The Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions Directorate of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) on Thursday held food hygiene and safety training workshop for selected operators of food services establishments in the three regions.
The one-day programme, organised in Sunyani was to ensure absolute protection of foods and other consumable items from all forms of contaminants in the environment and to equip the participants to be abreast with basic food laws to deliver quality services as required.
It also provided a platform to strengthen the alliance and deepened relationship between the FDA and the food services industry operators to improve regulatory environment, which would inure to the benefit of the general public.
In an opening address delivered on her behalf, MS Akua Amponsaa Owusu, the acting head of the FDA for the three Regions said the training was also to build the capacity of the operators to deliver improved quality food services for a more positive impact on the health of Ghanaians.
The participants, 38 in number comprised direct food handlers of hotels, restaurants’ managers, traditional caterers, food vendors and other consumable items handlers.
With reference to and emphasis on the Public Health Act 851 of 2012, they were schooled to be meticulous and apply due diligence to maintain wholesomeness of foods from the preparation to the consumption stage.
The Act among other provisions stated that selling of unfit food for consumption, sale of food under insanitary conditions, selling of unwholesome food and false package of food that mislead the public and compromise its safety is an offense.
According to the Act, offenses attract “closure of premises, a fine of not less than one thousand penalty units or at least two years of jail term”.
Mr. Daniel Nti, a Senior Regulatory Officer of the FDA, in a presentation emphasised that “food safety is a share responsibility, hence, handlers must keep their kitchens clean and well organised to avoid space for rodents which could cause food poisoning”.
He said kitchen management was crucial to ensuring food safety and therefore urged food services industry operators to observe that as indispensable part of their respective businesses management.