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General News of Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Source: GNA

FDB embarks on inspection and licensing of street food vendors

Accra, July 13, GNA - The Food Safety Management Department (FSMD) of the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) has embarked on the licensing of street vendors to ensure the safety of foods.

The exercise, being undertaken in collaboration with the Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit of Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), is aimed at ensuring that food vendors adhered to and met the stipulated requirements of going through annual medical screening and licensing.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Accra on Wednesday, Mrs Maria Aba

Lovelace-Johnson, Head of FSMD, said it had come to the notice of the Board= the

deplorable state of food preparation sites in the metropolis whereas food vending sites

seemed slightly decent. She said people purchased food from street vendors without finding out its source let

alone inspecting the preparation sites, adding that the public must endeavour to know the

preparation sites of the food they purchased outside home. "We might be deceived and attracted by the neat vendor sites but the source of the food

we eat might be as dirty as anything," she added. The team from FDB and AMA are currently going round Osu Oxford street to inspect

street food vendors and find out their level of knowledge on basic hygiene, personal hygiene,

inspect preparation sites, raw material acquisition, their storage and control, food

preparation, water supply and storage as well as equipment and utensils used in food

preparation and serving. Mrs Lovelace-Johnson said after the inspection, the Board would then issue vendors with

licenses and certificates which would be displayed when at work for easy identification. "Vendors who do not comply after this inspection and education I'm afraid will have to

be prosecuted and face the full rigours of the law," she added. She explained that the FDB was treating with seriousness concerns raised by the public

on food safety and its related diseases. It had, therefore, created Public Education and Food Borne Disease Surveillance Unit

under the FSMD to assist in addressing food borne diseases. Ms Matilda Fati Sandow, Deputy Environmental Health Officer of AMA, expressed

concern about challenges facing the Assembly during the daily inspection routine where some

vendors refused to grant them audience whilst others insulted them. She welcomed the collaboration and the training and resources provided them by FDB,

adding, 93This will help us reach a wider population of street food vendors as well as the

public."

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