THE Sunyani zonal office of the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) has destroyed expired, substandard drugs, unwholesome foods, cosmetics, household chemicals and medical devices valued at GH¢14,252.75 at the Sunyani landfill site.
The destroyed items were assorted products such as meat, fish, milk, biscuits, confectionery, herbal and orthodox medicines, aphrodisiac and detergents.
The items were seized during the post-market surveillance exercise conducted in 15 municipalities and districts in the Brong Ahafo Region including Sunyani, Asunafo North, Techiman and Wenchi municipalities, Asunafo South, Nkoranza South, Sene, Tain, Tano North and Tano South Districts from March to October this year.
The exercise which formed part of the FDB’s mandate, was to ensure public health and safety and it was organised to rid the markets of expired, fake, unregistered and unwholesome foods, drugs, cosmetics, medical devices and household chemicals.
During the exercise, officials from the FDB also examined products on the markets to ascertain the conditions under which they were stored and displayed for sale.
Briefing newsmen in Sunyani before the destruction of the items, the Sunyani Zonal Officer of the FDB, Mrs Nora Narkie Terlabie said during the exercise wholesale outlets, supermarkets, provision stores, pharmacy shops, and licensed chemical stores were inspected for expired, unregistered, fake and unwholesome products.
She explained that unwholesome products were those which were improperly stored, for instance those under wrong temperature, as well as those which had broken seals, rusted, dented and bloated cans.
According to her, products under those conditions were likely to become unsafe before their intended dates of expiry.
Subsequently, Mrs Terlabie said the safety and quality of those products could not be guaranteed hence the need to withdraw them from the market for destruction.
Mrs Terlabie advised the public to be cautious when buying products during festive periods, especially now that Christmas is around the corner.
She further urged the public to check the expiry dates of products and avoid expired ones when buying them.
“Refrain from buying dented and leaking products, desist from buying products exposed to the sun or improperly stored and buy from hygienic shops, especially when buying meat, frozen foods, pastries and bread,” Mrs Terlabie stressed.
She also urged shop owners to store and display products in cool and dry places, employ the principles of first in first out (FIFO) or first expired first out (FEFO) to avoid products staying longer on the shelves, and observed good personal hygiene to help reduce contamination in the shops.
Mrs Terlabie called for co-operation from the public to assist the FDB to ensure public health and safety.