were issued destruction certificates, which could help them in terms of tax rebids.
The Regional FDA Boss, thus, entreated shop owners to surrender unwholesome products to the FDA for safe disposal, and that they would be causing unnecessary harm to consumers and also disobeying the law if they failed to do so.
He also urged consumers to look out for expiring dates of the products, their physical appearance to be sure they were not blotted, rusty, or heavily dented before buying them.
Mr Ankomah also urged consumers to inform the FDA when they see expired or unwholesome products being displayed for sale.