The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has cautioned the public to examine products before purchasing as many businesses are taking undue advantage of the COVID-19 and selling expired goods.
Mr Roderick Daddey-Adjei, the Acting Head of Food Division at the FDA, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on Thursday, said it was important for the citizenry to remain vigilant and check the expiry dates of food products before purchasing and consuming.
This advice came at the back of an arrest the Authority made recently in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service.
The team upon a tip-off, arrested a businessman, who tampered with and changed the expiry dates with other details on some consumables at Bortianor in Accra.
The businessman, Mr Weng Rui Chin, had changed the expiry dates and was offering for sale three different expired products.
They were Royal Orange Drink, which expired on Jan 22, 2020; 250mls Frytol, expiring on Jan 22, 2020; and MultiFruta Tampico, which the expiry date was highly tampered with making readability difficult.
Among other offenses, Mr Chin changed the expiry date on bottles of frytol oil on April 22, 2020, which was against General Labelling Law L.I. 1541.
Mr Daddey-Adjei said the arrest was made on April 15, 2020, and that the suspect was being processed for court.
He explained that the FDA had earlier received a complaint from a section of the public that the suspect was changing the date of expired products and played around some of the products’ date markings.
He said the whistle-blower had information that the unlawful act was being perpetrated at the Warehouse, where the products were being kept but upon reaching the area, they had finished and were offering them for sale at Dreambel Supermarket, located at Bortianor, near Accra.
He said some of the heinous act was that they had cleverly cut off the neck of the Royal Orange Drink’s label with a sharp tool to do away with the portion that had the expiry date.
Mr Daddey-Adjei said the removed portions of the label were spotted at the warehouse, where the unlawful act was conducted.
He said the FDA depends on the public for information and that without the public, the work of the FDA would not be executed effectively, noting that food safety was a joint responsibility.
He urged the public to give good information to the Authority to safeguard food safety in the country because a lot of traders or businessmen were only after profit and not necessarily the safety of consumers.
Mr Daddey-Adjei urged the public to properly examine products to ensure safety before purchasing, just to be sure it had not been tampered with and the cans not dented.