Wrapping kenkey and banku in polythene can cause fertility problem— Dr Kwaku Afriyie warns
Polythene use in wrapping doughs and kenkey can cause severe health and fertility problems, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI), Dr Kwaku Afriyie has disclosed.
According to him, a research revealed that certain chemicals in plastic could leach out into a kenkey, ‘banku’ and other related foods to cause metabolic disorders like obesity and reduce fertility.
Dr Kwaku Afriyie therefore warned Ghanaians especially caterers to stop the usage of polythene in wrapping corn and cassava doughs used in preparing kenkey and banku.
Speaking at a meeting with caterers’ association on plastic management in Accra on Tuesday, he cautioned caterers not to wrap boiled foods in plastics as it has a dire health consequences.
“Boiling food, especially kenkey in plastics, poses a serious health hazard to consumers. This leaching can occur even faster and to a greater degree when plastic is exposed to heat,” Dr Afriyie stated.
He noted that before the invention of these “banku” rubbers, our old folks stored banku for more than a week without spoilage and any health hazards.
“As a matter of fact, they rather used materials that had the potential to add other health benefits to the banku,” Dr Afriyie added.
He expressed his outfit commitment in liaising with the Local Government Ministry, the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to pass bye laws and notices that would see to the arrest of persons found involving in such acts.
Meanwhile, Dr Afriyie said what was required in the interim was the intensification of public education and sensitisation on the effects of using plastics in cooking.
He therefore encouraged caterers to as a matter of urgency put an abrupt halt to such practices and urged them to caution colleagues and educate them on the effects of using plastics in wrapping doughs.
Dr Afriyie underscored the need for Ghanaians to revert to “our old ways of preparing kenkey to save our lives as copying blindly was not going to do us any good than bad.”