The Foods and Drugs Authority is embarking on a special operation to remove unwholesome food products from shelves in the various markets across the country as Ghanaians prepare for this year’s Christmas.
Head of Food Enforcement Department of the Authority, Maria Lovelace-Johnson, said they are is poised to ensure that expired and unwholesome products are not only removed from the shelves in the market, but also prosecute those who would be found culpable of hoarding such products in their shops.
“We are poise to free the market of expired goods that is why the FDA is embarking on operation to remove such products. We are in the market and we will continue to be there for the safety of the public,” she told Nana Yaw Opare, host of Mmantem Mpuntuo on Onua FM Tuesday.
She explained that FDA is not only engaging in ‘snap check’ inspection but a full-scale inspection which includes checking the books and papers of factories and companies for validity.
Ms. Lovelace-Johnson noted that the Authority as part of this operation would deploy the food inspectorate division staff to the markets daily to carry out “intensive” search to make sure the market is safe.
“We have a 33-seater bus that we send our team to the market for surveillance. We are not living any stone unturned but employing every necessary strategy for effective exercise,” she assured the public.
She said their concentration is not in Accra alone but have designed a plan to reach every district in the country “and we termed it one district, one inspection” where she said the team would visit every district more than once to ensure “we do this in a double track manner”
While admitting that the country’s entry points are porous, Ms. Lovelace-Johnson said the FDA is also doing all it can to prevent unwholesome products from entering the country’s markets, saying their officers remain vigilant at all entry points.
Asked if the FDA has the staff strength for this operation, she said the Authority has benefited from the Nation Builders Corps (NABCo) programme and that personnel posted there will go in a long way to augment their staff strength for effective performance.
“As for human resources we are lucky to benefit from the recent NABCo recruitment and we have been allotted some of the recruits for retraining. So you can see we are not resting on our oars,” said.