21.06.2006 Health

Ghanaians Must Ensure Food Safety

By Times
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Deputy Health Minister, Gladys Ashietey, yesterday launched the 4th National Food Safety Week at Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region with a call on Ghanaians to help ensure food safety and security in the country.

This she said is because the regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drugs Board and the Customs, Excise and Preventive Service alone cannot succeed in this campaign without the support of all stakeholders.

The Food and Drugs Board organized the celebration on the theme, “Your Food - Buy right, Eat right, Live right”, to sensitize Ghanaians on the need to eat right.

Dr Ashietey noted that confidence in the safety and integrity of the country's food supply chain is an important requirement for consumers.

She said examples of factors which contribute to potential hazards in the food supply chain include: improper agricultural practices, poor hygienic practices in food processing and preparation and improper storage conditions. She advised customers to take the initiative to draw the attention of manufacturers or the Food and Drugs Board about any bad experience they may have in using any food product.

“Consumers must also realize that in all these efforts, they must exercise a high sense of responsibility for their own health in terms of food safety.”

She said since business thrives on patronage, selective and discriminatory consumers would help to promote good practices among food sellers, street vendors and other food service establishments.

Touching briefly on the bird flu, the deputy minister said though Ghana has no record of any outbreak of the disease, the ministry is using collaborative surveillance and advocacy approaches to sensitize consumers on the prevention of the disease.

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