The Food Safety Coordination and Consumer Education Department of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has launched a Christmas Food Safety Market Durbar at the Kaneshie Market in Accra.
The market durbar brought one umbrella over 100 women who are engaged in the sales of various food items.
Addressing the narket women, Director of Food Safety Coordination and Consumer Education Department, Faustina Atupra said "At FDA, we are always in the market inspecting various food items but when it is getting to Christmas, we select one big market and then we educate both the sellers and buyers on the need to buy and sell safe food"
"The essence is to bring to their attention to food safety. For theconsumers, we are telling them to beware of the things you buy. Look at the surroundings you are buying from. When buying packaged food, make sure you are buying something good"
She stressed that consumers should be mindful of rusted cans which are used in selling food products.
"Check on the products before you buy. If you hear that there is 'donkomi', don't just go and use your hard earned money to buy"
"Make sure that you check what you are buying before you purchase it, just to ensure that what you are buying is safe and then what you are also buying is safe"
"For those who are selling at the various markets, we are encouraging everybody that you are displaying food, do it in a right way."
"Don't display Fanta or drinks or beverages under the sun. Display them under the shad"
"Whatever you are doing, think about the safety of the food and don't just sell anything to anybody, but be sure that what you are selling to the consumer is safe"
Madam Atupra also encouraged consumers saying "If you want to buy anything, be sure that what you are buying is safe"
"Don't use your hard earned money to buy diseases for you and your family this Christmas. Check, because safety is very important"
Speaking on Food Adulteration, Head of Food Safety Coordination and Consumer Education Department, Jocelyn Egyakwa-Amusah said "I am appealing to all market women to give FDA tip-offs on person who are fond of food adulteration in the market"
She added that such behaviours are not healthy adding that it puts the life of consumers at huge risks.
She also challenged consumers not allow their monies control them while in the market adding that once that is avoided, only health food stuffs will be purchased.
Food Safety Handling Practices and Personal Hygiene in the markets
A staff at the Food Safety Consumer Education Unit, FDA, Dzigbordi Baker said "To prevent our foods from going bad, let us cultivate the habit of cleaning our surroundings and also making sure that our dustbins are well covered"
"If you sell cold food, ensure that there are lots of ice blocks to keep them cold always"
She revealed that the FDA has introduced Street Food Vending Permit which will help both the vendor and consumers.
She noted that persons who sell ready-to-eat foods are persons to be given such stickers.
Environmental Hygiene in Markets
Head, EHO at the Kaneshie Market, Paola Delle Sogbey said "There is cholera, typhoid among others at the various markets therefore I am appealing to food vendors to ensure that their environments are always safe"
She charged the women to exhibit good behaviours adding that it will prevent the spread of diseases from the vendors and consumers"
Personnel at the Food Safety Consumer Education Unit, FDA, Sandra Obiri appealed to the market women to take the health of the consumers as their topmost priority.
She appealed to the market women to do away with food adulteration among others.
"Please avoid using mosquito coils and sprayers. They are poisonous substances which are very harmful to our health"
The market women also appealed to the FDA to also investigate thoroughly before approving onto the markets some food stuffs.
They promised not engage in unhealthy behaviourswhich will pose as a threat to the lives of the consumers.
Below are some pictures:
Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith