Mr Frank Asante, Public Relations Officer, Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA), in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said consumers must be mindful of what they consume as the rainy season coupled with insanitary conditions often served as a catalyst for the outbreak of food related diseases including cholera, typhoid and dysentery.
Mr Asante therefore appealed to residents to look out for such food joints and report accordingly to the Assembly for action to be taken to save lives.
He noted that the TMA was taking steps through its public health department to strictly enforce bye laws on public food preparation.
Compliment the efforts of the Assembly by volunteering information that could help public health officials to apprehend people preparing and selling food under insanitary conditions and without the necessary screening, he said.
The PRO stated that the Assembly ensured that food handlers and vendors reached by officials went through medical examinations and were dully certified before handling food for public consumption.
He disclosed that during the first quarter of 2019, his outfit screened a total of 673 food vendors out of which 625 were new entrants while 48 persons renewed their certification to handle food in the Metropolis.
He however noted that they were unable to meet their 1,000 target for the first quarter to be educated on hygienic handling of food as well as to undergo the necessary medical screening.
Touching on other sanitary related issues, he revealed that a total of 47 summons were served on sanitation offenders, out of which 42 were presented for prosecution of which 20 were successfully prosecuted yielding a total court fine of GH₵6,800.
Mr Asante indicated that 10 of the cases were still pending, while four persons were arrested from six bench warrants issued against sanitation offenders who did not report to court.
He added that a total of 711 premises were inspected during the period for the detection of sanitation nuisances during which 44 notices were served on unhealthy conditions, 32 of those served complied while 12 notices were still pending.
The TMA PRO observed that to ensure cleanliness of the 18 lorry parks and eight markets in the Metropolis, daily cleaning were carried out by “scavengers” distributed by his outfit to those places.
He however agreed that there was inconsistent collection of refuse by service providers which led to pile ups at the transfer station at the Tema Community One market promising to rectify such occurrences.
Another setback in the daily cleaning was the overcrowding in the markets and the inadequate collection by labourers of Zoom Lion Company after sweeping, he said.