Ghanaians urged to uphold national food safety standards

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Food and Drugs Authority

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is mobilising the collective efforts of all stakeholders to protect Ghana’s fragile land and water resource integrity to uphold national food safety standards.

Food and Drugs AuthorityThe Authority emphasised the necessity of recognising the significance of preserving the safety and quality of national food sources through a collaborative approach to safeguard lands and water bodies as essential environments for producing high-quality food for the populace.

Madam Francisca Obeng, the Central Regional Head of FDA, said, “Food plays a pivotal role in our cultural identity, fostering a sense of unity among us.

“..Imagine if the presence of artificial colours, dyes, formalin, and other harmful substances in our food undermine our unity?

“How can one claim to love their neighbour whilst serving or selling them food riddled with harmful substances? she queried adding that prioritising the production and preparation of food in clean and safe conditions was imperative to prevent adverse effects on people.

“Therefore, let us join forces to produce high-quality foods and look out for one another, as our food choices directly impact our overall well-being.

Mrs. Obeng was speaking during a public awareness campaign on food safety in parts of Cape Coast to commemorate this year’s World Food Safety Day.

Under the theme: “Food Safety: Preparing for the unexpected,” the event was aimed at underscoring the significance correlation between current food production practices and the long-term well-being of individuals, animals, and the environment.

World Food Safety Day is observed annually to create awareness on the critical need of ensuring food safety for a prosperous future.

The World Health Organization (WHO) explicitly states that food safety, nutrition, and food security are intricately interconnected.

WHO also reports that with an estimated 600 million people, nearly one in 10 individuals globally fall ill after consuming contaminated food, with 420,000 deaths occurring annually.

Mrs Obeng emphasised that food safety should be a top priority for everyone, as it was a fundamental necessity for survival.

She said ensuring safety was a collaborative effort that no individual food producer could achieve alone.

Therefore, it had become imperative for governments, food producers, business operators and consumers to collaborate to ensure the safety and quality of food supply chain from farm to table.

She highlighted the deep symbolic significance of food, representing the country’s diverse cultural heritage and fostering unity, stating, “Our lives are significantly influenced by what we consume.”

“This implies that the food we ingest can either nourish us or pose a risk to our health,” she pointed out.

Mrs Obeng noted that global trade had the potential to propagate foodborne diseases across borders, necessitating international cooperation to ensure food safety, as contagious diseases and illnesses transmitted through food could have far-reaching consequences.

Nonetheless, Madam Obeng affirmed that the Authority remains dedicated to safeguarding consumers by addressing the issue of unsafe foods, both domestically and internationally.

She said efforts are being made to enhance food safety nationwide, including raising awareness about food safety protocols in various establishments and stressing the significance of permits for street food vendors.

By Isaac Arkoh, GNA

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