Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) FCT Chapter has appealed to food handlers and sellers to adhere to proper hygiene to avoid illnesses and possible death to consumers.
The Institute’s President, Mrs Nkechi Ezeh, made this call on Tuesday in Abuja at a market sensitisation at Nyanya Market ahead of the World Food Safety celebration scheduled for June 7.
The theme is, “Safe Food now for a Healthy Tomorrow”, which highlights the need of sustainable production systems that will ensure the health of people, the planet and the economy in long term.
According to her, people can fall ill or die as the case may be due to unwholesome ways of handling foods or foodstuffs.
“Such unwholesome activities include displaying food items for sale on bare ground, or around dirty places or areas.
“Washing of fruits with detergents or chemicals to give them fake colours or be attractive to buyers or using carbide to ripen fruits.
“We all know about illnesses such as cancer that affects different parts of the body, diarrhea, typhoid fever due to the way food was handled,” Ezeh said.
She said when such illnesses occurred; it is usually blamed on witches and wizards.
Ezeh said that food safety from farm to table was a shared responsibility between governments, producers and consumers saying everyone has a role to play to ensure the food we consume was safe and healthy.
“The World Food Safety Day celebration is aimed at drawing attention and also inspiring actions to help prevent, detect and manage food-borne risks.
“Thus contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, access to the market, tourism and sustainable development.
“WHO reported that more than 10 per cent of the world population suffers from food-borne diseases and about 420,000 people die annually due to contaminated foods.
“Children under age five are at higher risk,” she said.
The Women Leader of Nyanya market, Mrs Mary Ekezie, at the occasion said that the new management of the market had always instilled proper hygiene on all food handlers.
One of the traders, Mrs Mary Dayen, appreciated the efforts of the group, saying that they were trying their best as food was handled safely.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NIFST is a non-profit making professional association incorporated under the Company and Allied Matters Act.
It represents over 10,000 Food Professionals drawn from the Academia, Industry, Government and Research institutions in Nigeria. (NAN)