The Central Region office of Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has held a capacity building session for some 95 operators and managers of Food Service Establishments (FSEs) on good hygienic and catering practices.
The exercise was to help address food safety concerns and to prevent foodborne diseases, promote the food industry and foster a cordial relationship between the operators and the Authority.
The training captured, among other subjects, ‘documentation and records keeping’ as well as ‘Food Law’, placing special emphasis on the need for the FSEs to acquire the Food Hygiene Permit from the FDA.
Participants were drawn from the Cape Coast Metropolis, Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem, Mfantsiman and Assin-Fosu Municipalities, and Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese, Assin North and South Districts.
The Public Health Act, 2012, Act 851 provides that “any person who sells, prepares, packages, conveys, stores or displays for sale any food under insanitary conditions, commits an offence”
.The Act further prohibits all FSEs including restaurants, hotel kitchens, cafeterias and cafes, bakeries, mobile food vending operators and food delivery businesses from operating without the Food Hygiene Permit certificate.
Sanctions included payment of fine, imprisonment or both.
Madam Francisca Obeng, the acting Regional Head of the Authority, said the exercise also forms part of efforts towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal three which is about good health and wellbeing.
She urged the participants to have the mindset of protecting public health and safety, stressing the need for FSEs to have a cordial relationship with the FDA.
She charged all FSEs to obtain the Food Hygiene Permit certificates, pointing out that all establishments operating without the permit were perpetuating illegality.
“All Food Service Establishments already registered with the FDA are to immediately display their certificates,” Madam Obeng added.
The FDA boss here further admonished the public to be on the lookout for Food Hygiene Permits in the various establishments before patronising their services in order to safeguard their own health and safety.