In a bid to ensure strict food safety standards, the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, has launched an initiative to boost the safety and nutritional balance of street food in Ghana.
The initiative, dubbed ‘Healthy Street Food Incentives’ (HSFI), according to the Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Delese Mimi Darko, “is aimed at stimulating the demand and offer of fruits and vegetables, motivate street vendors to register in public databases and develop a resource-efficient food monitoring and inspection system for street food-vending in the country.”
Delese Mimi Darko further expressed gratitude to the Food and Agriculture Organisation for their role in the project.
“Nutritionally unbalance menus and a wide-spread informality among other challenges confront this sector in the country. It is in this view of experiences that the FDA and the FAO are implanting this Health Street Food Incentive Project. I would like to express the Food and Drugs Authority’s appreciation of the FAO for responding to our request to assist in improving food safety and nutrition in the Street Food Vending industry. Day to day, we’re being asked, ‘what are you doing about street-vended food?’ and this is a question that has been at our dear hearts,” she said.
In an interview with citinewsroom.com, the Head of Communication and Public Education at the FDA, James Lartey, explained how the project would be implemented.
“The project is going to start as a pilot at three main places. We’re talking about Osu, then Ringway Estates, that is also around Osu area, and then the Ministries area. It will target these three areas by starting with the food vendors in these areas. Inspectors will go round in these areas that I’ve mentioned. As they go round, they will inspect these food vendors. As they are inspected, if you are noticed to be within a certain standard of hygiene, you will be given a hygiene permit. That would be one of the processes by which you can get what we call, street food vending permit. So that it gives you a mandate to sell your product; to be recognized to be hygiene compliant,” he said.
“We’re looking at somewhere in February 2019. But right now what we will be doing is that we will be doing the groundwork because you have to get inspectors, you have to put some other things in place. So it is after we have done at all those things that the whole pilot will roll on,” he added.
By: Akosua Ofewaa Opoku/citinewsroom.com/Ghana