By Awa Macalo
The public relations officer of the Gambia Market Union has called on the Food Safety and Quality Authority to intensify inspections in Serrekunda and other markets across the country to prevent the sale of expired products.
Sulayman Dampha said most vendors, especially those selling packaged and canned goods on wheelbarrows, are selling expired food to the public.
“Food Safety and the Ministry of Health have a bigger role to play here. Almost all of the canned meat, milk tins, sardines, and other food items offered by these wheelbarrow vendors have passed their expiration dates. It is the responsibility of Food Safety and health ministry to examine these products and take appropriate action. These products are hazardous to our health,” he said.
Serekunda market is the largest of all markets in the country but “since 2016, as the IPRO, I have not been in any meeting called by Food Safety to inspect the cleanliness and hygiene of the market, nor have I witnessed health officials inspect foods and food products sold in the market that are consumed by Gambians. This is a serious concern.”
Mr Dampha further explained that Food Safety and Quality Authority is not performing as expected, urging them to step up and investigate all food preservation methods, particularly fish and meat vendors’ remaining stock, to see how they preserve and ensure it is up to standard.
“We are in the rainy season and this is the most critical moment. There are flies all over with other harmful bacteria that could cause numerous health hazards on the foods sold if urgent measures are not in place,” he added.