FDA to prosecute offending food vendors

Ms Lovelace-Johnson

Ms Lovelace-Johnson

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) yesterday announced that it will start prosecuting food vendors across the country for various public health offences, in a bid to safeguard public health.

According to the authority, it had embarked on awareness creation in the past and that it was time to crack the whip to make all the vendors comply with public health regulations.

Ms Maria Aba Lovelace-Johnson, Head of Food Safety Management Department of FDA made the announcement at a workshop for Environmental Health Officers of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) in Accra, yesterday.

Attended by 35 participants, the food safety and hygienic training workshop, was aimed at building the capacity of participants on the promotion of food safety and compliance.

Ms Lovelace-Johnson said FDA undertook situational analysis of food vending between 2007 and 2011, embarked on awareness creation from 2012 to 2015 and would want to pursue enforcement from 2017.

Touching on some of the public health threats, she said, vegetable salad was not supposed to be sold warm but many food vendors especially ‘waakye’ and bread sellers kept them warm all the time.

She indicated that salad was to be sold cold at four degrees Celsius or below, otherwise it would be contaminated, adding that salad vendors should ensure that their salads were kept on ice all the time.

Ms Lovelace-Johnson said raw materials and ingredients should be stored at eighteen degrees Celsius or below while butchers should ensure their meat was kept cold as well and away from houseflies.

She called on food vendors to put the health of their customers first and ensure they adhere to public health regulations to avoid prosecution.

She called on the environmental health officers to execute their mandate diligently and said the FDA would continue to collaborate with them in the fight against the sale of unwholesome food.

Participants were taken through several topics including the Public Health Act and significance of microorganisms.

By Jonathan Donkor and Joyceline Natally Cudjoe

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