The Acting Municipal Environmental Health Officer for the Yilo Krobo Municipality in the Eastern region, Mr. Daniel Kwaku Darku has warned food vendors to take food registration and licensing of their businesses very seriously. This, he explained, is because it is against the laws of the land to sell food to the public without medical and other statutory requirements.
Mr. Darku who took vendors through the process of food registration and licensing, reminded them of the strict consequences in failing to abide with these guidelines.
Explaining the processes, Mr. Kwaku Darko said food sellers and vendors must first write to the statutory bodies for the certificate of registration and business commences to first them the legal right to operate. The vendors, as part of the registration process, Mr. Darku underscored, are also taken through a medical screening in order to ascertain their medical status.
The Environmental Health Officer made these known in an interview with Nana Ama Sarfo, host of the Food Safety segment of the Food safety, Nutrition and Hygiene show on Rite FM, aimed at educating the public on the importance of food registration.
He also reminded the vendors on the need to renew their registrations and medicals yearly in accordance with the laws of the land.
According to him, personnel from the Environmental Health Office go out for regular or routine inspection to put food sellers on their toes. He attributed this to the EHO’s objectives of maintaining food quality levels to ensure public safety and providing satisfaction and safety to every consumer.
He said the registration also serves as a source of revenue for the country and there are circumstances that lead them to stop people from operating. He explained that some fail to renew their medical status yearly which is against the law “because within one year, one can contract a communicable disease which is easily transferrable,” he added.
According to Mr. Darku, offenders stand the risk of severe penalties if they fail to renew their food certification licenses.
The Enviromental Officer in highlighting the penalties of the neglect of the laws noted that offenders stand the risk of suffering penalties such as a fine (Gh c 500) or a three-month prison term depending on the gravity of the offence.
The criminal code categorically spells out the procedures food vendors must follow to acquire license, its renewal and its default penalties.
The Deputy Municipal Health Officer said it is the responsibility of the health institutions to protect the health of the public that is why it must make sure that, foods are sold under conducive, clean and communicable diseases-free environment.
This, he clarified, explains why food sellers as part of the certification process are also screened for diseases such as typhoid before giving them the go ahead to run, adding that vendors are subjected to similar screening and certificate renewal on an annual basis.
Source: mynewsghana.com/Michael Oberteye/[email protected]