The Food and Drugs Board (FDB) has stressed the need for food industries, especially small and medium enterprises, to endeavour to install Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Quality Management Systems for continuous improvement in food safety and quality.
HACCP is an internationally recognised food safety tool used throughout the world's food industry and is recognised as the best available approach to assuring the safety of food.
The procedure includes identifying all the hazards in the production process, identifying the critical areas of control and undertaking measures to prevent problems from arising.
It is also a documented risk management tool which focuses on preventing problems before they occur, rather than detecting them after they occur through wasteful end process inspection.
Speaking at the commissioning and certification of HACCP at the Coca Cola Bottling Plant in Kumasi, the deputy Chief Executive of the FDB, Kwamena Van-Ess, said the board seeks to implement the appropriate regulatory measures to achieve the highest standard of safety, efficacy and quality for all food, drugs cosmetics, chemical substances and medical devices, locally manufactured, imported, distributed, sold or used, to ensure the protection for the consumer as envisaged by the laws regulating food and drugs in force in Ghana.
To realise the mission, the Board, he said, had set for itself certain goals one of which is to ensure that all local manufacturers of products (food, drugs, cosmetics, among the lots), are licensed and that their operations conform to current codes of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
Mr Van-Ess explained that FDB would provide advisory services and furnishes food industries with recommendation for compliance.
According to him, to maintain access to both local and international markets, there would be the need to improve the way that some food businesses produce and handle their products.
He was happy that Coca-Cola Bottling Company submitted itself to be assisted by the FDB in training and installing of the HACCP systems in its operations.
In a speech read on his behalf, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, Chief Executive Officer/General Manager of Coca Cola Bottling Company, gave the assurance that 'quality control and quality assurance will remain a most important part of our operations because it has a direct bearing on the well being of our customers'.
'We at Coca Cola believe that quality assurance is a journey rather than a destination and we are constantly investing resources and effort to improve and become better', he added.