Some 7,135 food handlers have been certified to operate in the Accra Metropolis in 2023 after 8407 handlers underwent mandatory medical health screening at the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA).
In all, 6240 of the total number screened were females while 2167 were males with all participants coming from the hospitality industry - restaurants, drinking spots, pubs and chop bars.
According to data in the 2023 Annual Report of the Public Health Department of the AMA, 6014 females and 1121 males out of the total number screened were found fit and issued with suitability health and safety certificates.
Mr Gilbert Nii Ankrah, Head of Public Affairs, AMA, said 5287 were new applicants while 3118 were renewals, adding that the exercise was to maintain high standards in the food industry and enhance public confidence by reducing potential health risks associated with food consumption.
"The screening included education sessions on proper hygiene practices, nutrition and general health awareness designed to cover a range of health parameters like communicable diseases, hygiene-related illnesses, and overall physical fitness," he said.
Mr Ankrah said: "Out of the total number screened, 272 vendors were found to have health concerns and were provided with guidance and referrals to appropriate healthcare facilities for further evaluation and treatment."
The AMA encouraged all persons associated with the preparation, transportation, and sale of food in restaurants, cafes, catering companies and chop bars to undergo regular health check- ups and participate in health screening exercises by the Assembly.
The cost of acquiring a food handlers certificate remained unchanged at GH¢60 for the 2024 fiscal year.