Catering establishments and food vendors in Ghana: Metropolitan assemblies not checking permits

Hunger is upsetting and uncomfortable but in the search for food;
Have you ever look out for certificate of authorization for operation where you eat, again have you asked how safe is person preparing, cooking and serving my food?

We most at times overlook certain salient practices before we purchase food which shouldn’t be the case no matter how famished we are, in our search to satisfy our hunger.
During food preparation the hands are used, but do we care to know whether the caterer did a good job of exercising some level of personal hygiene before and during food preparation and cooking.Thus the hands are supposed to be washed before food preparation and cooking begins.

Each time the handkerchief is used either in wiping sweat or sneezing,the hands are supposed to be washed.This practices are not to be encouraged only in catering establishments that prepare and cook food on a large scale but in our individual homes. The reason why these practices are to be ensured so as not to contaminate food with bacteria staphylococcus.

Now to the certificate of authorization; every metropolitan assembly is in charge of giving of permit to catering establishments to set up once their businesses have been registered, they are also to monitor and check the day to day activities of the catering establishments. The metropolitan assembly is also supposed to check the individual health certificate of employee and employer of catering establishments, something they are not doing.

Certificate of Authorization for Operation is the certificate that gives permission or allow a catering establishment to operate if it has conformed with the rules of the metropolitan Assembly and this certificate should always be displayed at the establishment to the knowledge of customers who patronize food.It should also be renewed yearly by the metropolitan Assembly or the establishment.

Do you know the F.F.I card, have you ever requested for it in any catering establishment? The personal health card which every employer or employee is supposed to have is the F.F.I card as it is commonly known and called within food vendors. F.F.I  means Free From Infection. This health card is a possession for all caterers and food vendors which is very compulsory. It should be displayed anytime a customer requests for it.

This is a sample of the F.F.I card.

It is a normal yellow card that is issued by a public health department, of every health institution based on test results by a certified laboratory to confirm a caterer or a food vendor is not infected with typhoid fever or other related food infectious diseases like cholera or diarrhoea. The card will not be issued if the food vendor or caterer is infected with the above mentioned food infectious diseases, since it can infect a customer in the process of food preparation, cooking and serving.

Some food vendors and catering establishment do not have this card because of cost, which the manager’s responsibility to get the card for thier employees. They overlook this because of cost involved and instead bribe the metropolitan assembly officers who go round to check the use of the F.F.I card. This is very worrying because our health is been traded with money and our health is also compromised on.

I personally have an F.F.I card which I show to my customers even if they don’t request for it , so to let them know I don’t have any food infectious related disease, so they know they are safe.

Have you been shown an F.F.I card before, or have you requested from a food vendor or a catering establishment; or is it that you are so famished and feel uncomfortable you don’t request for it even if it’s not displayed.

Now you know if you didn’t have the idea, let’s again be catious individually.If the institution who are supposed to safeguard our health is failing us. Let’s insist on the F.F.I Cards so we don’t fall victims to food related infectious diseases which will cost us much to cure as compared to the less cost of the food we purchased.


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