FDA cautions public against reddish tomato powder

Tomato powderThe Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has cautioned the public against purchasing a reddish powdered product being sold as ‘tomato powder’ on the Ghanaian market.

This follows investigations conducted by the authority on the ‘tomato powder,’ which revealed that there was no tomato present in the substance.

A statement signed by the Chief Executive of FDA, Hudu Mogtari, noted that “the substance contains ‘Annatto Seed’ (Bixa orellana) and a cocktail of milled residues of various products such as corn and ‘konkonte’.

The ‘Annatto Seed’, it said, provide the reddish colour to the product.

The statement said, “the production, storage and marketing of the products are often carried out under unhygienic conditions and could pose a potential public health risk to consumers”.

It noted that the ‘tomato powder’ was widely used as a substitute for fresh tomatoes and tomato paste with the intention of making the prepared food appear reddish and attractive.

The statement said over the past three months, FDA had embarked on extensive public education of the public to desist from patronising the ‘tomato powder’.

“On August 16, a collaborative effort with the Ghana Police Service and the Authority led to the arrest of some producers, wholesalers and distributors of the powder. They were currently assisting the police in their investigations,” it said.

The FDA assured that it would continue to protect the health and safety of the people, and appealed to the public to provide information on any practice which had the potential of endangering public health and safety.

“People with any information can call the toll free line 0800151000 (free only on Airtel and Vodafone) and short code 4015 (on all networks with the exception of Glo),” it stated.

By Times Reporter





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