As part of the month-long exercise in the region, officers of the FDA’s Upper West Regional Office embarked on the public sensitization through the Frequency Modulation (FM) stations and public address systems at the Wa Central Market, Poyentanga, and Nyoli communities in the Wa West District among other places.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) instituted the World Food Safety Day two years ago to help create awareness of the urgent need for the production, sale, and consumption of safe food.
According to the WHO, this year’s event on the theme: “Safer food, better health”, was to “draw attention and mobilize action to prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks and improve human health.”
“Food safety should be in the mind of the people at all stages of the food value chain; from production to harvesting, transportation, storage, processing, and consumption.
“Consumers also have the responsibility of ensuring that they buy safe food because they have the purchasing power,” said Mr. Albert Ankomah, the Upper West Regional Head of the FDA.
Mr. Ankomah entreated consumers to report anyone suspected of selling unsafe food to the public through the consumer complaint unit for the agency to investigate and take the necessary actions.
He indicated that as part of efforts to ensure the consumption of safe food, the FDA had been partnering with various agencies like the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA), Ministry of Agriculture, and Fisheries Commission among others, to ensure compliance of food safety regulations by food handlers.
He stated that the FDA had commenced licensing of food vendors in the country with 67 food vendors in the Wa Municipality inspected.
The regulator has so far issued a Food Vendor Certificate to one vender as six other applications await consideration.
Mr. Ankomah added that his outfit had trained Environmental Health Officers in Wa, Jirapa, and Sissala East Municipalities and the Nadowli-Kaleo and Sissala West Districts, to inspect food vendors in those areas to ensure compliance with the food safety regulation.
He observed that the lack of food handlers test certificate by the food vendors was a major non-compliance and said the FDA would not relent in its efforts to ensure all food vendors in the region complied.
FDA Ghana had in a statement revealed that the National Food Safety Policy would be launched and the Management Committee of the Food Safety Emergency Response Plan (FoSERP) inaugurated as part of the celebrations.