FDA confirms safety of imported chicken and meat

The news publication claimed the meats in the local markets are believed to be slaughtered many years back, with most having been injected for preservation purposes, and with the likelihood of dire health implications high, including cancer and others.

However, the FDA in a statement opined that chicken and other meat products that are cleared from the ports by the Authority for the Ghanaian market are taken through internationally accredited protocols and procedures that ensure the safety of these products.

Among the procedures highlighted are “evaluation of documents such as the Certificate of Analysis with detailed tests results, Veterinary Certificate from the country of origin, and Veterinary Import Permit from the Veterinary Services Department of Ghana.

In reference to further regulatory measures to ensure safety of these products, the FDA noted that in 2018, it established a mini laboratory at the Tema Port to perform testing of meat products before release.

The statement detailed that 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 statement explained.

The Authority, thus, reassured 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 the markets.

The FDA further urged consumers to immediately bring to their any observation of an instance of contaminated, spoilt or expired chicken or other meat products that comes to their notice for swift action.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on Monday, November 7, told the Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) that Ghana imported about ¢4 billion worth of fish, ¢1.9 billion worth of chicken and ¢487 million worth of meat in 2022.