The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has urged the public to be cautious of what they patronise from the market for consumption as some products are on the shelves without accurate expiry dates.
This, according to the Northern Regional Director of FDA, Martin Kusi, poses risk to consumers as they are not able to determine which products are safe for consumption or otherwise.
He said this in an interview with the B&FT at a labelling and standards compliance training programme held for Shea-based cosmetic products dealers and processors in Tamale, organised by the Global Shea Alliance (GSA) with support from the European Union.
He further educated the shea-based products producers on how to determine the life span of what they produce, even without technical knowledge.
“Most people are not able to determine the lifespan of their products due to their inability to follow the procedure in assessing or analysing the duration of the product manufactured to be approved by FDA and taken to the market.
If you want to know how long a product can take after manufacturing, you can put it on the shelf for a period of time and monitor it to see whether the colour or the product would change; or you will feel some foul smell from it. This helps to identify the duration of the product manufactured,” he said.
He explained what the FDA is doing to assist the producers comply with standards in the production process.
“In this part of the country, we have lots of women who go into Shea production and most of them do not have the finances to get their products go through the processes for approval, and so what we do is to engage in market, schools, lorry stations, and durbars to educate them on the need to get their products registered, not for only local consumption, but help them qualify to get their products on the international market.
We think it is better for us to engage the local enterprises and educate them and take them through the processes such that in the end, every entrepreneur gets at least one or two products that can be owned to create job opportunities for themselves,” he said.
According to him, management of the FDA is keen on ensuring the welfare of citizens and so would not allow any uncertified products on the market, hence, their continuous vigilance to clamp down on any product taken to the market without the approval of the authority.
He appealed to the public to desist from patronizing any uncertified as there is the potential of health risk in doing so.
He added that the FDA has instituted a Progressing Licensing Scheme (PLS) to registration of products on order to reduce the stress they do go through before they acquire the needed certification.