Reports say, at least 5 persons have died and 40 others hospitalized after consuming waakye from a popular food joint at oyibi on the outskirts of Accra. Among the dead are some regular customers.
The waakye seller herself and her family have also been hospitalized alongside others whose lives are spared, at least up until now. Waakye is a favourite of many Ghanaians, eaten anytime of the day. It is basically rice-based and accompanied by stew.
In 2022, a similar incident happened at Takoradi where patrons of a popular waakye joint had a bad day from sunrise. They all suffered instant colic pain upon eating the food, hospitalized and In some cases with tragic consequences. The food regulatory bodies weighed in with investigations to uncover the root cause of the unfortunate incident yet outcome of that process was not widely-published to guide future behaviour.
About a decade or more ago, at Amanfro area along the stretch to Oyibi, a family was wiped away after consuming some meat. Source of the meat and where it was purchased were unknown at the time the report on the sore tragedy was issued because none of the consumers survived to tell their stories.
The food regulatory bodies of Ghana are challenged by the latest incident of suspected food poisoning to delve into the complicated web of food science, especially those sold for public consumption. It is however known, that the authorities have come hard on expired goods on the market, whereas high-end producers of consumables are also known to subject their wares to rigorous safety tests in certified laboratories before their supply wagons hit the market.
In Ghana, one of the easiest means by which idled hands have been occupied has been to cook food and sell to the public. That effort meets the needs of the teeming masses, most of whom are too busied by urban life to prepare meals by themselves. This has mushroomed informal food joints that are hard to monitor, thus the observance of standard operating procedures and quality assurance are a doubt. These food vendors have persisted in selling within environmentally poor locations.
Food at decent restaurants are priced out of the means of the ordinary citizens who then resort to wayside food. The trappings associated with restaurants where one has to be seen in splendour are clear disincentives to the average income earner.