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FDA Confirms The Safety of Registered Imported Chicken

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The attention of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has been drawn to a news item published on GhanaWeb on 4th November 2022 with the caption: AGI RAISE RED FLAG ON IMPORTED CHICKEN INTO GHANA.

The publication is attributed to the Agribusiness Sector of the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) and raises issues on the importation of frozen chicken to Ghana.

The story unfortunately alleges that some of the chicken and other meat products imported into the country appear to have been slaughtered many years back, with most having been injected for preservation purposes, and with the likelihood of dire health implications high, including cancer.

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Regrettably, the story claims that “the situation is dire, and Ghana must move quickly to curtail the growing import of likely cancer-infested chicken and meat onto the local market”.

The FDA assures the public that chicken and other meat products that are cleared from the ports by the FDA for the Ghanaian market are taken through internationally accredited protocols and procedures that ensure the safety of these products. These processes include evaluation of documents such as theCertificate of Analysis with detailed tests results, Veterinary Certificate from the country of origin, and Veterinary Import Permit from the Veterinary Services Department of Ghana.

As further regulatory measures to ensure safety of these products, the FDA in 2018 established a mini laboratory at the Tema Port to perform testing of meat products before release. In addition, the FDA performs thorough inspection on each consignment that arrives at the ports to ascertain product’s compliance with food safety standards.

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Specifically, each consignment is checked for discolouration and odour, packaging integrity. Where necessary, confirmatory microbiology tests for the absence of microorganisms such as salmonella and listeria  are conducted before the products are released onto the market.

Any consignment found to be unwholesome is subjected to the requisite regulatory procedures including safe disposal and sanctioning of the importer. Moreover, importers of regulated products are required to register those products in accordance with Section 99 of the Public Health Act, 2012 (Act 851), which states that “a person shall not carry on the business of an exporter or importer of food unless that person is registered by the Authority under this Part as an exporter or importer and has complied with the Regulations and Guidelines”.

The Authority hereby reassures the public that the health and safety of the citizenry is a priority for the Authority and as such would continue to work assiduously throughout this Christmas season and beyond to ensure that only safe and nutritious foods are sold on our markets.

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Consumers are also encouraged to immediately bring to the notice of the FDA any observation of an instance of contaminated, spoilt or expired chicken or other meat products that comes to their notice.

FDA will continue to work with the AGI and the Ghana National Association of Poultry Farmers (GNAPF) to increase the production and supply of locally produced poultry products for the Ghanaian market.

Indeed, in support of the industrialisation agenda of government, the FDA through its BUY GHANA, LOVE GHANA initiative and its PROGRESSIVE LICENSING SCHEME is already supporting small and medium-scale enterprises to expand the scope and market reach of their products in order to contribute to national economic development.

Source: FDA

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