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14.04.2008 Health

Ghanaians fall sick because of poor diet

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A whopping 420,000 Ghanaians fall sick every year due to poor dieting, Mrs. Victoria Tsekpo, Acting Director of Women in Agriculture and Development of Ministry of Food and Agriculture, said on Monday in Accra.

She said it had therefore become important for the nation to work out measures to maintain food safety.

Mrs. Tsekpo said this at the opening of a four-day workshop on healthy meat processing for 25 extension officers and meat processors from Greater Accra and Eastern regions.

She noted that meat sellers in the Accra Metropolis often processed meat in unhygienic conditions, thus contaminating it and making it unsafe for consumption.

Mrs. Tsekpo said smoked meat, a traditional way of processing meat, was very nutritious yet some processors made it unhealthy by resorting to the wrong method.

"When meat is smoked, the fat in it is extracted, so it becomes healthy and nutritious for consumption but when the meat is exposed to smoke for a long period it becomes hazardous to the body."

According to her, research had showed improved methods of meat and fish smoking which was very healthy.

Mrs. Tsekpo advised the participants to educate their colleagues on the skills they would acquire after the workshop to promote safe meat processing.

The Rev. Mrs. Nyuieme Adiepena, Head of Additional Value for Food Processing Unit, giving an overview of the workshop, said the training would involve more practical work to enable participants to be acquainted to some scientific methods of meat processing.

She said topics to be treated during the period would include food monitoring, meat smoking and good marketing practices.

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