Mr Hayford Ababio, Chairman of the Brong-Ahafo Regional branch of the Ghana National Traditional Caterers Association has urged food vendors to prepare their meals under hygienic practices to avoid the outbreak of epidemics.
He said it was an offence for any person to sell unwholesome food to the public and that those found culpable would be prosecuted.
Mr Ababio said this at a three-day sensitisation workshop at Nkoranza for about 800 food vendors from the Nkoranza South District aimed at educating them on food hygiene, sanitation, business management and tax obligations.
He stressed the need for the vendors to operate in a decent and attractive environment and handle their customers with respect in order to attract more people to their work places.
Mr Ababio announced that the government had mandated the Ghana Tourist Board (GTB) to license all food vendors throughout the country hence no person would be allowed to sell food to the public without a certificate from the Board.
Mr Ababio therefore called on all food vendors to register with the GTB for recognition and to avoid court actions and other embarrassment.
Mr Emmanuel Kwadwo Agyekum, Nkoranza South District Chief Executive (DCE), disclosed that food hygiene had been identified as a major challenge for the attainment of improved public health.
He said a number of diseases among the public were received from the food they took and stressed the need for one to be particular and mindful about the food he ate because food poisoning was a serious threat to life.
He urged them to visit the hospital for screening against communicable diseases since their work led them to exchange and share some personal items with the public.
Mr Agyekum advised them to honour their tax obligations in support of the District Assembly’s revenue generation and for the development of the communities.
Mr Bismark Benefo, Nkoranza South District Assistant Environmental Health Officer, announced that the Food and Drugs Board had banned the sale of local bitters prepared with Akpeteshie and that drinking bar operators should desist from the preparation of such concoctions.
Mr Benefo advised chop-bar operators not to use the ‘caustic soap’ called ‘Asuma Soap’ in washing bowls and plates at their work places since it contained chemicals that could be harmful to the health of the public.
He urged the public to check the expiring dates on all canned foods to save them against food poisoning.