We’re not to blame for imported ‘rotten’ chicken saga – FDA

The Foods and Drugs Board (FDA), has said it cannot be held responsible for a consignment of rotten chicken allegedly discovered on the Ghanaian market.

The Herald newspaper reported on Monday that, thousands of Ghanaians may be in danger as credible information they have from the Tema Ports suggests that, some unwholesome frozen food products, have found their way into the country under bizarre circumstances.

But according to the FDA, its officer assigned to the consignment realized that not all the chickens were rotten, and thus ordered for the unwholesome ones to be destroyed, but prevented the company from clearing a second consignment full of frozen chicken.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on the matter, the Head of Public Affairs at FDA, James Lartey, said although the second consignment was embargoed, they realized later that, it had been cleared.

He explained that, their officer who was assigned to the consignment, was subsequently able to detain 2,800 cartons of the embargoed consignment.

“I don’t know why our officer should be blamed in this instance. In the first place, he has allowed a product to be cleared…he went there, he did sorting, there was a second institution that was among the sorting team, samples were taken, the wholesome ones were kept and the unwholesome ones were destroyed. What has he done wrong? I don’t know how I’m going to blame our officer.”

Mr. Lartey noted that, “With the second consignment, he had clearly agreed that the product should not be cleared, and it has been cleared, how do you blame him?”

“He has followed up and found 2,800 cartons of the one that was not supposed to be cleared, and he has detained it, and you blame the officer for what?”

Don’t blame us – CEPS

The Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS) division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA), has said it is investigating the matter.

CEPS, however said it cannot be blamed for the issue.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, a member of the CEPS communication team, Paa Kow Ekumah, said although they do not think something untoward had occurred, they won’t leave anything to chance, as a probe is underway into the incident.

“That issue has come up, and we are seriously looking at it – investigations are going on from different angles. It’s a little sensitive now, and it’s a little early to draw conclusions. But what we know is that, when it comes to Customs, we will always make sure that we will not find ourselves on the wrong side of the law.”

“In the case of this chicken, yes, the full work hasn’t been done yet, and we have our officers down there and I’m sure in a matter of a day or two, we will come to a conclusion on it. But nothing really has gone wrong that has to do with Customs having done the wrong thing or even the FDA,” he added.

Rotten products destroyed

This comes on the back of some impounded rotten mackerel that found its way into the country.

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) on October 1, 2017, destroyed 4,500 cartons of unwholesome canned fish that were said to be in transit to Togo, but were diverted onto the Ghanaian market.

By: Godwin Akweiteh Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana