The Volta Regional Directorate of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has embarked on a float to sensitise street food vendors on food safety and on the need to get a vending permit.
The float, jointly organised by the Authority and the Ho Municipal Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit, was dubbed: “No Street Food Vending Permit, No Business.”
Mr Gordon Akurugu, Volta Regional Director of FDA, said the Authority would from next year begin to issue street food vending permits to regulate their operations and to ensure food safety.
He said any vendor, who flouted the permit initiative, would not be allowed to operate his or her business and urged all vendors to comply to ensure the safety of all citizens.
The Director said most people eat from street food vendors; thus, it was imperative to ensure that these vendors adhere to proper food handling and hygiene practices.
Mr Akurugu said when street food was not properly regulated, it could be contaminated due to unsanitary vending locations and that would place most people, especially consumers at risk.
The Director said it was important to instil best food practices in the operations of street food vendors to ensure that the food they prepare were of quality and safe for consumption.
Madam Stella Kumedzro, Volta Regional Environmental Health Officer, said the exercise was not to get vendors out of business but to ensure that they adhered to standards and cook safe, quality and hygienic food for the citizens.
“We want street food vendors to sell good food that is nutritious and hygienic,” she said, adding that a hygienic food environment would attract more customers.
She urged the vendors to support the exercise to get more customers.
She said the citizens could only contribute to the development of the country if they were healthy, so the Regional Environmental Health Officer would not relent in their effort to ensure that every vendor within the Municipality received a permit.
Madam Kumedzro said there would also be a medical screening for the vendors next year to ensure that they were medically fit to engage in the business.
“Some diseases are communicable and foodborne so when we screened and realise that a vendor is infected with those diseases, we refer them to health facilities for treatment so they can come back to business,” she said.
The Environmental Health Officer said it was the duty of all to ensure that the country was safe from diseases and urged the media the help sensitise the vendors on the need to get the permit and ensure environmental cleanliness.
The FDA presented Veronica buckets to some vendors as a sign of appreciating their work and also to encourage them to observe the safety protocols.
Some of the vendors, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency, said the move by the Authority and Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit was in the right direction and pledged to support the move.