Every year around this time, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) reminds and cautions the public about the wholesomeness and safety of food products being sold in the markets and displayed on the shelves in supermarkets and the malls.
And so, as part of the annual ritual, the FDA has stepped up its surveillance in the various markets and warehouses across the country as a measure to rid the markets of expired and unregistered food products as the Christmas festivities take shape.Follow @Graphicgh
The Daily Graphic finds the FDA’s action very commendable as it will not only prevent greedy and unpatriotic people from taking advantage of unsuspecting citizens, but will ensure public health safety is upheld especially in a country where consumer activism is quite low.
We are happy that the FDA is warning such traders of severe consequences, including seizure and destruction of such goods and persecution for those involved.
Already, officials of the Surveillance Unit of the FDA have inspected warehouses in Accra, Ho, Kumasi, Tamale, and major markets.
The Daily Graphic applauds the FDA for such a proactive move and wishes to urge it to carry out its surveillance and deal with errant traders without fear or favour. And where an act of criminality is established, there should not be any reluctance to prosecute those involved.
We are equally happy that the FDA has issued public sensitisation guidelines during the festive season regarding the patronage of, especially, canned food.
The caution to the public to be wary of the kind of food items they buy, especially during this festive season, is timely and a reminder that amid the euphoria of the season, we should be mindful of what we buy or consume.
The sad thing is that many Ghanaians do not check expiry dates of items, particularly, pre-packaged food items, before buying and as the year draws to a close, most of these items have either expired or are near expiry.
Consequently, some members of the business community take advantage of that to clear such goods in their shops with enticing discounts and a reduced-to-clear marketing strategy.
One of the easiest ways these items get onto our menus is through gifts in hampers and as the FDA cautioned, it is important to check the lifespan of the items in the hamper to ensure the intended purpose of showing appreciation or love does not end up harming the end user.
So, the caution also goes to the consumers or the recipients of such hampers to open them in time in order to ensure that the items, particularly the food items, do not go bad.
The FDA reminds consumers to avoid buying canned food whose containers are blotted, rusty or without labels. It further cautioned the public to avoid products with instructions in other languages aside from English and advised the public to always try and check the expiry date of products they patronised.
At least, the Daily Graphic believes that these are not too difficult to adhere to in order to protect public health.
The truth is that our health is in our hands and we have the responsibility to ensure that we do not use our hard-earned income to buy sickness and jeopardise our health.