The Food and Drugs Authority in collaboration with Solidaridad West Africa has organized a series of training for 4,006 selected major stakeholders in the oil palm value chain in the Central, Western, Eastern and Ashanti Regions.
The training of Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) follows a successful pilot training exercise which was carried out in selected districts within Assin Fosu and Kade from 17th to 28th August 2020.
The objective of the training was to educate and sensitize stakeholders in the oil palm value chain on good food handling practices to improve regulatory compliance and enhance the safety and quality of palm oil.
The EHOs were trained in Good Manufacturing Practices to equip them with requisite skills to ensure effective monitoring of the operations of artisanal millers while the Women in Agriculture Development and Business Advisory Center desk officers were trained to improve their knowledge base to effectively support cottage food processors.
Oil palm mill owners, artisanal oil palm processors and equipment fabricators were also trained in Food Safety and Hygiene to improve their practices in compliance with regulatory requirements and ensure the safety and quality of palm oil.
More than 70% of palm oil offered for sale to consumers are produced by artisanal processors with the majority of them located in the Eastern and Central Regions.
The operations of most of these processors are carried out under unhygienic conditions.
It is, therefore, necessary to ensure that the operations of the artisanal millers and mill owners are monitored to ensure compliance with good safety standards and ultimately ensure that food, including palm oil which is offered for sale, are safe and of good quality.
The FDA is also looking forward to enforcing compliance in the industry by ensuring that the mill sites are licensed.
Participants found the training timely and informative. It is anticipated that the FDA continues to strengthen collaborations with government agencies and other key stakeholders to assure public health and safety.