The Upper West Regional Office of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has marked this year’s World Food Safety Day with public sensitisation on the need to always ensure the consumption of safe food.
As part of the month-long exercise in the region, officers of the FDA embarked on the public sensitisation through the Frequency Modulation (FM) stations and public address systems at the Wa Central Market, Poyentanga, and Nyoli communities in the Wa West District among other places.
Mr Albert Ankomah, the Upper West Regional Head of the FDA revealed this to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview in Wa, on the occasion of the World Food Safety Day celebration, which started on June 7, 2022.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) instituted the World Food Safety Day two years ago to help create awareness of the urgent need for the production, sale, and consumption of safe food.
According to the WHO, this year’s event on the theme: “Safer food, better health”, was to “draw attention and mobilize action to prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks and improve human health.”
“Food safety should be in the mind of the people at all stages of the food value chain; from production to harvesting, transportation, storage, processing, and consumption.
“Consumers also have the responsibility of ensuring that they buy safe food because they have the purchasing power”, Mr Ankomah said.
The Regional FDA head entreated consumers to report anyone suspected of selling unsafe food to the public through the consumer complaint unit for the FDA to investigate and take the necessary actions.
He indicated that as part of efforts to ensure the consumption of safe food, the FDA had been partnering the security agencies, Environmental Health and Sanitation Department (EHDS), Customs division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana
Standard Authority, Ministry of Agriculture, and Fisheries Commission among others to ensure compliance of food safety regulations by food handlers.
He stated that the FDA had commenced licensing of food vendors in the country with 67 food vendors in the Wa Municipality inspected and Food Vendor Certificate issued to one vender while six other applications had been submitted to the regulatory body at the national level for consideration.
Mr Ankomah added that his outfit had trained Environmental Health Officers in Wa, Jirapa, and Sissala East Municipalities and the Nadowli-Kaleo and Sissala West Districts to inspect food vendors in those areas to ensure compliance with the food safety regulation.
He observed that the lack of food handlers test certificate by the food vendors was a major non-compliance and said the FDA would not relent in its efforts to ensure all food vendors in the region complied.