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Food safety is everyone’s responsibility

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By Timothy Akintola

Stakeholders noted that everyone must play their roles in ensuring food safety.

Nigerians have over time, experienced severe health outcomes as a result of the poor Food Safety practices in the country. The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) noted that the high poor practices and standard of food has led to a huge economic digression, evident in the rejection of some food exports due to contamination and adulteration of these products. NAFDAC’s Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Christianah Adeyeye, further raised this issue, claiming that it deserves urgent attention.

Recently, stakeholders have also raised concerns over the rising unsatisfactory practice of food safety, asserting that everyone must work collaboratively to ensure a standard food safety practice. During the 2022 National Food Safety Program that held at the Ministry of Environment, Abuja, and was collaboratively powered by The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), National Industrial Safety Council of Nigeria (NISCN) and RCL City Center these stakeholders, whilst evaluating the food safety practices, averred that it was everyone’s responsibility to ensure a standard food safety practice.

Food safety practices must not be restricted to just the regulatory bodies.

This event was also pushed by the Federal Competition and Consumption Protection Commission (FCCPC), Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON), Ministry of Health, Labour and Employment, and the Lagos State safety commission. The stakeholders posited that the food safety practice must not be restricted to just the regulatory bodies in the industry but a general responsibility. The Chief Executive Officer of RCL Industrial Safety Centre, Mr. Joe Oduah stated that it was the task of everyone involved in the production, processing selling and preparing of food to unsure a safe practice.

On the summit, he asserted that the program was designed to bring together, the operators of the food industry. He noted that it was very important, gathering the value chain of the food industry, ranging from the growers, fertilizers, transport and storage agencies, as well as the regulatory agencies and policy makers to brainstorm on new paradigms that will help prevent ill food safety practices and save companies’ reputations by procuring better food production habits.

Consumers must also protect themselves against substandard products.

On the importance of the summit, Mr. Joe Oduah again posited that most times, while producers of food product have found it so difficult to Export their products due to the substandard quality produced here, growers of these food products also have a problem with storing due to the poor storage habits in the country. Thus, there was a basic need for evaluating the factors affecting the food industry and proposing different ideas to salvage these situations, as well as inculcating the modern practices that the regulatory agencies are aligned to.

Nimatullah Braimah, a senior scientific officer in the quality assurance and development department of FCCPC noted that the commission was mandated to protect consumers against the consumption of unsafe food. She stated that consumers must protect themselves from substandard products by ensuring that they purchase quality products by always reading through the labels and instructions on the products. She also tasked consumers to always ascertain the Manufacturing and expiry date by checking the products’ date markings.

The summit was to procure solutions to the problems of the food industry.

Anne Iweka, a representative of the food and drugs service department, federal ministry of health also commented that the program was shaped to bring forward, different solutions to the problems that stakeholders faced in the food industry. She further stated that the federal government has been working with the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in procuring better paradigms for food safety in the country. She however averred that it was very important for the stakeholders and other agencies to carry out nationwide sensitizations on ways to ensure food safety.


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