GHANA – The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) Ghana has assured the general public that imported chicken and other meat items that have been cleared from the ports by the FDA are safe for consumption.
Before entering the Ghanaian market, the items, according to the FDA, underwent processes and procedures that were internationally approved to ensure their safety.
A statement issued by the FDA copied to the Ghanaian Times said that FDA in 2018 established a mini laboratory at the Tema Port to perform testing of meat products before release.
“The FDA performs thorough inspection such as discolouration, odour, and packaging integrity on each consignment that arrives at the ports to ascertain product’s compliance with food safety standards,” it said.
It added that “any consignment found to be unwholesome is subjected to the requisite regulatory procedures including safe disposal and sanctioning of the importer”.
The authority had reassured the public that the health and safety of the citizenry was of priority and as such would continue to work assiduously to ensure only safe and nutritious foods were sold on the markets.
“Consumers are also encouraged to immediately bring to the notice of the FDA any observation of an instance of contaminated, spoilt, or expired chicken or other meat products that comes to their notice,” FDA said.
The assurance, however, follows the publication of a news story with the headline “AGI Raise Red Flag on Imported Chicken entering Ghana” on Ghana Web.
The report said that some of the chicken and other meat items smuggled into the nation seemed to have been slain decades earlier, with the majority having been injected for preservation and having a high risk of serious health consequences, including cancer.
Regrettably, the story claimed that “the situation is dire, and Ghana must move quickly to curtail the growing import of likely cancer-infested chicken and meat onto the local market”.
Nevertheless, the FDA clarified that it conducts microbiology tests for the absence of microorganisms such as salmonella and listeria before such products are released onto the market.
Even so, any consignment found to be unwholesome is subjected to the requisite regulatory procedures, “including safe disposal and sanctioning of the importer.”
In order to increase the production and supply of locally produced chicken goods for the Ghanaian market, the regulator further stated that it will collaborate with the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF).