Using my experience in a food processing factory in Belgium to help govt

Joel Savage At Food 76 Joel Savage

Sun, 10 Apr 2022 Source: Joel Savage

Food production and development are a very useful and exciting area of human activity because it’s not only to live that’s why we eat but to live a healthy life. Last week, I had the opportunity to work in one of the famous food factories in Belgium. What I saw has inspired me to write this article.

The significance of this article is to share how food production has created a very flourishing economy for the Belgian government, as well as promotes good health to its citizens due to the strict hygienic processes and protocols workers painstaking need to adhere to promote quality food.

When I was called by the work agency to start work at the “Fine Food Factory,” a food factory supplying tons of food to a famous and popular supermarket known as “Colruyt,” throughout Belgium, my happiness was short-lived, when I requested to come and take a short exam or answer a few questions.

Behind the computer at the work agency, are about 10 pages of articles in Dutch, relating to food production, safety, and hygienic processes, which one must follow before working in a food factory. Even though after reading I answered the questions, I wasn’t sure about the outcome or the results.

I had seventy percent, which enabled me to begin the work but before entering the food factory to commence, the rules and dressing code of the food company shocked me to acknowledge the reason Africa lacks behind in many things we do without progress and development.

The dressing mode is particularly stressful but it’s necessary because a slight deviation from the established safety measures can affect the quality of finished goods and can even lead to food poisoning. Everyone has to cover their heads or hair and men with beards have to cover that too.

And before entering the factory, you have to put on white overall and white shoes, wash your hands thoroughly and after a quick press briefing over what went wrong or recommendations, workers begin in full force with enthusiasm, in various divisions all under one roof.

During break and lunchtime, the factory overalls are not permitted in the cafeteria, you need to take them off in the dressing room to avoid any contamination. Then after eating, you come back to dress all over again before entering the food processing factory.

The packaging of sausage, chicken, and turkey, is not only beautifully executed by the well-trained staff standing by the machines but well sealed to be kept in cold places for several days before the expiring date.

While busily working, I am wondering why the government of my country, wouldn’t create such important food companies in Ghana, which will sustain the economy, provide jobs and bring in foreign exchange if Ghanaian food products are well promoted across the globe.

Throughout Europe and America, are Asia products but Ghana is few, which reveals that the country has problems with food production. This is not an exaggeration because local food in Ghana is not easily affordable; therefore, which one will leave the shore for foreign countries?

Ghana has a long way to go despite all the agricultural products, including cocoa. Corruption has collapsed all the food industries built by Kwame Nkrumah, without taking into consideration that the variety of foods in our country is what will feed us and generate the country enough foreign exchange.

Columnist: Joel Savage