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Health News of Thursday, 11 June 2020

Source: Daily Guide Network

FDA reviews operation amidst coronavirus

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has reviewed its operation to reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 on businesses while ensuring the safety of the food supply chain.

The Authority, as part of its new strategy, is leveraging on technology in the execution of some of its regulatory functions and easing regulatory bureaucracies and administrative bottlenecks which do not necessarily enhance public health.

Besides, it is supporting the food industry to become self-regulating, as well as providing guidance to the food industry towards the implementation of Food Safety Management Systems based on the HACCP principles.

The Head of FISSD, FDA, Ebenezer Kofi Essel, speaking during a virtual international panel discussion to commemorate the 2nd World Food Safety Day, said an area the national food regulatory agency was prioritizing was food waste due to poor storage practices and sanitation in market places.

He added that the Authority had, therefore, assessed the national food safety situation in the light of regulatory coverage along the food supply chain and found solutions to the weak links.

“During this period, it is the intensification of measures that would ensure the continuous supply of safe and nutritious food … which is essential in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

The Chief Executive Officer, FDA, Delese Darko, touching on the theme: “Food Safety in Our Business Environment During this Covid-19 Period”, said access to sufficient amount of safe and nutritious food is key in terms of sustaining life and promoting good health.

She said the COVID-19 pandemic had resulted in food supply chains being disrupted, with some products, ingredients, or materials being unavailable or in short supply.

She further noted that in the rush to identify new suppliers, food businesses may focus less attention on the integrity of the supply chain, thereby compromising on food safety and food fraud.

“It is imperative to ensure food safety in order to prevent food-borne illnesses while building and maintaining the body’s immune system to fight COVID-19,” she said.

Mrs. Darko said FDA was, therefore, working with the food industry to ensure the prevention and spread of Covid-19 in order to forestall any potential food safety and nutritional challenges that may arise.

The meeting also has speakers from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Civil Society Organizations.

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