The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has launched a National Food Safety Policy to ensure safe and suitable food for consumers as it commemorated World Food Safety Day.
The policy is designed to build a resilient system that will ensure safe and appropriate food for consumers.
It is also to address the overlaps and clarify the roles and responsibilities of stakeholder agencies along the food chain.
Dubbed: “Safer food, better health”, the policy was launched in Accra by the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, who noted that it was a step on a new path of food safety.
“This policy will serve as a guideline and remind us that winning is a shared responsibility so that those who are tasked must work cooperatively with other agencies to make sure they deliver on their mandate,” the minister said.
“Even though we have dealt with food safety significantly, a lot still needs to be done; there is a need to enhance safety standards across the food value chain for better health outcomes,” he added.
Mr Agyeman-Manu stated that the objectives of the policy were to strengthen food safety governance, strengthen collaboration for food safety, promote and ensure harmonisation and the enforcement of laws and regulations of food safety in Ghana.
“These key objectives have been translated into a five-year action plan which outlines strategies and activities that will be undertaken to ensure that this nation’s food policy is effectively and efficiently implemented,” he noted.
The Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Delese A. A. Darko, stated that a collective effort was needed to fight against food-borne diseases.
“The fight against food-borne diseases must take a multi-sectoral approach, with state-owned agencies in Ghana collaborating to perform activities that are geared towards safe food,” she said.
Ms Darko added that it was time for the FDA and its agencies to reflect on their collective roles and responsibilities and ensure that they helped to protect, prevent and manage food-borne diseases and their attendant repercussions of illnesses and even death.
The launch also coincided with the inauguration of a management committee for the National Food Safety Emergency Response Plan (FORSERP) to ensure safe and suitable food for all consumers.
The FORSERP is to provide a coordinated and consistent approach to prepare for, to prevent, protect, mitigate and respond to safety emergencies.
Representatives of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Food Programme (WFP) commended the FDA for the step.
Separately, they pledged their support to continue awareness creation on the importance of safe food supply, stressing that it promoted good health, a healthy society and reduced pressure on the health system.