Accra, Oct 25, GNA – The Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) has urged the Government to make food safety a public health priority.
Dr Kofi Amponsah-Bediako, the Public Relations Officer, GSA, explained that this was because food safety plays a pivotal role in developing policies and regulatory frameworks.
He said there was the need to establish and implement effective food safety systems that ensure food producers and suppliers along the whole food chain operate responsibly and supply safe food to consumers.
Dr Amponsah-Bediako made the appeal in his presentation at a day’s training workshop for media professionals on Codex in Accra.
The training workshop, was organised by the GSA in collaboration with the National Codex Committee (NCC) on the theme “Understanding Codex”.
The primary objective of the training programme was to enhance the understanding of media professionals on Codex issues.
He said annually, millions of children contract diarrhoea diseases with many thousands dying; adding that pregnant women and the elderly were also vulnerable to diarrhoea diseases.
He said unsafe food creates a vicious cycle of diarrhoea and malnutrition, threatening the nutritional status of the most vulnerable.
He said: “Where food supplies are insecure, people tend to shift to less healthy diets and consume more “unsafe foods” – in which chemical, microbiological and other hazards pose health risks.”
On food contamination, Dr Amponsah-Bediako said food could become contaminated at any point of production and distribution; stating that the primary responsibility lies with food producers.
He said a large proportion of food-borne disease incidents were caused by foods improperly prepared or mishandled at home, in food service establishments or markets.
With regards to food safety, Dr Amponsah-Bediako said the importance of food safety lies in the fact that it helps to achieve better human nutrition through healthy nutritious diets.