The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has reiterated the need for all individuals who work in the food service industry such as restaurants, cafes, catering companies and food vendors in the city to undergo a mandatory screening requirement to be certified before operating.
According to the AMA, the requirement which affects chefs, cooks, servers, and anyone who directly handles, prepares, or serves food to customers sought to among other things enhance food safety practices among vendors and provide customers with a higher level of confidence in the city’s culinary industry.
Public Health Director of the AMA, Florence Kuukyi made this known during a stakeholder engagement meeting organised by the Budget Department of the Assembly on the preparation of the 2024 Fee Fixing Resolution (FFR) in all three Sub-Metropolitan Districts.
She said to prevent contamination and ensure the safety of the foods being served, all food vendors from street food stalls to established eateries, were required by law to undergo comprehensive medical screenings and training sessions on food safety protocols.
“We have a responsibility to safeguard the health of the general public by ensuring that all food handlers undergo screenings and training, we are taking a proactive step towards preventing foodborne diseases and maintaining Accra’s reputation as a vibrant culinary destination,” she said.
She disclosed that the cost of acquiring a food handlers certificate which is ¢60 had been maintained by the Assembly for the 2024 fiscal year adding that the decision sought to among other things encourage its patronage as well as lessen the financial burden on businesses and support their recovery efforts.
“The fee for the medical screening is ¢60 and has not been reviewed for the past two years… This is because we don’t want to overburden our clients,” she said, adding that the Food Handlers Certificate issued by the AMA was internationally recognised.
She urged hospitality industries and warehouses to acquire their suitability health certificate to maintain a safe, efficient, and productive work environment while promoting employee well-being and customer satisfaction.
She said the Suitability Health Certificate was often required in industries where an individual’s health and well-being could directly impact their own performance, the safety of others, or the overall success of a particular operation.