Dr Patricia Owusu-Darko, a Senior Lecturer of Food Science at the Kumasi Technical University, has admonished food vendors to discard unwholesome foods and ensure that safe and hygienic foods are served to members of the public.
She said some traditional restaurant operators, popularly known as "chop bars" mixed left-over food, which were mostly unwholesome with freshly prepared food, and sold to unsuspecting members of the public, insisting such practice exposed consumers to food related hazards.
Dr Owusu-Darko who spoke to the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Bolgatanga after she had facilitated a training and sensitization programme for the informal food and beverage sector in the Upper East Region, blamed such unhygienic practice on the lack of knowledge by traditional food handlers.
"For the traditional food handlers, I blame it on lack of knowledge because after we have trained them, they will realize that their practices are killing people. So for them it is a problem of lack of knowledge," she said.
The participants were schooled on how to handle food hygienically and serve same to customers professionally, protecting food from contamination, prevention of conditions that would allow micro-organisms in food from multiplying and destroying harmful bacteria in food among others.
Dr Owusu-Darko said "Even people in the cities have problem with knowledge of handling food. So I think is important for us to have a larger scale training where we will go to the districts and to the very hinterland to ensure that whoever handles food even for their own families know the hazards of not handling food properly".
She said of all the food illness, salmonella typhi, the bacteria which causes typhoid fever, accounted for a lot of food related sickness, and it was important to prevent it from getting onto food and multiplying.
Touching on the need to handle drinking glasses properly to prevent direct transfer of micro-organisms from the mouths of people, the Lecturer said it was important that drinking glasses were washed with proper microbicidal detergents.
She said because most drinking spot operators did not adhere to the proper hygiene precautions, they were advised to use disposal drinking cups, which had contributed to the hazard of plastic waste.
"Now we are moving away from disposal plastics, so what we have advised them in today's training is to use the correct glasses for the purpose of service, and they should make sure that they are well washed and sterilized before the next person uses them."