The Head of the Food Industrial Support Services Department of the Food and Drugs Authority, Ebenezer Kofi Essel, has urged health care workers, especially doctors to conduct laboratory assessments on food-borne illnesses presented to their facilities.
According to Mr Essel, the step has become necessary to contain the spread of the food-borne disease-causing micro-organisms within communities and to eliminate them.
He made the call when he was speaking on Angel FM’s Anopa Bofoↄ morning show, in line with the World Food Safety Day event, which was marked on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.
Alluding to the recent case of food poisoning from Marwako Restaurant in Accra, the officer observed that more often than not, when food-borne diseases break out in communities the causative micro-organisms go undetected, leading to their widespread.
“How many times do our hospitals even report food-borne illnesses that people come to the hospital with?” he quizzed on the show hosted by Kofi Adoma Nwanwani.
“The Marwako incident, we tried to follow up to find out if they did any laboratory assessment of the conditions that they presented, to help identify the micro-organisms that were in there so that we can trace it back, but the unfortunate thing is that the doctors were interested in treating the patients and to let the patients go.”
Mr Essel underscored the need to review such patterns of treating illnesses without investigating the root cause of the problems and their causative agents.
“Nobody is saying anything of that sort is bad but we may have to review some of these things.”
He mentioned that in the Korle Klottey District Assembly, they were not focused on treating patients only, but his outfit performed such pilot studies with some hospitals, where samples of foods were taken and assessed to find out the particular micro-organisms active in the area for appropriate action.
“These are the things that developed economies have done as far as food safety or public health is concerned. That is what will help us, but we have not gotten there yet,” Mr Essel said.