It is the mandate of the Environmental Health and Sanitation Unit to ensure food safety in collaboration with relevant stakeholders in the New Juaben North Municipality. On this premise, the Unit embarked on a monitoring exercise to ascertain the adherence to provisions of Ghana’s laws (to Act 29/60 section 286 of the criminal code of Ghana) that requires all food and drink vendors to undergo medical screening annually before handling food or drinks for public consumption.
This report covers the quarter of 2022 (JANUARY – MARCH). The exercise started by meeting with the field staff for a short review of the previous work. We also strategized on how to undertake the assignment in the municipality.
The monitoring activity occurred in all Zonal areas concurrently. The zonal areas namely Effiduase, Asokore, Akwadum, Oyoko and Jumapo were all visited by the field officers.
SUMMMARY OF RESULTS
|NAMES (name of place eg, mrket)
(Name of town)
|Effiduase Central Business Street
Households visited (10)
Victory International School
|Asokore SDA School and Canteen
Seven (7) households visited in Asokore Kuma
|Oyoko Presby Basic School
Two (2) Eating Premises
Five Provision Shops along the principal street in Oyoko
Household visited (10)
Methodist JHS in Jumapo
Household engagements in Suhyen Community (5)
|MUNICIPAL TOTAL NUMBER OF PEOPLE REACHED
The following tactics and approaches were employed during the exercise:
- Public communication
- School health education
- Health promotion
- Household health education concept
- Partner engagement
- Social mobilization
- Community engagement
- Through this monitoring, our observations were that the knowledge of the people regarding food hygiene and its related diseases had increased considerably through face to face interviews.
- What we observed during this period was that, there was an increase in compliance to food safety and hygiene practices among especially school canteens and street food hawkers and provision shops.
- We still observed that, the basic school children are really complying with hand washing practices before handling food.
Children are good change agents in our communities, their high compliance level could affect high compliance in their individual households.
MONITORING FOLLOW UP ACTIONS
- Two eateries (2) whose workers were detected to have not undergone the previous year’s medical screening were given Mandatory notices to stop the workers from working in the eateries until they have done so.
- Some food and beverage handlers in school canteens visited without medical certification were stopped from selling in the schools until they undergo medical screening.
- Few of the food and drink handlers do not provide enough screening against flies and vermins.
- Some of the food and drink handlers are refusing to undergo medical screening due to previous experience of lack of law enforcement by the municipality.
- Some of them refuse to allow us take pictures of them because they claim they don’t know what then pictures are going to be used for.
- Delay in gazetting the Assembly bye law is making food hygiene regulations in Assembly a bit cumbersome.
- More law enforcement is needed to ensure compliance
- Provision or printing of some leaflets/fliers/posters etc. would be very helpful in future monitoring
- The field facilitators/officers need uniforms and name tags to make them visible in the communities. This alone helps in high compliance of food and drink regulations among them
- Field staffs should be given food safety and hygiene literature to form as a guide to aid them give out the accurate and uniform health education.
Continuous health education and follow up to ascertain the health status of those who tested positive will be done to ensure that they meet the requirement of food safety regulations before handling food or drinks for public consumption.