On food safety measures

Friday, December 07, 2018

Food safety is one of the most important public health issues in the development of any nation. It has also become one of the most challenging social issues that need to be addressed. Domestic issues concerning food safety occurs more frequently as there are loopholes in all the aspects of the food chain-from the farm to the table. As such public concerns over food safety are growing.

Authorities at The Gambia Food Safety and Quality earlier in November reported that it had come to their notice that Sunshine Industries of Kanifing Industrial Area, the producer of ‘Best’ bottled water has distributed bottles of water that do not meet the hygienic requirements for food and feed, as per the Food Safety and Quality Act 2011. As such, the public was informed that the water in bottle named ‘Best’ might pose a risk to health and should not be consumed.

Following series of tests conducted on the products that contained visible signs of contamination to find out whether it was a quality or safety issue. Results now show that the changed colour of the water was due to presence of high levels of iron coming from a rusted pipe, which cause the water to be unpalatable but does not cause harm. This has been corrected with the replacement of the responsible pipe. Further, tests done on the source for bottling have shown the water to be fit for consumption.  A media dispatched to that effect was issued that the Best water can be sold again, as Sunshine industries, the producers of Best water has undertaken all necessary requirements to ensure that the water is safe for consumption.

We there want to thank inspectors at the FSQA for their proactive stance to ensure that food consumed in the country meets quality standards. This also goes to show that the Government of The Gambia is fully committed to ensuring the safety and quality of food produced, imported as well as consumed in The Gambia.

The above premise is well supported by myriad policies and programmes as well as the setting up of modern institution, fully manned by highly trained experts like the National Food Safety and Quality Authority.

It is now the responsibility of those charged with these institution and mandate to deliver as expected. Food quality is everyone’s business because even if one is spared from being infected with disease from bad food; everyone is affected through the health bill to be incurred through public health expenditure once food-borne diseases become widespread.

We therefore congratulate FSQA and urge them to deliver as expected for our common good.

“Nothing is better than going home to family and eating good food and relaxing.”

Irina Shayk