Health authorities have ordered the immediate closure of a popular ‘waakye’ (a Ghanaian dish of cooked rice and beans) joint at Atwedie in the Asante Akyem South Municipality of the Ashanti Region.
This decision comes as part of ongoing investigations into a suspected food poisoning incident that hospitalised at least 18 people.
The victims, including the waakye seller, Maame Gariwa, were rushed to the Juaso Government hospital after experiencing severe stomach aches having consumed the food on Monday (9 October 2023).
Others reported acute diarrhea, nausea and among other symptoms. Authorities have however stepped up public education and sensitisation efforts in the community since the incident.
“The waakye seller who is one of the victims has been asked to suspend operations while the police have taken over investigations. So far, all the victims have been discharged indicating that their conditions have improved considerably,” the regional environmental health officer John Yaw Donkor said.
“For now, we are embarking on educational programmes to educate people on food safety. We are in close collaboration with the Ghana Health Service, the Food and Drugs Authority and the police to advance investigations.
“Waakye is everybody’s food and so their business should not be underrated. At the moment we have notified all MMDAs to intensify their education programmes to prevent such incidents,” Donkor added.
Meanwhile, some residents who are customers expressed shock at the incident and suspected sabotage to collapse Maame Gariwa’s business.
They indicated that the popular food joint has been in operation for over 20 years with a very good reputation.
Reporting by Jonathan Ofori in the Ashanti Region
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