MoH, FDA Move To Enhance Food Safety Standards

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

The Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) have launched the National Food Safety Policy (NFSP 2022) to ensure safe and suitable food for all.

The policy will see to the strengthening of food safety governance, institutional coordination, and collaboration for food safety.

It will also promote and ensure harmonisation, synergy, and enforcement of laws and regulations on food safety in the country.

Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, who launched the document in Accra during the commemoration of the World Food Safety Day, said the production and consumption of safe food is one of the most critical guarantors of good health.

He indicated that the theme for the day which falls on June 7, “Safer Food, Better Health” redirects policymakers to the need to ensure safety standards across the entire food value chain due to its immense impact on the quality of life.

WHO Fact Sheet on Food Safety estimates that 600 million (almost 1 in 10 people in the world) fall ill after eating contaminated food and 420,000 die every year, resulting in the loss of 33 million healthy life years.

Also, children under five years carry 40 percent of the foodborne disease burden, with 125,000 deaths every year.

Mr. Agyeman-Manu said the Ministry of Health 2020 developed and made operational a revised National Health Policy (2020) and a Universal Health Coverage (UHC) Roadmap for Ghana (2020 – 2030).

“One of the key strategic options being rolled out by these documents is the need to enhance safety standards across the food value chain (from farm to table) for better health outcomes for all,” he indicated.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the FDA, Delese Mimi Darko, said the journey towards the formation of a National Food Safety Policy for Ghana began in 2010 and was glad the document has finally been launched.

She commended the stakeholders who have contributed in diverse ways to ensure the development of the policy.

She said the authority with its implementing partners will kick start work immediately to ensure food is safe for consumption at all times.

Emeritus Professor Samuel K. Sefa-Dedeh, Chair of the Food Sub-Committee, FDA, in a presentation said food safety is a shared responsibility, adding that cooperation and teamwork would ensure that food is safe from the farm to the table.

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri