Today, we return to the issue of food safety in the country, because the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has raised the red flag on expired food items on the market.
The FDA is warning the public to be on the lookout for expired products during the yuletide.
It is alerting the public not to purchase items such as drinks, cooking oil, biscuits, candies and canned foods which are about to expire and being sold at discounted prices.
It also warned of the danger in consuming expired products, most of which become poisonous on expiry.
According to Ebenezer Kofi Essel, acting Head of FDA’s Food Industrial Support Department, consumers risk food poisoning if they consume such products.
Generally, food is considered safe if there is reasonably demonstrated certainty that no harm will result from its consumption under anticipated conditions of use.
In Ghana, the basic laws of food safety are enforced by FDA, the body expected to monitor food safety in the country.
Despite the existence of legal framework for food safety, unscrupulous traders take advantage of the festivities to make money from unsuspecting people who usually fail to check the expiry dates on the products.
The crave by traders to make cheap money and the lack of purchasing power by many consumers, consequently promote the cheap markets that serve as avenues for selling the expired food items.
While urging the FDA to intensify its surveillance throughout the country, to rid it of expired goods during the period, the Times also urges the government to step up its poverty alleviation efforts to raise the purchasing power of the poor, who would normally purchase such food items.
This is not the first time the FDA is raising the red flag on expired goods on the market; it has done so on countless occasions, and many traders have been arrested in the past.
We expect the Authority not to rest on its oars, but conduct raids on notorious shops and markets noted for selling such items.
Through its public education, the FDA should spread the message, particularly on the dangers that the expired goods pose to human health.
We must not allow such products on the market during this yuletide.