‘Food vendors must strictly adhere to safety standards’

The Chief Executive Officer of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, has urged food operators to strictly adhere to existing hygienic practices and guidelines to promote food safety in the country.

She said poor sanitation, pest management, personal hygiene, training and documentation were some of the observations made during mass inspection of newly identified food service establishments.

Mrs Darko gave the advice at a stakeholders meeting with operators of food service establishment in Accra yesterday to discuss the role of management of food service establishments in ensuring compliances, review code of hygienic practices and guidelines.

In attendance were hoteliers, fast food joints and restaurants and cafeteria operators drawn across the country.

Mrs Darko stated that in recent times, a number of complaints on food safety arising from food sold in restaurants and eateries had been reported to the FDA.

“These observations underscored the need to meet stakeholders to emphasise the need to adhere to existing codes of hygiene practices and guidelines developed for the industry to improve compliance and ensure food safety,” she added.

Mrs Darko said in 2012,the Public Health Act, Act(851) mandated the FDA to regulate the food service industry to ensure safety of prepared, ready-to-eat foods offered for sale to consumers and those served in institutions such as schools and hospitals, which had been achieved through inspections and issuance of food hygiene permits to complaint facilities.

The Deputy Chief Executive of Food Division of the FDA, Mr Roderick Daddey Adjei said such meeting would be held regularly to sensitise the stakeholders in the food industry to abide by safety regulations.

The Head of Food Service Establishments Inspection Unit at the FDA, Mr Edward Worlanyo Archer, in a presentation on the topic “The code of hygiene practices for food services establishment” said it was unlawful for one to operate in the food industry without a valid permit.

BY ANITA NYARKO-YIRENKYI

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