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FDB holds stakeholders meeting on Food Safety Situational Analysis Report

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The Food and Drugs Board (FDB) on Thursday held a Food Safety Situational Analysis Report meeting for stakeholders within and outside the health sector to orient them on the report and its validation for Ghana.

The meeting was also to help integrate the results of the Report into the National Food Safety Policy Development process, Dr. Mohammed Alfa, Head of Animal Products and Bio-safety said.

In a speech read for him, the Chief Executive Officer of the FDB, Dr. Stephen K. Opuni, Deputy Chief Executive (CEO) in charge of Food, Mr. John Odame Darkwa said  the Board as a matter of urgency was coordinating with the appropriate agencies to draft the National Food Safety Policy.

The policy, he said, would harmonize the activities of the myriad of the food control institutions in Ghana to help create a structured platform that would ensure the safety of food in the country.

He noted that the FDB, in its quest to keep a comprehensive data analysis regarding food borne cases, has commenced the collection of data on all food borne diseases in the country.

Mr. Dr Opuni said the FDB was also currently building a system that would cater for the compilation of incidents concerning their causative factors as well as the preventive measures in order to educate the public and minimize the burden of food borne diseases.

“The collation of such data will assist us in identifying trends of causative factors and consequently help us to make informed decisions in the formulation of public health strategies,” the CEO stressed.

According to Dr. Opuni food safety had become a major world phenomenon as a result of consumer’s desire to have a high quality and safe food along the food chain.

The demand for safe food across world, he noted, had led to the expansion of the legal requirements for food quality assurance and food control systems along the food chain.

Touching on the limitations, he lamented over the challenges faced by the country regarding food safety; which he catalogued as unsafe water, poor environmental hygiene, weak food borne disease surveillance, inability of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) in food processing to provide consistently safe food, outdated food regulations, inadequate capacity for the management of food safety and weak law enforcement.

Programmes Manager for Food Safety and Nutrition in the sub-Saharan, Dr. Patience Mensah called for the need for all to observe quality food safety in the country.

She urged stakeholders to help combat the menace of food poisoning that was currently causing several havoc to the society.

Source: GNA

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