Poor food hygiene is on the increase on Ghanaian markets especially in urban cities in Ghana.
An investigation conducted by Richmond Frimpong of gardja.org has revealed that Poor food hygienic practice has become a common phenomenon in our traditional markets particularly in Ashanti region.
A visit to some of the market centers in the Kumasi metropolis revealed that a number of food items, like vegetables and fresh meats are not conserved or packaged and are displayed on the ground
During my visit to Kumasi central market entrance, Asafo Market, Tafo Market, Dr. Mensah and Bodey market, I observed that items like vegetables and fresh meats are not handled in a hygienic manner .
Vegetables and fresh meats are openly displays on the open floor surrounded by insects’ likes’ housefly and dust with little protection.
Some of the vegetables are prepared with contaminated water bodies in the cities which could cause food poisoning.
The great majority of Ghanaians buy these vegetables and fresh meat from the traditional markets, while due diligence are over looked.
Washing lettuce, according to common practices, can reduces the bacterial infections irrespective of the method used.
A research conducted by Philip Amoah, Pay Drechsel Robert C. Abaidoo & Ernest M. Abraham [Ghana 2009 on improving food hygiene] concluded that the typical microbiological contamination levels of vegetables in Ghanaian markets pose a threat to human health. This is, however, not feasible as such an effort threatens the livelihood of many. Washing or cooking of food before eating is common in Ghanaian households. This could reduce or eliminate most of the microbiological and pesticide residues if done properly.
But the Ashanti regional chairman of Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen (GNAFF) Mr. Kojo Nkrumah has reiterated the need to regulate the activities of urban farming in the production of vegetables.
He also bemoaned the state at which fresh meats are openly display on the dirt ground for teeming Ghanaians to purchase for consumption.
He argued that, even shoes and slippers are neatly package in a flashy glass, but care less about the meat and vegetables that we consume daily.
He faults the Food and Drugs Authority in Ghana in their failure to checking and regularizing the operation of meat and vegetables sellers on the market.
Mr. Nkrumah, emphasized the need for the food authority to live up to expectation by conducting daily check son local food stuffs like fruits, vegetables and meat that are more dangerous to our health than focusing on imported food into the country.