B/A FDA Holds Workshop For Food Establishment Operators Ahead Of Christmas
As part of activities to ensure safer food especially during Christmas season,the Brong Ahafo regional Chapter of the Food and Drugs Authority(FDA) ,on Wednesday organised a sensitisation program for Food Establishments operators in the region.
The two-day workshop which brought together 80 participants from Hotels and Restaurants in the region was aimed at training participants on the FDA’s regulatory requirements for the Food Service Industry in relation to inspections and issuance of Food Hygiene Permits, as well as the importance of Good Hygienic Practices.
The participants were taken through general sanitation, personnel issues, equipment cleaning and maintenance, storage practices as well as documentation.
Mr. Matthew Gyang Nkum,the Regional Director of the FDA,in an interview with Ahomka 90.5FM/Sunyani,said they held the program to empower the operators of the food service establishments to assure consumers of safe food through self-compliance and regulation.
According to Mr. Nkum, if food is safe, it would in tend produce a healthy population who would be more productive thereby resulting in an enhanced economy."that's why we are doing this sensitisation to operators of the food service establishments in the Region" he added.
He said food vendors highly contributed to the health of consumers because good health basically depended on what was eaten and, therefore,charged food vendors to be neat.
Mr. Matthew Gyang Nkum, said the lack of good general sanitation in and around the food preparation area, the lack of maintenance or unavailability of equipment such as the temperature monitoring devices and personnel issues such as the lack of medically certified worker as well as the not having formal training in good hygiene practice and food safety issues compromise the safety of food prepared from these facilities.
He mentioned, improper cleaning of utensils and other equipment’s, poor storage practices, the lack of documentation on the activities among other health hazard which all pose food safety threats to the consumer.
"All foods should be cooked very well especially meat,fish and chicken, the flesh and juice of meat ,fish and chicken should be clear and not reddish or pink" he told Food operators.
"We took them through the inspection and licensing criteria under which a food hygiene permit is issued to an establishment for operation and enlightened them on what constituted major and minor non-compliances and the scoring system used by the Authority to grade premises based on which an establishment can either be issued or refused a hygiene permit,Mr. Nkum to Ahomka 90.5FM/Sunyani
He urged the Participants to make their facilities neat and charged consumers not to buy food form unhygienic facilities but rather encouraged the food facilities operators to always bear in mind that access to safe and nutritious food is a basic individual right.
As a way forward to making regulation simple for both the FDA and the food service industry, participants were encouraged to study the criteria for inspection and licensing, apply the criteria, and be self-regulatory.
He said "the FDA also indicated its commitment to ensuring that the best sanitary practices are adhered to in the various food facilities operators in the region".
Meanwhile,some participants commended FDA for the event and ongoing education programs they are doing in various radio stations and markets.