The Chamber of Agribusiness is calling on government agencies responsible for safety of food products to conduct a safety audit on all corn mill shops in the country.
Speaking to the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the chamber, Anthony Morrison said, “As a matter of urgency all government allied agencies tasked with food safety standards, environmental safety, among others, to carry out a safety audit on all milling machines in the country.
“They are also to come up with standards and an effective monitoring and evaluation system to constantly and consistently check their safety operations.”
Morrison said there must be a national milling production manual which will include health and safety operations manual to check the situation expressing his fears that the livestock industry especially poultry and piggery might also suffer same consequences as they also use milling machines to grind maize (corn) for the livestock.
A study conducted by scientists at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and published in the Journal of Science and Technology confirms widely held concerns about food prepared with maize as their investigations discovered metal particles in milled maize.
The findings suggest Ghanaians consume between 25 to 97.2 milligrams of iron particles daily from meals prepared from milled maize which is far above the National Research Council recommended dietary iron intake.
According to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, MoFA, over 95 per cent of Ghanaians enjoy dishes prepared from milled maize however pieces of worn off grinding plates in the milling process find their way into the milled food.
The study conducted at 105 milling shops found for a total mass of 1,800 kilogrammes of milled maize, the amount of metallic iron particles found is about 175 kilograms and 90 kilograms for wet and dry milling, respectively.
By Joshua W. Amlanu