The FDA Staff at the Ada Market
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) Ghana has launched a campaign to ensure a safe Christmas season at the Ada Market.
The two-pronged activity of consumer education and market surveillance is to rid the markets of all unregistered and unsafe products.
The programme is aimed at creating awareness on the food safety handling practices to mitigate food safety risks during the Christmas festivities.
The FDA in a release indicated that Christmas is a season of celebrations adding that food is a very big part of Christmas activities and New Year celebrations.
“As such anyone involved in farming, processing, transport, importing, selling, cooking, consumers and even regulating of foods has more work to do and must pay more attention to taking care of food and ensuring food safety around this time,” it said.
The FDA thus noted that the unique campaign is designed to ensure that the spirit of Christmas is harmonized with the highest standards of food safety, offering essential guidelines and practices for a worry-free culinary experience during these festivities.
The FDA staff took market women through topics such as what one should we look out for when doing Christmas shopping for pre-packaged foods emphasizing on the expiry/ best before dates, clear indication of allergens, torn or worn-out packages or rusty, bloated or dented cans.
The FDA staff also took them through some safe cooking and proper food handling practices such as cooking food thoroughly to eliminate harmful bacteria, keeping foods at their safe temperatures, for instance, freshly made salad and juices should be stored at a cold temperature.
“Foods on display should be in appropriate chafing with even heat distributed in the food, individuals are encouraged to wash hands well with soap under running water when handling foods, leftover foods should be properly handled to prevent contamination and be reheated properly before consuming,” the FDA Staff told the market women.
The staff also sensitized the public on what they should consider when eating out or at Christmas parties including looking out for Food Hygiene or Street Food Vending Permits.
“This will tell you that they have fulfilled all food safety and hygiene requirements, and the FDA has certified them to prepare and sell food to the public,” they said.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri