The long awaited salmonella infested gizzard which was impounded at the Port of Tema following a tip-off from the Brazilian embassy has finally been destroyed.
A joint team comprising the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Veterinary services, GPHA Intelligence, Ports Health Services, National Security, Bureau of National Investigations and other stakeholders in the import and export chain destroyed the infested salmonella gizzard at the Kpone Dumping Site on Wednesday 4th March 2020.
In addition to the destruction of the infested gizzard, four other containers of unwholesome animal products were also destroyed in the joint effort of the agencies.
Dr. Asiedu Baah, Director of Veterinary Services said although they are able to bury the unwholesome gizzard infested with salmonella, certain impediments hindered their ability to destroy the products which was scheduled on February 17, 2020.
“I think we came here last two weeks to destroy the contaminated gizzard but unfortunately there was some hitch somewhere because of logistics,” he said.
He praised the security agencies involved and their effort in ensuring that the impounded container was not tempered with at the time it was taken for the destruction.
Dr. Asiedu Baah also reiterated that the importers of the infested gizzard were able to clear the three containers ahead of the officials and succeeding in selling the products to the citizenry because of the late alerts obtained by the agencies received from the Brazilian authorities.
“Let me reassure the public that this issue will never occur again because we are strengthening the signatories to that effect so nothing will ever happen again” he guaranteed.
Dr. Stephen George Bonnah, Head of Regulatory Unit, Veterinary Services Directorate, at the Port of Tema reiterated that going forward there should be coordination among stakeholder agencies on the Joint Inspection Management Information System which gives approval for the clearance of goods at the port.
“The last container which people were suspicious about has been finally buried. And we want to assure the public that from this day onwards products from containers that would be emptied, will be catered for properly, regulated properly so that consumer confidence will be there,” he assured.
He said the public should be assured that the unwholesome animal products have been destroyed and going forward veterinary and its allied services are going to effectively regulate all animal product that enter the country.
“At the end of the day when there is any problem in the system, so far as regulatory bodies are concerned, there should be coordination and not to assign blame to each other but there should be a mutual understanding between the institutions, instead of jumping from one station to another station castigating other institutions. We are all established by international law. The most important thing is that we should be able to sit down, collaborate and do the right thing,” he said.