Ghana’s food regulator destroys 122 cartons of out-of-date Carnation milk brand

GHANA – The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in the Upper East Region of Ghana has destroyed 122 cartons of expired Carnation milk from the Bawku Senior High School.

Carnation is a brand of food products specially known for its evaporated milk product created in 1899, then called Carnation Sterilized Cream and later called Carnation Evaporated Milk.

The brand which was acquired by Nestlé in 1985, has since been used for other related products including milk-flavoring mixes, flavored beverages, flavor syrups, hot cocoa mixes, instant breakfasts, corn flakes, ice cream novelties, and dog food.

Mr. Sebastian Mawuli Hotor, the Upper East Regional Director of the FDA in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after the products were crashed and disposed off, said the FDA got wind of the expired milk with the assistance of the Headmaster and Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).

He said the cartons of milk were stocked for use by students, but eventually expired when schools closed down at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They could not deplete the quantities available and, therefore, they got expired,” he said.

Mr. Hotor said after auditing, the FDA swiftly moved in to have the products crashed and safely disposed of to prevent students from consuming the unwholesome milk, which could have implications on their health.

Asked if there was the possibility of consumption of the milk by students, the FDA Director said,

“I don’t believe that, because from our investigations, they were specially separated and quarantined, and the FDA was informed to do the appropriate disposal.”

Safe disposal of products

Subsequent to disposing the expired milk, the regulator further undertook safe disposal of several unwholesome regulated products including food and food supplements.

The products were seized from provision shops, warehouses, cold stores, school kitchens, and open markets across all 15 Municipalities and Districts in the Upper East Region from the past one year.

Mr. Hotor indicated that the mandate of the FDA in the Public Health Act 2012, Act 851 required the FDA to undertake safe disposal of unwholesome regulated products in the country.

The purpose of the disposal exercise was to rid the market of expired, counterfeit, contaminated, unregistered, and all other kinds of unwholesome regulated products on the market, and prevent the potential re-entry of these unwholesome products into the supply chain, he said.

“The FDA would like to advise the general public to check for expiry date and registration status of products before buying, purchase regulatory products from accredited and recognized status outlets or sources,” the Regional Director said.

He counselled retailers to practice Good Storage and Stocking practices such as First Expired First Out (FEFO) and report anybody selling expired, unregistered and unwholesome products to the FDA.

He also acknowledged the collaboration of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Environmental and Sanitation Agency, Ghana Standards Authority, the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Revenue Authority – Customs Division, the Pharmacy Council, EOCO, the Ghana Health Service, the Ghana National Fire Service, and other stakeholders who compliment the efforts of the FDA to execute its mandate.

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