FDA HOLDS A MARKET DURBAR AT THE DOME MARKET
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has organised a market durbar at the Dome market, as part of its activities to ensure safer food in the various markets under the theme “Safe Handling of Food Produce in the Market”. The market durbar which was held on Wednesday, 31st January, 2018, brought together Market Queens, Commodity Queens, officers of the Ga East District Assembly and Environmental Health Officers among other stakeholders.
The durbar aimed at sensitizing and discussing with the various stakeholders, issues that bother on public health and food safety. It was also to help gather their concerns and the relevant information needed to develop interventions that would be used to ensure the promotion and sale of safe food to the public.
Some of the issues that the traders were educated on included, good retail and storage Practices at the market; how to transport and retail fresh meat under hygienic conditions; personal hygiene for food vendors; the dangers, consequences and sanctions associated with food adulteration and the proper handling of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Mr. Benjamin Osei Tutu, the Head of Public Education and Food Borne Surveillance Unit of the FDA, highlighted on some of the activities at the various market places that serve as a source of food contamination which compromises food safety and public health. Some of these food safety challenges he mentioned included exposure of produce to unfavorable storage conditions, poor hygienic practices and conditions in the market, as well as food adulteration. These challenges were noted to be threats to food security and food safety in Ghana. He therefore advised that it was the responsibility of all stakeholders to curtail these unsafe practices.
He emphasized the need for effective collaboration between the FDA and the Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to ensure that the traders are educated appropriately and to implement which would go a long way to enhance hygienic environment at the markets and eventually enable the sale of safe foods.
The team from the FDA was made up of staff from the Food Safety Management Department, Animal Products Department, Agro Product and Biosafety Department and the Tobacco and Substances of Abuse Department.
The team used the opportunity to educate the market women on the abuse of Tramadol and cough syrup containing codeine and their negative health effects. They were encouraged to advise their children and close relatives against the use of such drugs, which could be fatal to their health.
The Environmental Health Officers on their part assured the FDA of their readiness to assist in promoting public health and safety at all times.
The market Queens thanked the FDA staff for the education and promised to do better to improve their handling practices of food produce in the market and also will pass on the education on the abuse of drugs.
It would be recalled that the FDA on Thursday, 26th October, 2017, organized a massive clean-up exercise and market durbar at the Agbobloshie market 1st Food Safety Conference under the theme, “Enhancing Food Security through Safe Food Practices” as part of the activities commemorating the Food Safety Sensitization Programme 2017.