GHANA – The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in Ghana has recently observed a concerning trend related to the handling of key ingredients used in the preparation of the popular Ghanaian dish “Tuo Zaafi.” 

The FDA noted that corn and cassava flour, crucial components of “Tuo Zaafi,” were being improperly dried on pavements along the Kanda Highway in Accra. This practice exposed the flour to dust and other contaminants, posing potential health hazards to consumers.

Upon discovering this unhealthy practice in March 2023, the FDA swiftly took action to address the issue. 

FDA officials visited the location to sensitize market women and millers about the harmful effects of such practices. 

It was revealed that many of those involved were unaware of the potential health risks associated with their actions.

 In April 2023, the FDA launched a consumer education drive and engaged with market women and millers to encourage them to discontinue the harmful drying practice.

The FDA emphasized the need for collective efforts to tackle such food safety issues. Cooperation from market women and millers was instrumental in finding better and more effective alternative methods for handling the ingredients. 

The FDA also collaborated with local authorities, including assembly members, Roads and Highway Authority officials, and law enforcement agencies, to ensure compliance and put an end to the practice.

Recent enforcement by Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA)

Meanwhile, in the past six months, the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has taken strict action to enforce food safety regulations.

Five food vendors were jailed, and a restaurant was shut down for flouting these regulations. Additionally, the AMA confiscated items from 17 food vendors who were found to be selling expired food or cooking in unclean places. 

The Metro Public Health Department of AMA is actively involved in the education, training, screening, and monitoring of food vendors across various establishments to ensure food safety.

Mrs. Florence Kuukyi, Director of the Metro Public Health Department at AMA, highlighted the importance of food safety for human well-being. 

She stressed that consumers should take responsibility for what they consume and ensure that the food they eat is safe. The department is actively working to ensure that food vendors meet necessary hygiene standards, including proper handling, cleanliness, and health screenings of kitchen staff.

The FDA’s actions and the efforts of AMA underscore the significance of maintaining strict food safety measures to protect public health. With collective vigilance and consumer awareness, Ghana can ensure that its culinary traditions are not only delicious but also safe for everyone to enjoy.

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