The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has impounded a container loaded with about 2,800 cartons of chicken at a private warehouse over suspicions that it is unwholesome.
It said the container-load was cleared from the port, despite the FDA withholding its clearance.
The Head of Public Affairs of the FDA, James Lartey, disclosed that the Authority took the decision to impound the container after it realized that it was owned by a company that had earlier imported another container with unwholesome chicken.
Prior to impounding the container, the clearing agent lied to the FDA that the container had been moved to Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region, when it was at a private warehouse in Accra.
“…there was another container so what our officers did was that, they tried to open that container which belongs to the same company to inspect it, but it had been sealed. The clearing agent promised that on Monday, they will bring a welder to open it, but they realized that the container was on Monday cleared [on the FDA’s blind side].”
“What we did was that, we called the clearing agent, and he told us that the product was in Techiman, so we called our office immediately in Brong Ahafo to start making investigations on the product, only for us to go back to the warehouse to notice that the clearing agent gave us wrong information. The whole product was still in Accra. On Wednesday, we saw 2,800 cartons of the product. That one didn’t have a foul smell and we called the veterinary service who took samples to do analysis, the results I don’t know yet. We have sealed that, and they cannot be touched,” he said.
The Food and Drugs Authority had been accused of releasing the first container which had some rotten chicken products to the importer, but Mr. Lartey said the action was taken among other things to ease the congestion at the port.
He added that, the release of the container with the unwholesome product was immediately followed by an inspection carried out jointly by the FDA, and officers of the veterinary service, and there was no way the importer had direct access to the products even though it was cleared from the port.
“Last week Saturday, they inspected a 40-footer container of frozen chicken. When it was opened, they realized that part of the container was rotten, so they sealed the container and allowed the product to be cleared to the owner’s warehouse, which is Whitestone Cold Store. The FDA together with veterinary service followed up to the premises, and when they got there, the thing was reopened and the spoilt ones were sorted out, so they had 266 cartons of the rotten chicken. This rotten chicken was destroyed on Monday. Samples were picked and destroyed. The ones supposed to be wholesome were taken for lab testing and was affirmed to be okay he explained.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana