The Ghana Tourism Authority has organized a training workshop in Sunyani for informal food and beverage sector operators in the Bono Region. The main objectives of the programme was to professionally prepare the the operators to be able to provide food and beverages under best international practices that would meet the taste and appetite of members of the Diaspora who would be returning home. It was also to equip operators to provide local and traditional dishes in branding Ghana to the International world.
Operators were trained on how to prepare and serve food under safe and hygienic conditions to avoid food poisoning. They were also trained in Customer Care – Etiquette, Serving food with corresponding equipment, Finance & Accounting/Book Keeping,
A Food Scientist and Director of Graduate School at the Kumasi Technical University Dr Patricia Owusu Darko trained the operators on protecting food from contamination, ways of preventing and destroying bacteria in food, how to discard unwholesome food and practical steps to ensure food safety and hygiene. Some ways identified for caution through which food could be poisoned were dust, refuse/waste food, insects and pests – flies, amongst others. Dr Patricia educated operators in the industry how to carry out regular inspection and take immediate action to salvage foodstuffs from poisoning. They were taught effective hand washing and detergents and disinfectants as well as other cleaning agents to be used at their areas and centers of operation for public health.
The President of Traditional Caterers Association A.K. Oteng lauded the Ghana Tourism Authority for the initiative and urged the operators to practice and adhere to what they were trained on to make Ghana an ultimate destination of choice for foreign friends who would visit the country with the Ghanaian counterparts. He disclosed that the Association would embark on a joint periodic inspection with the Ghana Tourism Authority to ensure strict adherence of safety standards.
In his address, the Acting Regional Director Bono, Ahafo and Bono East Regions - Ghana Tourism Authority Joseph Appia-Agyei stressed the need for operators in the industry to be well abreast with the 2016 LI 2238, which is the operation law of the Authority in order to ensure harmony in the quest to promote tourism in the country. He further underscored the impact of the training and sensitization programme in enhancing the knowledge and skills of operators on food safety and hygiene practices and also in organizing and planning their finances and budget in their operations.
Participants, in an interview, acknowledged the benefits derived from the training programme, saying it would bring a positive change and improvement in their operations.