One hundred and fifty matrons from selected senior high schools (SHSs) in the Ashanti Region are undergoing a training of trainers’ programme on food safety and hygiene in Kumasi.
Organised by the Ghana Baptist University College (GBUC) in Kumasi, the programme forms part of initiatives by the university to address the problem of food poisoning in SHSs in the region.
A study conducted by the university suggests that insanitary conditions and unhygienic practices were the causes of food poisoning in SHSs.
The training is, therefore, to help the matrons conform to standardised ways of food preparation and preservation.
At the opening ceremony in Kumasi yesterday, a food scientist and senior lecturer of the Manchester Metropolitan University, Dr Daniel Anang, said the preparation of meals and foods of all kinds was delicate and the wrong application could lead to irreparable consequences.
Dr Anang said it was time matrons redesigned their school menus to suit modern times, so that students would be fed heavily in the morning, because they needed the energy to study and do other things during the day, and offered lighter meals in the evening for easy digestion.
He noted that it was important that such habits were inculcated in the lifestyle of children so that they did not abandon them when they grew up.
Dr Anang urged the matrons to be wary of food allergies and how to handle them because failure to do so could lead to death.
The food scientist took the participants through practical presentations and demonstrations of durations of common food items, length of time in preparing each, how leftovers should be disposed of and possible contaminations.
The President of the GBUC, Kumasi, Rev. Dr Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, said many churches had assigned problems and illnesses to the devil when, indeed, they had failed to educate members on how to handle those problems and illnesses.
He said as part of the university’s contribution to changing that paradigm, it would replicate the programme in many parts of the country to save the lives of students.