The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has launched a sensitisation drive to educate the public on food safety precautions ahead of the Christmas festive season.

The exercise, which formed part of the FDA’s routine activities, was to ensure that people consumed safer food before, during and after the festive season to avoid foodborne diseases.

Mr Albert Ankomah, the Upper West Regional Head for the FDA, revealed this to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after a sensitisation exercise in Wa to educate the public on the need to consume safer food.

He said there was the need to enhance the sensitisation activities due to the festive season when the people were susceptible to food borne disease resulting from unwholesome food they consumed.

The education centred on the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) five keys to safer food – Keep clean, separate raw and cooked, cook thoroughly; keep food at safe temperatures, and use safe water and raw materials.

The sensitisation was through public address system as well as one-on-one interaction at the Wa Central and Fadama Markets.

Mr Ankomah urged consumers to buy vegetables that were sold on raised platforms such as tables and meat that were sold in hygienic places and covered with a sieve.

He encouraged food sellers, including butchers, tomatoes and vegetable sellers among others to observe the safer food precautions to ensure that they did not unnecessarily endangered the health of consumers.

The FDA also inspected shops for expired food products to ensure the food sold was wholesome.

Mr Shamir Mohammed, a Regulatory Officer at the Upper West Regional FDA Office, noted that selling food on the floor made the food unwholesome for consumption.

He said through the education, traders who hitherto sold food products on the floor had begun selling on tables while consumers were advised not to buy food sold on the floor or sold uncovered.

He also advised the people not to buy pre-packaged food like can tomatoes that were sold under the direct sun as it made the food product unwholesome for consumption.