Food vending in Accra
Food vending in Accra

Safe street food - Tips for enjoying Ghana's delicious delicacies without worry

Ghana is renowned for its vibrant street food culture, offering a tantalising array of flavours and dishes.


However, it's essential to prioritise food safety to fully enjoy these culinary delights. In this article, we will provide valuable tips to ensure that you can savour Ghana's street food without any concerns about food-borne illnesses. Let's explore how you can indulge in the delights of street food while staying safe and healthy.

Choose clean, hygienic food stalls

When selecting a street food vendor, prioritise stalls that maintain cleanliness and hygiene. Look for vendors who prepare food in clean surroundings, use gloves or tongs to handle food, and have proper waste disposal systems. A clean food stall is an excellent indicator that the vendor takes food safety seriously.

Opting for freshly cooked food

To minimise the risk of bacterial contamination, choose street food that is cooked right in front of you. Freshly cooked food is preferable to dishes that have been sitting out for extended periods. Opting for food prepared on the spot ensures both safety and quality.

Pay attention to how the food is handled by the vendors. Ensure that they use separate utensils and cutting boards for raw and cooked food. Cross-contamination between raw meat and ready-to-eat items can lead to food-borne illnesses. If you notice any unhygienic practices, it's best to find another vendor.

Check food's temperature

Hot food should be served hot, and cold food should be served cold. Verify that the food you order is at the appropriate temperature.

Avoid consuming lukewarm or improperly heated food, as it may harbour harmful bacteria. If you're unsure about the temperature, kindly request the vendor to reheat or refrigerate the food before serving.

When enjoying street food, ensure that meat, poultry, and seafood are thoroughly cooked. Undercooked food can harbour dangerous bacteria that cause food-borne illnesses.

Request that your food be cooked for an adequate amount of time until it reaches the recommended internal temperature.

Be mindful of raw fruits and vegetables

While fresh fruits and vegetables are nutritious, they can pose a risk if not handled properly. Wash raw fruits and vegetables thoroughly with clean water before consuming them. If available, you can also use a vegetable wash or a diluted vinegar solution to further reduce the risk of contamination. Go check out our series on “Keeping Our Vegetables Clean” here on Daily Graphic.

Practice hand hygiene

Maintaining good hand hygiene is crucial when enjoying street food. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before eating. If handwashing facilities are unavailable, carry a hand sanitiser with you or otherwise carry your food away. It provides a convenient way to clean your hands before and after enjoying street food, especially when handwashing facilities are not readily available.

If something doesn't look or smell right, trust your instincts and avoid consuming that particular food item. Your senses are powerful tools for detecting potential food safety risks. 

By following these tips for safe street food consumption, you can relish the flavours of Ghana's street food while safeguarding your health.

Remember to prioritise cleanliness, opt for freshly cooked food, observe food handling practices, check food temperatures, ensure proper cooking, be mindful of raw fruits and vegetables, and practice good hand hygiene.

With these precautions in mind, you can indulge in Ghana's street food culture with confidence and peace of mind. 

NFS Editorial Board,
Nutrition and Food Science Students’ Society,
University of Ghana.
E-mail: [email protected]

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