The Ho Central Market’s vendors have been urged to start selling their items in order to raise awareness of the requirements needed for food safety.
The World Food Safety Day durbar in the Volta Region, where stakeholders voiced concerns about how food was exhibited on the ground for sale, is where the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) issued the instruction.
Hundreds of vendors occupy the streets, lanes, and alleyways of the enormous market, most of whom spread their goods out on the naked ground while passersby avoid stepping on them, particularly on market days, which occur every four days.
The method exposed the food to significant contamination, according to Mr. Gorden Akurugu, the Volta Regional Head of the FDA, and should be avoided.
Eight companies are now being prosecuted in the Volta and Oti regions as part of the FDA and partners’ ongoing fight against groundnut and palm oil adulteration in the nation, he said, adding that a culture of shared responsibility should be encouraged.
He cited a recent outbreak of food poisoning that had been disastrous in saying that the festival and its theme for the year should assist improve food quality in the nation.
“We want to use this platform as FDA to make everyone know that life can be dangerous if we consume wrong food,” he said, appealing to market folk to lead the campaign for the best standards in direct consumables.
The topic for this year’s World Food Safety Day is “Food Standards, Saves Lives.” Colleagues from the Ghana Standards Authority, the Environmental Health Department, and the Ho Municipal Assembly joined the FDA’s personnel on a route march in the market vicinity to raise awareness while distributing flyers and souvenirs.
The Market Queen, Madam Rejoice Norvihoho, stated that there was a significant danger of food contamination and expressed concern about the development of hepatitis and TB in the crowded setting.
Since most items were intended for direct consumption, she said it was crucial to prevent market women from displaying them on the ground. She thus made a plea to the FDA and other relevant authorities, including the Municipal Assembly, to support the promotion of excellent standards.
The Market Queen hoped that attention would also be paid to the creation of sachet water and quick food and drinks, and she said that regular sensitization of market patrons would aid in changing attitudes.
Food safety should be a priority for everyone, according to Madam Jocelyn Adeline Egyakwa, Head of Food Safety Coordination and Consumer Education Department, FDA. This includes packing, labeling, and all other standards.
According to her, following excellent standards helps avoid food-borne illnesses, thus the whole food supply chain, from farm to fork, must adhere to high standards.
Environmental health inspectors recommended customers to avoid consuming outdated or unhealthy meals and to ask vendors about the food’s physical condition and the health of other people before purchasing.
In order to control them, greater help was needed, according to representatives of the Ghana Standards Authority, who also stated that many processed or packaged food goods on the market avoided license requirements.
The durbar’s chairman, Mr. Divine Bosson, the chief executive of the Ho Municipality, declared that the Assembly will keep working with stakeholders to prevent food product adulteration and prohibit ground exhibition.
“As MCE, the Assembly will continue to ensure the food chain is hygienic. We will monitor the food chain from the farm to the kitchen,” he added.