The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), in view of the outbreak of cholera in some parts of the country, has reiterated the need for food vendors and consumers to observe food and personal hygiene rules to avoid contracting and spreading the disease.
As part of its mandate to protect public health and safety, the Authority has released a 15-point rules which it says are of paramount importance to avoid contracting and spreading cholera, which is said to have killed over 90 people from a ten thousand infections.
The FDA advised that “all food vending environment should be maintained clean” while “street food vendors should always cover their foods to avoid contamination of foods by houseflies and dirt”.
In a statement signed by John Odame-Darkwah; Deputy Chief Executive in-charge of the Food Safety Division, the authority asked, “food vendors should keep food at the appropriate temperatures during sale. Hot foods like koko, kenkey, waakye etc. should be maintained and sold hot and cold foods such as salads maintained on ice and sold cold”.
It advised that “in the event that you experience any abdominal pains, diarrhea and vomiting, report to the nearest health facility for treatment” adding, “treatment of cholera is free”.
Food vendors, it said “should use clean ladles, spoons, tongs etc. in serving dishes by using soap and running water.
“Food vendors including sachet water sellers should wash their hands thoroughly using soap and running water after visiting the toilet”, it said.
Mr. Odame-Darkwah’s statement directed that “sachet water sellers should desist from holding up the water from the corners when selling and should always keep their hands clean or wear protective cover on their hands”.
Consumers of the “sachet water should be purchased from clean vending facilities and sellers who observe personal hygiene”, it said.
It warned that “a person must not be involved in the transportation and sale of ready-to-eat foods if he/she experiences abdominal pains, diarrhea and/or vomiting adding, “it is advisable to avoid eating street vended salads and cut fruits. As much as possible prepare these and eat at home”.
“Fruit and vegetables should be properly washed under running water before eating” while “consumers should avoid street foods sold under unhygienic conditions, such as close to open gutters, refuse dumps, public toilets etc”.
It further directed that “consumers should ensure that foods such as waakye, kenkey, koko etc. should always be eaten hot. When cold, they should be properly reheated before eating”.
“Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and running water before eating and after visiting the toilet”, it advised.
Itinerant food vendors were also warned “not [to]carry their food wares into the public toilet when they visit the toilet”.
Additionally, the general public is being assured of FDA’s readiness to ensure public health and safety at all times. For any information or clarification please contact any of the following numbers: 0244337235, 0244337243, 0244337251 or 0544341221.