Food and Drugs Board to storm Senior High Schools

The Food and Drugs Board (FDB) will soon embark on a comprehensive exercise in public Senior High Schools to ensure that the preparation of food for students is done under good hygienic conditions.

Mr Matthew Gyan Nkum, Brong-Ahafo Regional Officer of the Board, who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Sunyani on Wednesday, said their personnel would be deployed to inspect the kitchens of the schools.

He said the exercise is to guard against food poisoning and guarantee the total well-being of boarding students.

The board will give recommendations if the need arises to ensure school managements comply with the directives, the regional officer said.

Mr Nkum said legal sanctions would be taken against institutional heads who fail to comply with such recommendations.

The regional officer said two years ago some boarding students in one of the country’s senior high schools nearly died after eating a meal due to food poisoning.

Mr Nkum said these and other reasons had compelled the board to take such measures to help guard against a recurrence.

He expressed worry that when the board paid visits to some schools last year the environment in which food was prepared was “very bad”, saying that, rodents and other pests that could easily contaminate foodstuffs were found in some kitchens.

Mr Nkum admitted that “no matron or cook will have the intention to poison anybody” but the exercise had become necessary due to the fact that utensils, vegetables and other foodstuffs used could be contaminated.

He deplored practices such as plaiting of hair, nose picking, chewing, smoking and conversing during food preparation by the kitchen staff, which he said, could also lead to food contamination and poisoning and advised matrons and cooks to desist from that.

The regional officer said the board would draw a comprehensive follow-up programme after the exercises to check and ensure that kitchens are clean at all times.

Mr. Nkum said in pursuance of the FDB objectives, the regional office in Sunyani recently organised a sensitization seminar for 120 members of the Association of Domestic Bursars and Matrons in second cycle schools on food safety.

Personnel of the board took the participants through topics such as good handling of food, cleaning and maintenance of cooking equipment, good storage and acquisition practices, he added.

The regional officer advised matrons to always buy fish from cold stores and also to ensure that their mill machines were clean at all times to avoid contamination.

Mr. Nkum emphasized the need for women and matrons to refrain from buying vegetables displayed on floors and also to buy wholesome meat and fish.

Source: GNA

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