PRO/AH/EDR> Anthrax – Ghana (03): (UE) human, cattle, regulations ignored


A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: Thu 8 Jun 2023 19:45 GMT
Source: My Joy Online [edited]

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) is attributing the anthrax outbreak
to the failure of butchers to stick to food safety standards. One
person has been reported dead from the disease after consuming the
carcass of an anthrax-infected cow in the Upper East Region.

According to the FDA, butchers and consumers disobeying spelt-out food
standards by the authority has resulted in the outbreak. A total of 4
cattle, all in the Binduri District of the Upper East Region, have
been reported dead due to the disease outbreak.

Whilst there are no reports of person-to-person transmission of
anthrax, people get infected from handling contaminated animals or
animal products. Ruminants such as bison, cattle, sheep and goats, and
animal products like beef, fat, and milk are highly susceptible.
Horses can also be infected. A lack of food safety standards will
leave consumers unprotected from contaminated foods and higher cases
of food poisoning.

Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Roderick Kwabena
Daddey-Adjei, spoke at a market durbar to commemorate the 2023 World
Food Safety Day. He indicated the presence of a food safety policy by
the Food and Drugs Authority to deal with food safety crises like the
anthrax outbreak.

“We have the food safety policy, a document that stakeholders are told
how to respond to food safety crises. In the case of the anthrax in
the Upper East, it is a veterinary issue. People did not follow the
standards. The standards spelled out were that deceased cattle with
blood oozing from their mouth and other body openings, you are not
supposed to touch such meat. They are to be buried and covered with
lime. And warnings are to be meted out. If this is disobeyed, and such
meats are consumed, then consumers will have the anthrax spore causing
hemorrhage (bleeding) in their bodies.

“So we are working together with the food emergency response plan, by
the Food and Drugs Authority and stakeholders. All the stakeholders in
the regions will work together to maintain the standards. And
conscientizing the public on standard practices, we are working
together with the veterinary, and Ghana Health Service. In the areas
it has happened, we have directed that movement of animals, ruminants
vulnerable to it be ceased,” he said. Food standards specify how food
should be handled, measured, packaged, transported, and labeled to
keep it safe.

The staged food safety forum aims to educate sellers and consumers on
hygienic food handling methods to ensure safety and quality. The food
safety day is to create awareness and highlight the role of
established food safety practices and standards.

[Byline: Clinton Yeboah]

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