The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is urging consumers to patronise only sachet and bottled water approves by its outfit.
This follows media reports regarding the poor quality and safety of sources of water used for sachet water production in Ghana and the need for the FDA to be vigilant.
In a statement, the Authority said regarding its responsibility to protect consumers, as mandated by the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851) that, with regard to packaged water (bottled and sachet), that it ensures the safety through the licensing of the manufacturing premises and the registration of these products.
According to the FDA, the premises of the manufacturing facilities are regularly inspected using the Authority’s Guidelines, FDA/FDI/GL-FPF/2020/02.
“The inspection covers the starting material (water) and packaging materials to ensure that they meet their respective Ghana Standards; and the finished products to meet the requirement of GS175-1:2002 (for drinking water) and GS220:2014 (for mineral water). All inspections are done in accordance with the current Codes of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) where end products are released in accordance with the above-stated specifications,” it said.
It added that the production process includes Filtration/Reverse Osmosis which removes extraneous material, and UV Sterilization which destroys harmful pathogens which might be present.
As part of the registration process by the FDA, the laboratory conducts tests to establish the presence or otherwise of microorganisms which is a critical parameter for drinking water safety.
“These include tests for E. coli, total coliforms, Aerobic Plate Count, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Streptococcus faecalis, and Clostridium perfringens. Finally, the Authority wants to assure the public that it conducts periodic market surveillance and product quality analyses of products in circulation on the market. Trend analysis from the FDA laboratory has not shown the observation described in the media reports.
“The public is strongly advised to patronize only registered sachet and bottled water manufactured in Ghana that bears the FDA product registration numbers. Kindly report any unregistered sachet and bottled water at the nearest FDA office,” the statement said.
This comes on the back of the producers of Verna mineral water recalling from the market following some factory defects.
Products that are being recalled have the batch numbers TW/5 20:14 B, TW/5 20: 15 B, TW/5 20: 16 B, TW/ 5 20: 17 B, TW/ 5 20: 22 B.
In a statement issued by the producers, Twellium Industrial Company Limited, the company said it was voluntarily recalling the products with those batch numbers “to ensure our consumers have the experience they deserve.”
“The management of Verna Mineral Water is concerned about the quality and safety of our products and wishes to take advantage of this and educate the general public on the healthy ways of transporting and keeping the water wholesome for consumption.”
“We wish to emphasize that Verna Mineral water is produced under the strictest hygienic conditions supervised by the Food and Drugs Authority and Ghana Standards Authority which ensure that the water produced is kept whole and fresh until consumption and is also certified by ISO and HACCP,” it added.
BY Daniel Bampoe