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Health News of Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Source: GNA

Food processing is important to good health- Mrs Nyamekye

Accra, Feb. 26, GNA - Mrs Anna Nyamekye, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, on Tuesday said an intensive training for traditional caterers and food vendors in issues relating to food processing, handling and safety were important to prevent food-borne illnesses.

She said food vendors and caterers needed to consider the quality of the ingredients, water, working environment and handling of food, its safety and washing of hands among other things.

Addressing about 30 food vendors and caterers attending a three-day workshop in Accra, Mrs. Nyamekye said food-borne diseases had a remarkable burden on the health care system as well as a significant reduction on economic productivity.

"Though it is good for food vendors and caterers to think of profit, it is equally important for them to think about the consumer since the food went a long way to affect the health status of the consumer," Mrs. Nyamekye said. The workshop was organised by the Women in Agriculture Development Directorate (WIAD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) to equip the participants with basic nutritional education, health skills, and business and financial management techniques.

Participants would be taken through personal hygiene and environmental sanitation, food fortification and food processing techniques.

Mrs. Nyamekye said because majority of Ghanaians presently depended on wayside food for their sustenance it was important that those who prepared it put in extra efforts at ensuring that the food was healthy for consumption.

The Rev. Mrs. Nyuieme Adiepena, Officer in-Charge, Value Additional Unit of WIAD, MOFA, said after the training there would be a follow-up to check if participants were practicing what they had acquired during the training session.

She said food vendors would receive practical training during the workshop to complement the skills they already had.

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