Tomato paste and mix sold in Ghana are safe for consumption – FDA

BY: Jasmine Arku

The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has given the assurance that the brands of tomato mix and tomato paste sold on the Ghanaian market meets all of its safety standards and is thus safe for consumption.

The FDA’s assurance follows the release of excerpts of a 2017 documentary showing the production of a tomato paste in a Chinese factory and suggesting that the product did not meet safety standards.

The excerpts of the documentary, which has gone viral on social media indicates that the final destinations of the Chinese produced tomato paste and mix were the Middle East and Africa; and for that matter Ghana.

The documentary mentioned in particular one “Gina Tomato Paste” which bears semblance with the Gino Tomato Mix sold in Ghana.

But a statement issued by the FDA on Thursday, September 24, assured the public that the Gino Tomato Mix was produced locally and was thus safe for consumption.

It said Gino officially ceased the importation of tomato paste onto the Ghanaian market and has since November 2018 only imports bulk tomato concentrate for the production of 'Gino Tomato Mix' locally.

It added that there were two variations of tomato concentrate products: Tomato Paste and Tomato Mix on the Ghanaian market.

It said per the Ghana Standards GS 246:2019, tomato paste is tomato concentrate to which salt and other suitable seasoning ingredients may be added while, tomato mix per the Ghana Standards GS 1203:2018, is tomato concentrate and/or tomato powder (granules) to which water, salt, starch, dietary fibre and other optional ingredients mentioned in Clause 5.1.2 are added.

“With regards to labelling of these products in Ghana, the FDA has a separate Guideline for Labelling of Tomato Mix and Seasoned Tomato Mix - Tomato Seasoning Mix which requires quantitative declaration in percentages of tomato and of all ingredients mentioned above if used in production of the product,” it explained.

“The general public is assured that all products registered by the FDA, including tomato paste and tomato mix are safe,” the statement said.