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Regional News of Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Source: GNA

FDA adopts Food adopts Safety Emergency Response Plan

Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) Food and Drugs Authority (FDA)

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has adopted a Food Safety Emergency Response Plan (FoSERP) to serve as a guideline to respond to food safety crises.

With the support from the World Health Organisation, the FoSERP would soon become a working policy to manage food safety emergencies.

Mrs Mimi Darko, the Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, said this at the 2021 World Food Safety Day celebration on Monday in Accra.

This year’s theme: “Safe Food Today for a Healthy Tomorrow,” stresses the importance of the production and consumption of safe food, which has immediate and long-term benefits for the people, the economy, and the planet.

The Day sought to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks to safeguard food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development.

Mrs Darko said a proactive approach to food safety was better than a reactive one where an emergency response was required.

She noted that among the food safety measures the FDA had taken were sensitisation at schools, markets, public places, building the capacity of food manufactures, food vendors, and conducting periodic inspections at facilities.

The FDA, she said, had introduced a progressive license scheme to ensure that micro, small and medium scale food manufacturers complied with high food safety standards.

Mrs Darko said the Authority had introduced a consumer complaints system for effective reporting of food safety breaches.

She said the COVID-19 pandemic called for strict food safety adherence to help boost the immune system.

Mr Kwaku A. Manu, the Minister of Health, in a speech delivered on his behalf, said unsafe food posed a threat to the health of consumers and could cause death instead of providing nourishment.

He said the lack of collaboration among stakeholders was affecting the implementation of food safety measures and called for strong and sustained efforts to ensure that the food value chain was smooth.

“Safe food, from tillage to table, from muddy to mouth, from boat to bowl requires a strong collaboration of stakeholders. The Sustainable Development Goal-Two lies in food safety for all,” he said.

Professor Anna Lartey, a Food and Nutrition Expert, said the Food System approach would require linking food safety policies to agriculture fisheries and nutrition.

She said food safety should be managed across the food system, including production, transportation, processing, retailing, marketing and consumption.

Prof Lartey said the proliferation of street foods would require strict adherence to food safety guidelines for vendors.

She called for an improvement in infrastructure and proper food storage facilities as well as educate consumers on basic food safety.

Dr Francis Chisaka Kasolo, the World Health Organisation Representative to Ghana, said food safety was a shared responsibility between governments, producers and consumers.

“Everyone has a role to play from farm to table to ensure the food we consume is safe and healthy,” he said.

Dr Kasolo said through the World Food Safety Day, the World Health Organisation worked to mainstream food safety in the public agenda and reduce the burden of foodborne diseases globally.

“Food safety is everyone's business,” he said.

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