..Laden with Corn and Cassava
By Gifty Arthur
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is cautioning the general public against the production, distribution and sale of a reddish powdered product sold on the markets as ‘Tomato powder’.
According to the regulator, investigations conducted on the said “Tomato Powder’ revealed that there was absolutely no tomato present in the substance instead, the substance contained ‘Annatto Seed’ (Bixa orellana) and a cocktail of milled residues of various products.
The FDA, mentioned that some of these milled residues as corn and ‘konkonte’ (powdered cassava) and others with the ‘Annatto Seed’ providing the reddish colour to the product.
A statement issued and signed by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the FDA, Hudu Mogtari, said “…. the production, storage and marketing of the products are often carried out under unhygienic conditions and could pose potential public health risk to consumers”.
The FDA said, its investigations revealed that the so-called ‘Tomato Powder’ was extensively used as substitute for fresh tomatoes and tomato paste with the intention to make the prepared food appear reddish and attractive to consumers.
The Authority In the last three months, has embarked on extensive public education to sensitize the general public, on the need to desist from patronizing the supposed ‘Tomato powder’.
In the light of this, the FDA, on August 16, 2016, arrested a producer / wholesaler / distributor of the alleged ‘Tomato powder’ with the assistance of the Ghana Police.
The suspect, whose name the FDA withheld in the statement, is assisting the Police in their investigations.
It assured the general public its continuous resolve to protect public health and safety. The FDA appealed to the general public to give information
on any practice which has the potential of endangering public health and safety, through any of the following contacts; 0244337235, 0244337243, 0544341221 or on the toll free line 0800151000 (free only on Airtel and Vodafone) and short code 4015 on (all network with the exception of Glo).