Two people have been given a GHC 10,000 fine, or three months in prison with hard labor, by an Accra magistrate court.
On Monday, the court found the two defendants, Ebenezer Lamptey and Mawuli Wudaa, guilty of violating the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) Bye-laws 2017 and the Public Health Act, 2012 (851).
The court also imposed a GHc 1,200 punishment on Madam Mercy Sackey for using firewood to prepare food for sale, which caused annoyance to some Okai-koi Sub-Metropolitan District residents.
Gilbert Nii Ankrah, the head of public affairs, claims that after the offenders failed to show up in court when they were summoned, public health officers of the AMA led by Florence Kuukyi hauled them there on a bench warrant.
He stated that Mawuli Wudaa at the time of the inspection had employed seven people without health certificates at an eatery and stored their food items in a rusted refrigerator likely to cause contamination, while Ebenezer Lamptey operated an unsanitary, dilapidated concrete pit latrine that was on the verge of collapsing and discharged effluent into the drains in violation of Section 11 of the AMA Sanitation Bye-laws.
According to the AMA 2017 Sanitation Bye-laws, a person commits an offense if they, among other things, discharge effluent into the open, drains, their own compound, or the environment, operate a public or commercial toilet without a valid permit from the Assembly, fecate in the open, drains, or their own compound, or indiscriminately dump solid and liquid waste in public areas, drains, gutters, behind walls, or burn solid waste in their
If you don’t keep the property free of overgrown weeds and hedges, stagnant water, and any other unwholesome or otherwise offensive material, as well as drains that border the property up to the middle of the street, clean, it’s against the law, he continued.
He added that all food handlers must undergo screening under the AMA Food and Hygiene Bye-laws of 2017, following which they will receive valid health certificates that are renewable annually. He also stated that food handlers must provide evidence upon request.
He advised people and organizations who create food for consumption by the general public to make sure that their staff members were medically tested and provided medical health certificate cards to ensure the safety of the food and the general public.