In commemoration of the 2022 World Food Safety Day (WFSD), the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) Tuesday held a sensitisation workshop for Nigerians on avoiding contaminated foods and ensuring a healthy living.
The event was organised in collaboration with the Ministries of Health, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development, Science, Technology and Innovation, Industries, Trade and Investment and other stakeholders.
Speaking at the event Tuesday in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said that food, if not safe, is like poison, hence the need to educate Nigerians on food safety from farm to the final consumers.
He said: “Over 200 types of diseases are contracted by eating contaminated foods. Children under the age of five are at rise of morbidity as a result of eating contaminated foods. Unsafe food causes one out of six diseases, including diarrhea. World Food Safety Day is therefore a good opportunity to raise awareness on unsafe food.
“Food, if not safe, is like poison. That is why people talk of food poisoning. We all have an important role to play in ensuring food safety. There should be food safety throughout the supply chain, from farm to the people. Most important approach gto food safety is by education, through promoting public enlightenment on balanced diet. We must sustain investment in capacity building towards curbing cholera and other food poisoning.”
Also speaking, the Country Director, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Dr Michael Ojo, said that for the country to achieve food safety, there is need for increased awareness on the harmful effects of chemicals for food preservation.
“One of the problems that we have is people trying to use chemicals to preserve foods especially when in storage or on display. We have had a lot of health incidence linked to the use of sniper or other chemicals and people do not understand how dangerous these chemicals are.
“There is need to be a lot more focus and awareness on these issues so that as people are trying to maximize profits, they don’t create food safety problems which often result in death,” he said.
Highlight of the event was the inauguration of the Market Food Safety Champions/Watchers from different markets across the FCT.