FDA cautions against deceptive ‘Tomato Powder’

tomato powderThe Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has advised the public to be wary of the production, distribution and sale of a reddish powdered product sold as ‘Tomato powder’ on the Ghanaian market.

A statement signed by Mr Hudu Mogtari, the Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, and copied to the Ghana News Agency, said investigations conducted by the FDA on the so called, ‘Tomato powder’ revealed that there was no tomato present in the substance.

Rather, the statement said, “The substance contains ‘Annatto Seed’ (Bixa orellana) and a cocktail of milled residues of various products such as Corn and ‘Konkonte’etc. The ‘Annatto Seed’ provides the reddish colour to the product.”

Additionally, the FDA said the production, storage and marketing of the products were often carried out under unhygienic conditions and these could pose potential public health risk to consumers.

The investigation revealed that the ‘Tomato powder’ is extensively used as substitute for fresh tomatoes and tomato paste with the intention of making the prepared food appear reddish and attractive.

The statement said the FDA in the last three months had embarked on extensive public education to sensitise the public on the need to stop the patronage of the supposed ‘Tomato powder’.

“In the light of this, the FDA on the August 16 2016, arrested a producer / wholesaler/distributor of the alleged ‘Tomato powder’ with the assistance of the Ghana Police.

She is currently assisting the Police in their investigations, the statement said.

“The FDA is assuring the public of its continuous resolve to protect public health and safety,” it said.

The FDA, consequently, appealed to the public to give information on any practice which has the potential of endangering public health and safety, through any of the following contacts; 0244337235, 0244337243, 0544341221 or on the toll free line 0800151000 (free only on Airtel and Vodafone) and short code 4015 on (all network with the exception of Glo).

Source: GNA

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