Health

Don’t wrap kenkey in polythene – FDA warns

The Central Regional office of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has sensitised producers of Fante kenkey at Yamoransa not to use polythene to wrap the food before cooking.

The programme led by the Regional Head, Francisca Obeng, was aimed at educating Fante kenkey producers in Yamoransa and neighbouring communities about the health effects of using polythene to package the local delicacy.

She emphasised that, the plastics could potentially release harmful chemicals into the food, posing health hazards to consumers.

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Madam Obeng recommended the use of traditional wrapping materials such as dried plantain or banana leaves since they are natural and do not release harmful chemicals when heated.

The kenkey producers were very cooperative throughout the programme.

They revealed that, consumers had a higher preference for Fante kenkey wrapped in polythene because they had a longer shelf life especially for export.

But Madam Obeng maintained that, the practice only exposes consumers to health risk.

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She said FDA would continue to educate producers and consumers on the proper uses of plastic packaging materials in food production in markets and homes.

The public has been admonished to make sure their hot foods, at the point of sale, are not primarily wrapped in plastic bags.

A study conducted by Mensah et al (2012) revealed that, one of the primary concerns for the use of plastics in cooking Fante kenkey is the release of plasticizers which are chemicals added to plastics to increase their flexibility and durability.

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Plasticizers such as bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates have been linked to various health problems, including hormonal imbalances, reproductive issues, and cancer.

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