Koforidua, Nov. 9, GNA - The Eastern Regional Office of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has begun a sensitization of corn millers on the safe handling of food items and best hygiene practices at their centres for the safety of the public.
The exercise, in collaboration with the Environmental Health Organisation (EHO), aims at streamlining activities of corn millers, including the types of machines to use to avoid contamination of food items and adherence to best hygiene standards.
Mr Samuel Kwakye, Eastern Regional Head of the FDA, who disclosed this in an interview with the GNA indicated that as part of the exercise, the corn millers and their assistants, who handled food items at such centres would be screened and issued with health certificates.
He said the conditions at most of the corn milling centres were very poor and posed a health risk to the public.
He mentioned the rusty corn milling machines and the poor sanitary conditions and expressed the hope that the exercise would address the issues systematically.
Mr Kwakye said unlike the corn milling centres, which were licenced to operate, the fufu machine operators were yet to be licenced.
He said the FDA, in partnership with other regulatory agencies, would soon fine-tune the operations of the fufu machine operators.
Mr Kwakye noted that, as part of measures to guarantee the safety of consumers this Christmas, the FDA was embarking on post-market surveillance to dispose-off substandard, counterfeit and expired products from the market.
He urged consumers to make food safety a priority by critically examining products purchased in the market, thus, looking out for expiry dates and registration details to avoid buying unwholesome products for their safety.
Mr George Ampofo Ayeh, the FDA Regional Public Relations Officer, said the corn milling machines were supposed to be made with stainless steel to prevent rusting.
He noted that most corn milling machines were made from metals and painted to hide the material, explaining that paints contained chemicals which could cause some form of contamination to food.
The FDA exists to protect public health by assuring the safety, efficacy and security of human and veterinary drugs, food, biological products, cosmetics, medical devices, household chemical substances, tobacco and the conduct of clinical trials in the country.