Egg sellers in Kantamanto in the Greater Accra region have undergone a one-day training on egg standards and the benefits of egg consumption.
The purpose of the training, which was organized by the Ghana National Egg Campaign Secretariat (GNECS), was to equip the egg sellers to understand and differentiate edible eggs from non-edible ones with the ultimate goal of ensuring food safety and improving the sector.
Charity Annan Adupong, CEO Meannan Foods, who took the women through the standards explained to BusinessWeekGhana that “The inside of eggs that appear normal can contain a germ called Salmonella that can make you sick, especially if you eat raw or slightly cooked eggs”
She added that “there are many eggs on the market that are affected by Salmonella and many other bacteria and these are contributing to the disease affecting people”.
Most of these women are unaware of these bacteria but the training has enlightened them to properly handle the eggs”.
Base on the knowledge, they will be able to determine at what point the eggs got compromised and if it is from the farm gates, they have the right to return the bad eggs to the farmer.
The women need to understand that they do not have to sell unwholesome eggs to the innocent public just to make money,” she stressed.
The egg sellers employed the GNECS to advocate on their behalf for poultry farmers to add extra crates of eggs to their consignment to cater for damaged cargo. They argued that due to the nature of the roads, transporting the eggs from the Ahafo and Ashanti regions to Accra, some of the eggs get damaged and this becomes their cost since the farmers since the farmers refuse to add extra crates to cover the damages.
Adupong mentioned that the Ghana Standards Authority with support from the stakeholders has developed the Ghana Egg standards. The standard applies to the primary production, sorting, grading, storing, transport, processing, and distribution of eggs in shell and egg products.
She explained that there are there are different types of grades for eggs. Eggs are graded both by shell condition and interior quality and they are grouped by size. Eggshells are inspected for cleanliness, texture, shape and lack of crack. Grades AA and A eggs must have clean shells, while small stains are allowed on Grade B shells.
Adupong cautioned the egg sellers not to take the standards for granted or risk losing the sector egg importers thereby driving them out of business.
There was the need for the women to have a united front to ensure that the standards are enforced”
On the storing of eggs, Adupong advised the women to observe adequate spacing in between stored eggs to allow ventilation, as well as avoid covering the eggs. She also encouraged them to use plastic pallets in storing the eggs rather than leaving them on the bare floor.
Benefits of eggs
Taking the egg sellers through the benefits of consuming eggs, Kwabena Kusi, Public Health Specialist with the Ghana Health Service, enumerate several benefits of eggs.
He explained that egg is rich in proteins and has a lot of vitamins including vitamin A and D which are good for eyesight and bone development respectively.
Egg contain choline which help with brain development and this is particularly important for children and they must be encouraged to eat egg” He stressed.
He mentioned that eating eggs also helps in hair growth and the improvement in blood circulation
Kusi explained that the cholesterol in egg is considered to be a good cholesterol. He therefore, he encouraged that people without any medical conditions could eat at least two eggs a day.
Source: Kofi Ahovi