The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has cautioned the general public of fake and expired food products smuggled into the market by some traders as Christmas approaches in few weeks.
In a telephone interview with Public Agenda in Accra last Thursday, the Head of Communications and Public Education at the FDA Mr James Lartey advised the public to take note of certain important requirements on products before purchasing them.
According to him, consumers need to check the expiring date, batch or lot numbers, manufacturer’s name and address of the company before buying products from the market.
He explained that regulated products from the FDA are those that carry English writings or a particular language with English translation on the product, and therefore if a product carry any other language without English translation, it is smuggled into the country which should not be consumed but rather be reported to the FDA immediately for the necessary action to be taken.
“People try to take advantage of others during this period and therefore we should all be very careful on what we buy,”Mr Lartey cautioned
He continued that, when buying a bag of rice especially, the consumer should first check the stitching of label on the bag, if the holes of the stitching appear to be old with the bag of rice being new; it means the content of the product is fake which should not be bought.
Consumers, he said should as much as possible avoid buying canned food of any kind that is rusted because the content are mostly already contaminated.
Christmas is enthusiastically celebrated by the larger population of Ghanaians; therefore the masses participate in the massive purchase of goods of all sorts from what to eat and what to wear from the market, to spice up with the celebration.
However it has come to the notice of Public Agenda that, many contaminated products like beverages, can foods, rice, cooking oil, biscuits, candies, meat and so many others do hit the market within this period.
Majority of these expired products, happen not to have expiring dates, batch numbers and production dates due to the fact that they might be erased or do not have at all, whiles the ones that have might also be faked out since many of these products are expired and smuggled in to town by some traders.
These contaminated food products are usually sold at cheaper prices to consumers, since some Ghanaians massively delight in purchasing cheap products. Traders who sell such products mostly send them to rural areas to be sold because there are no entities established at villages to do investigations on products that are brought to be sold there, and also due to the low level of education of most inhabitants.
It is for this reason that the Food and Drugs Authority has advised consumers to be careful of what to purchase and consume especially as Ghanaians will soon celebrate the festivity.
By: Diana Nartey