The Upper East Regional Director of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), Mr. Sebastian Mawuli Hotor, has called on members of the public to look for the expiry dates of items while they shop for Christmas.
Usually, when it comes to the end of the year and Christmas, those whose goods are approaching expiry will lower their prices and sell. The danger is that you’re going to end up with goods expiring in your home if you buy too much for your stock.
With such expired goods, he said that the propensity among some members of the public to consume such expired products was strong, adding that it was generally difficult for some people to discard the cost of the products.
In an interview with journalists on the side-line of the maiden festival of nine lessons and carols organized by the FDA to usher in the Christmas season, Mr. Hotor made the call.
“He noted that selling products near expiration dates at cheaper prices was not illegal for anyone, “It is just illegal for them to sell expired products. It is up to us to look out for and purchase small amounts that can be consumed before the expiry date approaches.
Nothing like the grace period following expiry occurs. When it’s gone, it’s gone for good. But let’s be watchful. If it is not clean, if the product is rusted or dented, it is tainted. He stressed that we need to safeguard our own health.
The Director reported that FDA officials in the area were involved from the beginning of the year until the COVID-19 pandemic took place, which forced them to reduce the number of officials in the sector.
We had to do a lot of preparation, but we couldn’t put all of our workers in the office at once. We had to reduce the numbers and the vehicles along with fieldwork to protect them from the COVID-19 infection,’ he said.
Despite the difficulties, Mr. Hotor characterized the year as successful, saying “We are now doing full operations with a full staff and we are back on the market.” We do consumer monitoring on a regular basis, watching out for obsolete, unregistered, and unhealthy goods to get them off the market.
He said FDA officials have also embarked on intensive consumer education, “because we think that’s even more important.” If the customer and the distributors are aware of the risks of showing or selling harmful goods, they will appreciate them.
“Basically, our Christmas market surveillance activity is packed with public education this year so we spend more time in stores and interact more with customers,” the Director said.
The Director explained that it gave FDA workers the opportunity to fraternize and socialize with their families and other stakeholders on the nature of the program, “We take time off our busy schedules to unwind and reflect on the reason for the season that is love for God and love for our neighbor.”
Congratulations on the Christmas season is extended to the Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Mrs. Delese Darko, to the management and the FDA Board of Governors.
Officials from public and private institutions in the city, the clergy, and choristers from some churches who sang Christmas carols and read Bible verses came together for the function.