The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), has taken another giant step by launching a project dubbed: “Healthy Street Food Incentives” (HSFI) to help boost the safety and nutritional balance of street food in country.

This laudable initiative aims at stimulating demand and offer of vegetables, motivate street food vendors to register in a public database and ensure resource-efficient food monitoring and inspection system for street food vendors in the country.

Speaking at the launch, the Chief Executive Officer of Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) Mrs Delese Mimi Darko, stated unequivocally that her outfit will work closely with all the relevant bodies to boost the safety and nutritional balance of street food in Ghana.

According to her, Street food have been associated with a number of foodborne disease outbreaks due to compromised food safety.

This she said, nutritionally-unbalanced menus and a widespread informality among other challenges, are faced by this sector in the country.

“It is in view of experiences drawn from such interventions that FDA and the FAO is implementing the Healthy Street Food Incentives (HSFI) project,” she stated.

She noted that in the last four decades, urban areas in Africa, Asia and Latin America have witnessed increased vending and consumption of street food because the sector offered ready to eat meals and beverages that were prepared and or sold by itinerant or stationary vendors, especially on streets and in other public places.

Mrs Darko, stressed that the system was designed to encourage street food vendors to add fruits and vegetables to their menu to earn them an increased number of customers, revenue and trust among consumers.
She also commended the FAO in responding to its request to assist in improving food safety and nutrition in the country through the implementation of the HSFI.

Deputy FAO Regional Representative for Africa Mr Serge Nakouzi, noted that evidence from a study by the FAO in collaboration with the School of Public Health, University of Ghana, on food vending within the Accra metropolis, have shown insanitary conditions and widespread informalities of the sector, as a number of them were unregistered.

This he said, the recommendations included the improvement of the safety of street food through major structural and infrastructural interventions, stimulation of the sale and consumption of ready-to-eat fruit and vegetables, and the need to motivate and facilitate the registration of street food vendors for effective monitoring.

Source: Isaac Kofi Dzokpo/newsghana.com.gh

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