The Eastern Regional office of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) says it is going to intensify public education within Koforidua and its environs to educate traders and consumers on food safety and good hygienic practices to avoid contamination of food sold to the general public ahead of Christmas festivities.
Public education forms part of the FDA's mandate to ensure that all regulated products sold to the public are safe for consumption.
Officials from the Eastern Regional office of the FDA visited Koforidua main market and other market within its environs to interact with consumers and sellers who were buying and selling, to educate them to avoid buying products that are bloated, expired, dented and also desist from buying food from unhygienic environments.
According to the Eastern Regional Head of the FDA, Mr. Samuel Kwakye, the region is intensifying its public education ahead of the Christmas season because most people sell unregistered and expired products during the period. He called on consumers to be vigilant when they visit the market to purchase products.
He said the public education would be organized in all the various markets across the region to ensure that majority of the population is reached to help maintain food safety.
Also, the Public Relation Officer of the Eastern Region office, Mr. George Ampofo Ayeh was optimistic that the education would go a long way to equip the general public on what to look out for when they visit the market.
According to him, many people go to the market to buy without looking out for expiry date and registration details of the products, he further called on the public to examine any product carefully before purchasing them to avoid consuming expired and unregistered product.He added that expired products are not good for consumption because they pose health risks to the consumer.
Mr. Ayeh used the opportunity to appeal to wholesalers and retailers to desist from selling products that are expired to the public because it is illegal to sell unwholesome product to the general public. He advised them to keep unexpired product away from expired products and advised that expired product should be disposed safely.
The Eastern Regional PRO speaking during the public education indicated that the Authority is embarking on post market surveillance to flush out products that are not registered with the Authority. He advised producers/ manufacturers of FDA regulated products who have their products selling on the market to contact the Authority and commence registration so as to ensure the safety and avoid sanctions.
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.