The Food and Drugs Board would as from next year inspect the food preparation chain of hotels and restaurants before their licenses are renewed by the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB).
The Regulatory Officer of FDB, Mr. Richard Odum Nyumuah, announced at a two-day training workshop on food safety management for 50 food handlers in the hospitality industry in the Western region at Takoradi.
He said hotels and restaurants found to be producing food under hygienic conditions and meeting food safety standards would be issued with permit and recommended to the GTB to renew their licenses.
Mr. Nyumuah said hotels and restaurants that meet the minimum food safety standards would be asked to improve their performance.
He said those that fail to meet the mark would be closed down.
Mr. Nyumuah said a survey carried by the FDB in 2004 revealed that there were serious food safety issues in hotels and restaurants and the board has received many complainants from the public on food safety in those facilities.
He advised hotels and restaurants to start operating on the principle of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) recommended by Cordex Allimentirus Commission, the United Nations Agency responsible for food safety for developing countries.
He said the HACCP is a science-based food safety management system that aims at identifying potential factors that make food unsafe for consumption.
Mr. Nyumuah said the HACCP would enable hotels and restaurants to prevent, eliminate and reduce these hazards to acceptable limits.
He said the HACCP is compulsory in developed countries and is now being introduced in the country.