Public health protection is a shared responsibility – FDA

Social Fda Customer
Social Fda Customer

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has assured the public of enhanced working relations and collaboration in 2023 to ensure the safety of all, “Protection of public health is a shared responsibility, the need to work with the public,”Mrs. Joycelyn Adeline Egyakwa-Amusah, Head of Food Safety Coordination and Consumer Education Department, FDA told the Ghana News Agency in an interview,

She said that although the Authority has over the years provided quality services to protect public health, “it was intensifying steps to be more proactive”.

“As for FDA we are very dynamic and we move with the times, our plan for 2023 is to improve upon our services to the public and also ensure that we intensify our activities so that products in the market are safe,” she said.

She explained that the protection of public health was done through the provision and enforcement of standards for the sale of food and other consumables in the country noting that as a dynamic institution, the authority adopts to market trend changes, upscale surveillance, and injects modern technologies into its operations to protect the public.

Mrs Egyakwa-Amusah said the Authority would upscale market surveillance to ensure that any unwholesome products which end up in the markets or shops are traced within a reasonable time, removed, and destroyed.

She said the Consumer Education Directorate of the Food Division of the FDA would roll out consistent public education on food hygiene and other related issues next year, and called on the media to support the work of the authority as a corporate social responsibility.

She said the Authority would not relent on the safety of Ghanaians as such, it would sanction any facility that failed to adhere to FDA regulations.

“We try as much as possible to give a human face to the enforcement of rules and regulations, FDA officials undertake a regular inspection to guide companies and factories on the need to maintain standards at all times.

“If we identify serious breaches, we act immediately by closing down the facility until the breach is ratified, but if we identify minor infractions we issue a directive for the problem to be resolved within a specific period,” she stated.

She added that the FDA website is very active stating all the rules and regulations in product registrations as well as proactive client service with the latest information uploaded and available to the public.

Mrs. Egyakwa-Amusah called on the public especially traders to adhere to the rules to prevent any unpleasant situation and advised consumers to be vigilant at all times, “whatever product you buy check all the necessary information on the product before paying for it”.

The Food Safety and Consumer Education Directorate’s scope of mandate includes regulating commercial facilities that prepare and/or sell cooked foods; undertaking foodborne disease surveillance and investigation, and being the contact point for the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) in Ghana.

As part of its mandate, it undertakes operational activities including inspection of Food Services establishments – restaurants, food joints, street-vendor food, and catering facilities; surveillance for unregistered facilities; and issuance of Food Hygiene Permits for approved facilities.

Others are to undertake Consumer Complaints Investigations into food product safety and quality issues; Foodborne diseases surveillance; maintain a database on foodborne diseases; investigation of outbreak cases; carry out food safety awareness campaigns for consumers – educational institutions and public places.

It also collaborates with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to ensure Food Safety at the District Level; drafting bills, and drafting and review of guidelines and codes of practice.

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