A new national food safety policy for the West African country of Ghana has been adopted by food industry stakeholders in an effort to protect consumers and to ensure that exported food items are indeed safe.

These stakeholders--who hold positions in many disciplines including agriculture, animal health, human health, standardization, tourism and trade--will work together closely not only to strengthen Ghana’s food safety, but to prevent and control water and foodborne diseases. Given the cumulative experience of these stakeholders, it is expected that this network of professionals will be able to respond quickly and efficiently should a food safety emergency arise.

Ghana has a history of inconsistency in a number of food safety areas--production, handling, packaging and transportation. There have also been concerns regarding biological, chemical and physical contaminants in Ghana’s food chain. Mogtari himself has said that while access to safe food is important, “the unavailability of adequate food and poverty had caused people to become concerned only with satisfying hunger at the expense of safety.”

According to Hudu Mogtari, the CEO of Ghana’s Food and Drug Authority (FDA), the current draft of Ghana’s food safety policy started back in 2009, undergoing extensive review since then to ensure that the country’s food safety needs were being addressed adequately. Ghana’s FDA received assistance from both the World Health Organization and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations following a study on the country’s food safety situation.