The United Kingdom has banned the importation of palm oil from Ghana, following the detection of the adulteration of the product.
Palm oil export to the UK has been found to contain red dye which is hazardous to human consumption. Consequently, the Food and Drugs Bard has set up a committee to investigate the source of the adulteration and ensure the subsequent withdrawal of all such products from the local market as well as the export line. The deputy chief executive of the Food and Drugs Board, Mr. Ben Botwe, announced this in Accra yesterday when he addressed a training workshop on “Good Food Warehouse and Cold store practices. He said the food division was collaborating with other agencies to conduct a sample test of any colouring matter.
He said the problem had serious implications for traditional exports, the food security as well as the health and image of the country. M. Botwe said the people must have that right to expect food they intended to eat was safe and suitable for consumption, adding that “outbreak of food-borne illness can damage trade and tourism and lead to loss of income, unemployment and litigation. He said that between 1999 and 2001, more than ¢500milion worth of packaged food was detained for destruction, and this attributed to poor warehouse management practices. “As managers of part of the food chain, you have the responsibility of ensure that food that you wholesale, retail or sell to the consumer is safe and suitable for consumption,” Mr. Botwe said.
The head of the food division of the board, Mr. K. Van-Ess, said it was an offence for any person to sell or offer for sale any food that had in it or upon it any poisonous or harmful substance. He said the minister in charge of Food and Agriculture would on the advise of the board, order the closure of any premises where food was manufactured, prepared or sold if the board.