The Recent Food We Consume In The Gambia Is Not Safe
Dear Editor M’bai
Thank you once again for doing a good job by exposing the injustice in our motherland. As you are aware, the Food Safety and Quality Authority (FSQA) was established by an Act of Parliament in 2011 and operates as an Agency under the Office of the Vice President.
However, Badara Loum the Chairman the Board of Directors of FSQA who is mandated to oversee the overall direction of the Authority has tendered his registration letter, creating a vacuum in the office’s current operation.
Editor M’bai, you will be surprised to know that no one in the Gambia is safe due to what we consume,considering the fact that over 90% of the Food Inspectors that are supposed to do the daily routine inspection were sent on administrative leave without pay whilst some dismissed by DG Zainab without the consent of the Board of Directors.This was part of the reasons that I believe prompted Chairman Loum to resign on Friday 7th February, 2020.
Also, Food Safety Inspections are one of many procedures put in place by the government to ensure that food is clean and safe for consumers. As a lot of food preparation occurs behind closed doors, customers are often unaware of how their products are made and if they are fit for human consumption.
The reason for inspections is to ensure that food products are not contaminated in any way. Food products such as raw meat can be dangerous if not prepared properly. Additionally, without the correct cleaning and sanitizing procedures in place, harmful pathogens can spread quickly and can cause harm to the person. Regular Food Safety Inspections are an effective way for the authority to protect consumers from poor food handling practices and the potential spread of food-borne illness.
Editor M’bai, for the past 3 months’ foods in the greater Banjul area and across the country have not been inspected due to the saga at the authority which leaves the population of the Gambia at high risk of consuming contaminated foods.
Some of the effects of consuming contaminated foods include foodborne illness, more commonly referred to as food poisoning, is the result of eating contaminated, spoiled, or toxic food. The most common symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Editor M’bai if foods are left uninspected, factors which contribute to food safety issues such as improper agricultural practices; poor hygiene at all stages of the food chain; lack of preventive controls in food processing and preparation operations; misuse of chemicals; contaminated raw materials, ingredients and water; inadequate or improper storage, can’t be detected hence leaves the consumers at great risk of contracting food borne illnesses.
As an Inspector, I am very much concern on the direction in which The food Safety and Quality Authority is heading to. In December 2016 when we went to the polls we thought this new government will be the government to fight curruption, nepotism and abuse of public offices. I employ on the current government to look into this matter as urgency in order to protect the Gambian population at large.
Written By A Concerned Citizen