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21 October 2016

FDA to roll out new grading system for food establishments

fdaThe Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) would from next year roll out a new grading system known as Standards for Grading Food Service Establishments, to ensure compliance with hygiene and food management systems.

According to Mr. Jake Amoaku-Mensah, a Senior Regulatory Officer at the FDA, food establishments formed an integral part of supply chain and were conduits for the spread of food-borne diseases.

Mr. Amoaku-Mensah said the standard would give consumers the opportunity to make informed choices when whenever selecting food joints in the country as well as foster healthy competition.

He was speaking at the Food Safety Awareness Workshop as part of the World Food Day Celebration on the theme: “Climate is changing, Food and Agriculture must too, so must attitude towards Food security.”

The standards would be graded from A, B, and C and would require establishments to maintain floors, ceilings, drainage systems. Currently, the FDA issues Food Hygiene Permits to food operators.

Additionally, the Senior Regulatory Officer said business establishments would ensure that there was no cross contamination and promote effective and proper documentation of cleaning services.

According to him, the new grading systems would compel all food handlers to undergo food safety training and that would be taken to the latter.

“All employees must take food handlers Test and a compulsory handwashing Training,” he added.

He explained that under the new guidelines, proper waste disposal and ensure that designated areas for storing raw materials were proper fumigation undertaken by personnel of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Mr. Benjamin Osei Tutu, Head of Foodborne Disease Surveillance Unit, FDA said the Authority and the Ghana Health Service would provide formed at various hospitals to monitor activities of foodborne diseases or food poisoning reported at these health facilities.

The exercise, according to Mr Tutu, which was piloted at the Adenta Municipality would soon be replicated nationwide.

Citing a survey conducted on foodborne diseases in the Municipality in February 2015 and December 2015, he said 163 cases of a foodborne case were reported.

According to him persons from 25 to 34 recorded the highest victims and 53 percent emanated from consumption of home meals and few restaurants and other food joints.

He explained that foodborne diseases, which occur within 72 hours with symptoms such as abdominal pains, vomiting, nausea and increased body temperature.

Mr. Tutu said there were about 250 foodborne diseases and with new pathogen coming up every day.

He reminded the public of the law to disallow people with certain ailments to desist from in operating food joints.

He said the FDA was doing it could within its mandate help prevent the outbreak of foodborne diseases and assured the public that the authority would build a credible database for strategic public health interventions.

Source: GNA
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