FDA to sieze expired goods FRO LYDIA DARLINGTON FORDJOUR, WA

The Food and Drugs Authority, (FDA) in the Upper West Region said it would soon seize and dispose off expired products that have been displayed in shops and the market for sale.

It would in addition apply appropriate sanctions where necessary on vendors for selling such expired products to unsuspecting customers.

Speaking at a sensitisation meeting to unveil the FDA’s new guidelines for Shelf Life of processed foods at Wa on Thursday, the Upper West Regional Director for the Authority, Mr Albert Ankomah indicated that the safety of an expired food could not be guaranteed hence the need to rid the market of them.

The meeting brought together importers, retailers, distributors, officials from the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Service and the media to learn about the new guidelines.

The shelf life guidelines were drawn as a response to section 148 of the Public Health Act that mandated the FDA to regulate the sale of expired food products to consumers. It sought to prevent among other things, the importation of expired food products into the country. 

“The guidelines includd the prevention of the entry of an imported food items that had less than 18 months of its24 months shelf life left. For a food item with a shelf life of 6 months, it will not be allowed if it has less than 4 months to expire whereas food items with 3 months shelf life should not have less than 2 months to expire, he detailed.

Mr Ankomah said that the same guidelines would be applied to most of the locally produced foods, adding that the FDA would make reference to the manufacturing and expiry dates displayed on the label of a product to determine its shelf life, saying a shelf life referred to the time alloted a product to stay on the market before going bad.

He cautioned that the authority with close collaboration from the customs at the borders was not going to countenance any act that would affect the health and well being of Ghanaian, indicating that, with the new guidelines, most products would be preventedfrom entering the country if the importers did not pay heed to the guidelines.

The director cautioned that distributors and retailers who had expired products should get rid of them before they began their surveillance, adding that all of such products would be disposed off either by burning or burying depending on the nature of the product so that the owners would not be able to retrieve them for other purposes.

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