The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has urged the public to ignore a viral documentary of the unhygienic production of Tomato pastes on the Ghanaian market.
The FDA in a statement said, “The general public is assured that all products registered by the FDA, including tomato paste and tomato mix are safe.”
A viral documentary about the Production of Tomato Paste in China has hit major social media platforms. The video condemned the production of Tomato concentrate mixed with other ingredients found on the Ghanaian market.
According to the FDA, there are two variations of tomato concentrate products: Tomato Paste and Tomato Mix.
“According to the Ghana Standards GS 246:2019, Tomato Paste is tomato concentrate to which salt and other suitable seasoning ingredients may be added whiles, Tomato Mix per the Ghana Standards GS 1203:2018, is tomato concentrate and/or tomato powder (granules) to which water, salt, starch, dietary fibre and other optional ingredients mentioned in Clause 5.1.2 are added.
“With regards to labeling of these products in Ghana, the FDA has a separate Guideline for Labeling of Tomato Mix and Seasoned Tomato Mix – Tomato Seasoning Mix which requires quantitative declaration in percentages of tomato and of all ingredients mentioned above if used in the production of the product.”
It further said the current FDA regulatory measures being implemented to ensure safety included sampling and testing of all batches of tomato paste and tomato mix products locally manufactured in and imported into the country before clearance as prescribed by standards and Labeling Guidelines.
Meanwhile, the FDA stated that Gino, a brand mentioned in the documentary, officially ceased the importation of Tomato Paste onto the Ghanaian Market and from November 2018 only imports bulk tomato concentrate for the production of ‘GINO TOMATO MIX’ locally.