The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in the Central Region has urged the public to be wary of buying and consuming poisonous products during the Christmas festive season in the name of promotions and cheap prices.
It warned that many products that were near expiry were often dumped onto the market at incredibly low prices for the unsuspecting public during the season.
The Principal Regulatory Officer of FDA, Francisca Obeng, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, therefore, entreated the public to buy products only approved by the Authority.
She urged them to take responsibility for their health and personal safety by checking the expiry and manufacturing dates and avoiding bloated and dented products.
“It is also very important to pay attention to the storage conditions of the products; ensure that the food you are buying is not directly under the sun or on the floor or in any other unwholesome condition,” she said.
Madam Obeng said consumers of ready-to-eat foods should look out for the Food Hygiene Permits and Street Food Vending Permits of the sellers to ensure they were buying from safe sources.
“If you have to buy food from the street, be sure that the vendor is medically certified, keeps good hygiene principles, and has a hand washing station with a neat environment,” she said.
Meanwhile, she said the FDA was still working relentlessly to ensure public health safety through market surveillance, public education, and routine inspections.
Touting some achievements of the Authority in the region this year, Madam Obeng said her office disposed of about eight tonnes of expired, unwholesome, and unregistered products at the Nkanfoa Landfill site in Cape Coast.
She said the Authority was able to meet its target by registering more products through the Progressive Licensing Scheme for small-scale and cottage-sized businesses.
“We also increased visibility in the market by ensuring an increase in market surveillance and more encounters with the public to educate them on food and drug safety,” she added.
Going forward, she assured that they would continue to encourage local cottage and small-scale industries to register their products with the FDA.
“The FDA will intensify the provision of industrial and technical support to industries while ensuring the continuous flow of information regarding our regulatory products,” Madam Obeng added.