The Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Food Division of Food and Drugs Board, Mr John Odame Dankwah, said with current influx of visitors the country will be expecting during the Ghana 2008, it is imperative that food is prepared under safe and hygienic conditions. This, therefore, calls for the need to adequately equip food providers in these institutions with the requisite knowledge and the need for good hygienic practices.
He said this in Accra yesterday when the Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the Ghana 2008 in collaboration with the Food and Drugs Board, organised a one-day training workshop for food vendors on food safety in the metropolis.
The workshop was to impact positively on the status of food safety amongst food vendors which will go a long way to improve on public health as a nation and also enhance the good image of Ghana.
Some of the topics treated were kitchen fabrics, cleaning, waste management and provision of suitable food processing equipments and utensils, hygienic practices, health status, amongst others.
Mr Dankwah explained that, the knowledge of food safety provides a basis for the development of intervention strategies at all stages. This, he said, do not only depend on inspections by government agencies but also on educational campaigns and sensitisation programmes directed by policy makers, food handlers and other operators.
He stressed that, the conditions under which food is handled from the point of production until its final consumption is very important in the food quality and safety equation.
'The consequences of unsafe food can not be overemphasised, food-borne illness and food-borne injuries are at best unpleasant and at worst potentially fatal with a resulting financial and economic implication. As a result, it is incumbent on government and regulatory bodies to ensure that all citizenry have access to safe and quality food,' he added.
The Head of Animal Food Product and Bio-Safety Department, Dr Mohammed Alfa, said that an additional aim of the workshop was to make sure the food vendors will not be selling contaminated.
He noted that, cooking, preparation and serving of food must be taken seriously into consideration. Dr Mohammed Alfa impressed upon them to be vigilant on the expiry dates, rusty and leakages of canned products as well as safely handle.
The workshop brought together over 70 registered vendors who will be selling at the Ohene Djan Stadium for the Ghana 2008.