FDA HOLDS SENSITIZATION WORKSHOP FOR FOOD SERVICES ESTABLISHMENTS IN THE BRONG AHAFO REGION
The Brong Ahafo Regional Office of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has organised a two-day sensitization program for operators of Food Establishments in the Brong Ahafo Region as part of the FDA’s activities to ensure safer food on the nmarket especially during the Christmas season.
The workshop which brought together eighty (80) participants from hotels, restaurants, catering services and eateries in the region, was aimed at training participants on the FDA’s regulatory requirements for the Food Service Industry and the importance of Good Hygienic Practices. Participants were thus taken through the inspections requirements and the qualification process for the issuance of Food Hygiene Permits, the general sanitation, personnel issues, equipment cleaning and maintenance, storage practices, as well as documentation.
Mr. Matthew Nkum Gyang, the Brong Ahafo Regional Head of the FDA, at the opening of the workshop emphasized that the essence of the programme among others to include the need to “highlight some of the pertinent food safety issues that may lead to injury, illness or death especially during the impending festive period and ways by which these factors would be minimize to prevent all possible forms of contamination in the food chain.
He also mentioned that “sections 100 and 131 of the public Health Act (2012), Act 851, mandate the FDA to regulate the conditions under which food is prepared and sold and to issue licenses to food preparation facilities.”
Mr. Nkum Gyang also reminded participants that the FDA has chosen to do the training a few days to the festive season to help minimize the incidence of food borne diseases which over the years had been noted during such festive occasions.
Participants were taken through the situational analysis of the food service industry where the FDA’s displeasure of some poor conditions that had been observed during its inspections at some food service establishments was highlighted. More light was thrown on these bad practices and it was stated that these “negative practices affect the safety of the food being served which implies that consumers do not access safe and nutritious food” and some of the challenges observed include the general sanitation, personnel issues, equipment cleaning and maintenance, storage practices as well as documentation.
It was also reiterated that the lack of good general sanitation in and around the food preparation area, the lack of maintenance or unavailability of equipments such as the temperature monitoring devices and personel issues such as the lack of medically certified worker as well as not having formal training in Good Hygiene Practice and Food Safety Issues compromise the safety of food prepared from these facilities. The others include improper cleaning utensils and other equipments, poor storage practices,