ALL agencies under the Ministry of Health (MOH), have been asked to review their policies and protocols relating to food safety and update them to take care of both national and international food safety requirements in the country.
Similarly, ministries, departments and agencies are also to review and upgrade all food safety policies to take care of emerging and already existing food security situations.
The Director for Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PPME), at the MOH, Dr. Afisah Zachariah, gave the directive when she launched the 2015 World Health Day in Accra on Tuesday.
“All governments and health authorities need to protect consumers from the risk of food poisoning and food borne diseases,” she said.
She described food safety as a prerequisite for good health saying, “We know and want everybody to know that new threats of food safety were constantly emerging”.
She expressed worry about the influx of food joints close to gutters and dirty environments, and said that the menace requires urgent actions and a change of attitude on the part of consumers.
Dr. Zachariah further called on all transport unions to ensure compliance with earlier directives on no sale of alcohol at lorry stations.
The World Health Day has since its inception in 1948, been commemorated annually in all countries across the globe to create awareness about major issues of public health concern.
This year’s celebration is under the theme, “Food Safety, from farm to plate, make food safe”.It is expected to raise awareness about food safety and to encourage people to show concern about how safe the food they buy and eat is.
Dr, Magda Robalo, the Country Representative for the World Health Organisation (WHO), said that the ongoing analysis of the global burden of food borne diseases, indicated that there was an estimated 582 million cases of 22 different food borne enteric diseases and 351000 associated deaths in 2014.
She called on relevant stakeholders and agencies to prioritise food safety, align policies in agriculture, trade, health, education, social protection and mobilise adequate financial resources to make food safe for all.
By Linda Aryeetey