The Upper West Regional office of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) and the Pharmacy Council, at the weekend, destroyed GH₵261,701.00 worth of assorted unwholesome food and medicinal products in Wa.
The items included tomato paste, bottled water, beverages, and orthodox and herbal medicinal products, among others, ceased by the FDA between January and December 2022.
Speaking to the media at the damping site at Kampaha near Wa, Mr Kelvin Dafaari Sungkpal, the Acting Upper West Regional Head of the FDA, indicated that the items were ceased from shops, pharmacies, and Over the Counter (OTC) medicine shops across the region during their routine surveillance exercise.
“The products you see here were ceased because they were expired, unwholesome, some were blotted and rusted,” he explained.
He indicated that the situation of the sale of unwholesome products in the region was worrisome but that the trend had appreciated in recent times considering the quantity of unwholesome products that were in the market before the coming of the FDA to the region.
“Now you realize that the quantity of expired products you get now is not as much as what you used to get some years ago, I can say it is partly because of the public education that the regional FDA carries out,” Mr Sunkpal observed.
He stated that through public education and other routine activities of the FDA, people were inculcating the habit of checking for the expiring date and physical appearance of products before buying.
He advised shop owners to desist from the act of selling unwholesome products to the unsuspecting public as that was a breach of the Public Health Act.
He indicated that anyone apprehended in the act would have those products ceased and destroyed and he or she would be made to pay administrative and other charges as punishment for selling unwholesome products.
“They (shop owners) should consistently check the products they sell, if the product is expired, blotted, dented, and are not good they should not sell them.
They should walk into the office of the FDA and tell us, we will do safe disposal and give them a safe disposal certificate instead of leaving them in the shop, selling them to people and waiting for the FDA to come and pick them up,” Mr Sunkpal advised.
He urged the public to be mindful of the food items they buy from the market as the festive seasons drew closer in order not to consume unwholesome products, which would pose a health risk to them and their families.
“Also endeavour to report any non-compliance products you see in the market to the office of the Food and Drugs Authority for us to take necessary regulatory actions,” Mr Sunkpal added.
Mr Mohammed Yahaya Hafiz, the Upper West Regional Manager of the Pharmacy Council, advised the public against consuming expired medicinal products as that could have dire consequences on their health.
He said at the point of expiration, the producer of that product could not ascertain the efficacy and efficiency of the product and it could cause health implications when consumed hence the need for everyone to watch out for the expiring date of every product they bought from the market.