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FDA confiscates expired food products from Zuarungu SHS

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The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has confiscated expired food products from the Zuarungu Senior High School in the Upper East Region, raising concerns about the safety of food provided to students.

Sebastian Mawuli Hotor, the Upper East Regional FDA Manager, disclosed this to A1 Radio, saying the retrieval of the expired and unwholesome food products came about when the Authority embarked on an unannounced visit to the Zuarungu SHS on 22nd April 2024.

“As part of FDA’s mandate to ensure public health and safety, we do school kitchen inspections. This time, we decided to go unannounced, and we went to Zuarungu SHS. We inspected their kitchens, met their matrons, storekeepers, and when we got to their storerooms, we found some expired products,” he stated.

The seized products included 11 boxes of the Free SHS Mackerel, each containing 24 pieces, which expired on 5th March 2023. Additionally, there were 2 boxes of Royal Gold Hard Wheat, which expired on 15th December 2022, and 3 boxes of Pavani evaporated filled milk, each box containing 48 pieces, which was unregistered and expired in December 2022.

The rest were 4 boxes of Paka tomato paste, each box containing 6 pieces and expired on 25th March 2023, and 1 box of Queen Pilchards in tomato sauce, which was defaced, bloated, dented, rusted, with the expiry date not legible.

The FDA Regional Manager could not ascertain whether the school was feeding the students with the expired food products, “but once it was expired, it was best to be taken out of the storage area to prevent cross-contamination of unwholesome products with wholesome products.”

Aside from the expired food products discovered in the Zuarungu Senior High School storerooms, the FDA regional Manager said his outfit also detected food safety non-compliances, which he said the authority has written to advise the school authority.

While calling on schools and the public who are keeping expired products to call on the Authority to retrieve them, Mr. Mawuli said his outfit had written to its legal department on the Zuarungu SHS issue for advice.

“Expired products, rusted, bloated, unwholesome products are not safe for use, and it doesn’t matter if it is for the use of school children or adults. Even for animals, it is not safe,” he stated.

When A1 Radio contacted the Headmistress of the Zuarungu SHS, Abubakari Umuhari, for a response, she promised to speak to her superiors and revert. But calls placed on her later went unanswered.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Joshua Asaah|Bolgatanga

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