Traders at the Tema Community One market have refuted a growing public perception that they apply chemicals to fruits and vegetables to get them mature early which inevitably lead to their short shelf life.
They rather blamed consumers for improper handling and storage of the items.
In a market survey, the traders told the Ghana News Agency that it was unfortunate that some residents of Tema would peddle such falsehood about their business.
Consumers in Tema for some time now had been expressing worry at the rate at which vegetables and fruits they buy from the market rot within a short period even when preserved in the refrigerators.
Some complained that vegetables such as carrot, garden eggs and fruits including pineapple and orange which hitherto could last for several days, now went bad just three days after purchase.
The traders hinted that vegetables such as carrots, green pepper, lettuce and tomatoes do not do well in heat and water and must therefore be refrigerated or keep in the open.
They noted that tomatoes could best be preserved by taking them out of the polythene bag and placed in a basket or put on a tiled floor saying “when put on the tiled floor, it stays fresh for at least four days”.
Madam Rosina, a vegetable seller, noted that the best way to preserve okro was to tie it up in a plastic bag.
They described as normal when fruits such as banana, oranges, watermelon, pineapple, and pawpaw rot within three days as they have a short shelf life, adding however that when refrigerated, they could sta fresh about two weeks.
“Banana can be preserved in the fridge for about two weeks while pineapples and pawpaw can go for a week when refrigerated, ”they noted.
They however appealed to farmers to minimize the quantity of fertilizers they apply on the crops to give them a longer shelf life.
They attributed short shelf life to the application of harmful chemicals and fertilizers.
The meat sellers on their part told the GNA that one could add salt to meat for preservation adding that the other options were cooking and deep freezing.