The Head of Food Science and Technology Department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Prof. Isaac Williams Ofosu has warned that Ghana’s food system and supply chain is a recipe for poor health outcomes.

He says a sustainable transformation of Ghana’s food system is essential for better health.

“The way we build food systems and how we organize the supply chain can prevent infectious and toxic hazards including microbial pathogens, chemical residues, biotoxins and other obnoxious or dangerous substances from getting onto our plates.

“We need to transform food systems to deliver better health and we need to do so in a sustainable manner,” he said.

According to the WHO, 1 in 10 fall ill from contaminated foods each year.

The magnitude of public health burden due to food–borne disease is comparable to that of malaria or HIV AIDS.

Speaking as part of activities to mark the World food safety day, Prof. Ofosu urged stakeholders in the food industry to fashion out ways to ensure sustainable safe food production.

“Food systems policy makers, practitioners and investors should reorient their activities to increase the sustainable production and consumption of safe foods in order to improve health outcomes,” he said.

Prof. Ofosu hinted the department has finalized the accreditations for the diploma and Bachelor’s degree in food manufacturing, which will be in the distance learning mode.

“Through these programmes, we intend to tackle the challenges associated with the downstream food handling processes,” he said.

World Food Safety Day, which is marked on June 7, aims to inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), jointly facilitate the observance of World Food Safety Day, in collaboration with Member States and other relevant organizations.

This year, KNUST focused on plastics in food.

The lead for the organizing team, Dr. Abena Boakye said the day provides an opportunity to strengthen efforts to ensure that the food we eat is free from, especially plastics.

“The whole idea is to inspire and create awareness for issues regarding the safety of our food.

“So, how can we solve this challenge to ensure our food is safe? If not from anything, from the plastics that we have,” she said.

A senior lecturer at the Department, Dr. Herman Erick Lutterodt noted that proper plastic labelling is crucial for a healthy population.

“We have different plastics for different uses. We have plastics that are for higher temperatures and there are plastics for microwaves.

“Our regulators should step up enforcement efforts to make sure we have designations on the plastics,” he is hopeful.

The day saw a panel discussion with four selected Senior High Schools in the Kumasi metropolis.

They include Kumasi Academy, Kumasi Anglican and KNUST SHS.