The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is encouraging food vendors in the Upper East Region to register their businesses with the Authority for a total sum of Ghc5 for the entire year. The registration would be done under the Street Food Vending Licensing Scheme.
The vendors would thus have Food Hygiene Permits.
Under this Scheme, food vendors are expected to reach a minimum threshold of specific health requirements. These include personal and environmental hygiene, quality and safety of food ingredients as well as other sanitary requirements along the food value chain.
The vendors would then be rated based on the score received with ‘stars’ as is done in the tourism industry with hotels. Food businesses which fail to reach the minimum requirement would be closed down.
“We have stratified the certification in that the number of stars represents the level of compliance of the facility. For instance, there can be one [vendor] with one star and another with two stars. What this means is that the one with the two stars has a higher level of compliance to a higher level of regulatory standards than the one with the one star.”
“That does not mean that the one with the one star is not within the regulatory framework. We are just looking at the level of compliance. The more stars you have, the more you are adhering to regulatory standards.”
This is according to Abel Ndego, Regulatory Officer at the Upper East Regional office of the FDA. He said this when he spoke on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show today, Wednesday, June 15, 2022.
It formed part of the Authority’s week-long activities to mark the World Food Safety Day which falls on June 7 each year.
Mr. Ndego also admonished the general public to buy food from vendors who have Food Hygiene Permit.
“The FDA has actually initiated what we called Street Food Vending Licensing Scheme. You would notice that prior to that most of the street food vendors were literally operating without adhering to the safety precautions and hygiene issues were not really attended to.”
“We’ve seen the need to rope them into the regulatory framework so that we would be able to at least ensure that we are meeting the basic health standard. For now, what we are doing is that we are bringing all street food vendors under compliance.”
“We are also appealing to the general public to take note that when you go to buy from a street food vendor look out for their certification. It should be at a very visible place where potential consumers would be able to see,” he said.
Every year, June 7 marks the World Food Safety Day, which is dedicated to spreading awareness about foodborne risks and improving human health through conscious eating. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) established the World Food Safety Day in 2018 to raise awareness of this important issue.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana