FDA cautions Ghanaians about unwholesome foods as Christmas approaches
Consumers must endeavour to ascertain the expiry dates of products before they purchase them to avoid the consumption of unwholesome products.
Mr Matthew Gyang Nkum, Brong-Ahafo Regional Director of Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), who gave the advice in an interview with Ghana News Agency (GNA), in Sunyani, said a lot of expired goods; especially food items, flood the market towards Christmas.
Mr Nkum observed that such unwholesome products, particularly drinkables and ready to eat foods, enter the market through unapproved routes before and during the Christmas festivity.
When these foods are consumed, he said, they could cause infections, poisoning and other health impairments.
He said some shop owners save their unsold food products mainly patronised on festive occasions like Christmas, for the following occasion, explaining that improper storage conditions could destroy the content of the product.
Mr Nkum stressed the importance of food storage, saying that food items exposed directly to sunlight and rain should not be patronised even if their prices are reduced drastically because they could be contaminated.
He, therefore, advised consumers that besides checking the expiry dates of products, they should check the packaging for freshness, bloating, rust, leakage and the instructions on the label, and reject labels that are not written in English.
All products must be labelled in English language in conformity with the nation’s law on products certification to prevent fake products from entering the market, he said.
Mr Nkum entreated store owners to separate edible items from inedible ones because edible foods could easily be contaminated by other harmful products.
Shop operators should also ensure cleanliness in their shops to prevent rodents and insects from entering to contaminate their goods, he said.
He gave the assurance that the FDA would use all possible means to ensure that only wholesome goods are sold to protect and guarantee the safety of consumers.
Mr Nkum warned that sellers and shop owners arrested with unwholesome goods would have their products destroyed and could also be prosecuted.