Home Health FDA urges markets to share information on regulated products

FDA urges markets to share information on regulated products

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Health Fda Engagement
Health Fda Engagement

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) as part of its end of year activities has engaged shoppers and traders at Kaneshie, Tema Community ‘1’, Dome and Kwabenya New Markets.

The team brought cheers to the bustling markets and transport terminals as they shared essential information on making quality shopping choices as well as tips on safe FDA-regulated products.

The FDA in a statement said festive/holiday season was a time that family and friends come together to joy, bond, reminisce and attend various events in celebration and that during these periods, food takes centre stage as people gather in homes and various eating places.

“While festive seasons are joyous occasions, it is imperative to prioritize food safety to prevent foodborne illnesses that could potentially prevent the occasion from being a good and memorable one.”

It noted that unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or toxins can cause an array of diseases, ranging from diarrhea to cancers and sometimes even death.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated six hundred million (almost 1 in 10) people fall ill after eating contaminated food each year, resulting in 420,000 deaths around the world.

The FDA said it had put various measures in place to ensure that foods prepared and sold in restaurants, markets and shops were safe and of the right quality for consumption.

“However, the responsibility lies with every individual to ensure that they practice healthy food safety habits to avoid contaminations by confirming that foods are clean, properly cooked and stored.

It mentioned some of the ways to ensure food safety at home as ensuring that fresh produce or ingredients (fruits and vegetables) and food contact surfaces for example cooking utensils and chopping boards/surfaces are thoroughly cleaned.

“Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after handling food. Germs that can cause food poisoning can survive in many places and spread around your kitchen.

Wash utensils, cutting boards, dishes, and countertops with hot soapy water after each use.

“Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running water to remove any dirt or contaminants. After touching raw meat, poultry, or seafood, wash your hands thoroughly before touching other foods, utensils, or kitchen appliances,” the statement urged.

It said raw meat, poultry, seafood and eggs should be separated from ready to eat food when shopping, during preparation and storage to avoid cross-contamination while using separate cutting boards and utensils for raw and cooked foods.

“Cook food thoroughly and at the right temperature. Food is safely cooked when the internal temperature gets high enough to kill germs that can make you sick. Bring sauces, soups, and gravies to a boil before serving, and always remember to eat hot foods hot, and cold foods cold.

“Some people prefer to eat together as a group, but, if possible, use different dishes and utensils to avoid the introduction and spread of contaminants from one person to another,” it stated

It called on the pubic to plan and buy only what they needed and avoid overcrowding their refrigerators and freezers, as this could affect the temperature and spoil the food faster and that they should always look out for expiration dates on pre-packaged foods and discard any that are past their prime.

“Do not buy canned or tin foods that are dented, bloated, or rusted and read labels for ingredients, usage instructions, potential allergens, and safety precautions,” the statement added.

It advised the citizenry that when eating out at restaurants, chop bars, fast food joints, weddings, and parties they should ensure that caterers have FDA’s Food Hygiene Permits, adding that streets food vendors should have Street Food Vending Permits.

“This will tell you that they have fulfilled all food safety and hygiene requirements, and the FDA has certified them to prepare and sell food to the public.

“If Food Vending Permits are not visibly displayed, ask for them to confirm that the regulatory authorities have checked the system and practices that the food is normally taken through and have guaranteed that Safe Food Handling Practices are observed.

“Ensure that the general surrounding of the food is clean and that the one serving the food appears clean and hygienically handles the food,” it stated.

The statement said no one could judge food’s safety by its appearance alone and that “Food may look fresh, smell good, and taste delicious, but it may still contain harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemical substances that can cause food borne illnesses.

“Food can also become contaminated at any point during production, processing, storage, distribution, preparation, or serving. Therefore, it is important to always follow food safety practices to prevent food poisoning and ensure food quality.”

It said food safety was an essential component of food security and that festive season was a time for celebration and a time to prioritize health and well-being of our loved ones “by ensuring that our food is safe from farm to fork and following these precautions, we can prevent food wastage and losses and protect our health and well-being.

“A little attention to cleanliness, storage, cooking and serving can go a long way in ensuring a memorable and safe celebration for everyone.”

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