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Health News of Thursday, 27 February 2020


‘Salmonella-infested gizzards poses health risks’ says Director of Veterinary Services at MoFA

Director of Veterinary Services Directorate at MoFA, Dr. Asiedu Baah play videoDirector of Veterinary Services Directorate at MoFA, Dr. Asiedu Baah

Director of Veterinary Services Directorate at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Asiedu Baah, says persons who consumed the salmonella-infested gizzards without thoroughly boiling it at 100? for a maximum of 15 to 20 minutes were exposed to toxins that can induce diarrhea.

According to a report by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), the forty-footer container of salmonella infested gizzard from Brazil was intercepted at the Tema Port following a tip-off by the Brazilian Embassy on February 27, 2019, about the container which had arrived in Ghana in January last year.

The Ghanaian companies responsible for the importation of the gizzard stated that they had already released the infested gizzard unto the market and therefore couldn’t recall it.

Fears have aggravated since news broke about some Salmonella-infested gizzards which had found its way into the market.

When the news team visited the Mallam Attah Market on Wednesday, February 26, 2020, some cold store operators who spoke to GhanaWeb revealed that there's been a decline in the sale of gizzards as people fear of contracting any illness as a result of its consumption.

But addressing the issue, Dr. Asiedu Baah, explained that people can consume gizzard without any fear since the infested gizzards have been impounded adding that the Ministry is working to avert similar cases.

“I want to inform the public that this incident took place last year and they cleared the goods- the three containers (a forty-footer container) in January. The last one they took was on February 12 last year… I trust that within a maximum of 3 months these three containers might have been consumed by the public already, so they shouldn’t entertain fears of going in for gizzard because we are very vigilant, this incidence will never happen again,” Director of Veterinary Services Directorate at MoFA, Dr. Asiedu Baah assured the public.

Before imported animal products are allowed into Ghana, there is a need to ensure that the product has an import permit accompanied by an animal health certificate from the imported county to show that the animal product is safe for human consumption.

Prior to this directive, the two Ghanaian food import companies, Perez Frozen Foods, and Perfect God Enterprise allegedly imported the products without import permits and veterinary health certificates.

The Veterinary Service Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, which is responsible for ensuring meat and other products of animal origin imported into the country are safe for human consumption, have been excluded from the inspection of animal products at the country's ports.

The regulatory agencies for Physical Examination at the Ports have been reduced from 16 to 3, thus the Food and Drugs Authority, Ghana Revenue Authority, and the Ghana Standards Authority, following the introduction of ‘Smart Ports’ which seeks to improve trade transactions at the various ports across the country.

The President of the Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association, Michael Nyarko Ampem, has also called for sanctions to be meted out to persons behind the importation of the Salmonella-infested gizzards.