The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) would commence a food safety enforcement exercise and food vendors who do not comply with the laws and standards of food safety will be imprisoned or fined.
Ms. Maria Aba Lovelace-Johnson, the Head of the Food Safety Management Department, FDA said this at a training programme organised by the FDA for Environmental Health Officers of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
[contextly_sidebar id=”U12jmY5E7GTmu1MwRRIbGqk9hXb7ielE”]She said the FDA had embarked on educational programmes and exercises from 2012 to 2016 and its time for enforcement.
“From the situational analysis done prior to 2012, we concluded that food vendors had very little knowledge on food safety so from 2012-2016 we embarked on education programme to enlighten them,” she said.
She emphasized that salad must be sold cold so food vendors must put salad on ice or refrigerated, meat and fish must be sold cold or iced.
“Because no one carries a thermometer around consumers should be able to feel the coldness in the salad and the food must be piping hot so that they will be able to see the steam coming out before they buy it.”
She also disproved certain myths Ghanaians have about food safety and storage and stated that fresh meat must be bought frozen just as fish is sold frozen to prevent microbial growth.
“Ghanaians believe that meat must be displayed unfrozen to prove that it is fresh. They also believe that food cooked must be allowed to cool down before storing in a refrigerator, all these are false and make room for microbial growth,” she said.
She said pathogenic food organisms were mesophilic and they grow best in moderate temperature, neither too hot nor too cold, typically between 20 degree Celsius and 45 degree Celsius.
She, therefore, added that the food safety department of the FDA will be collaborating with the Municipal Metropolitan and District Assemblies in order to be able to ensure the effective regulation of street vendors.