NIGERIA – National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has announced that safe food is an essential component of sustainable development and contributes to the improvement of public health, poverty reduction and increased food security.
NAFDAC Director-General Professor Mojisola Adeyeye advised Nigerians to consume safe, nutritious and wholesome food that will help boost their immunity against diseases, stressing that Nigerians do not need medicines if they eat right as eating right means making healthy food choices.
Professor Mojisola Adeyeye urged growers, processors, transporters, sellers, buyers and those who prepare or serve food to play their role in ensuring people in Nigeria have safer food for better health, adding that food safety is a shared responsibility.
“Everyone has a role to play from policymakers, educational institutions, workplaces as well as consumers; food safety is the responsibility of all. We must all work together to help achieve safer food for better health,” she stressed.
The recommendations come at a time when Nigeria is experiencing a rise in cases of hypertension related to people’s habitual unhealthy diet including a high intake of red meat and salt, low consumption of green leafy vegetables, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, smoking and diabetes.
Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye stated that both global and national nutritional goals cannot be achieved if food is unsafe during the NAFDAC celebration of the 4th World Food Safety Day 2022 under the theme ‘Safer Food, Better Health’.
“World Food Safety Day is an added opportunity for us to generate awareness around food safety and situate it as a very significant issue of public health concern especially in the light of wholesome food being important for boosting immunity and improving the body’s natural defenses in fighting diseases,” she added.
She further expressed her concern regarding safe food practices, revealing that foods are frequently exposed to less than hygienic and sanitary conditions resulting in contamination which lead to incidences and outbreaks of foodborne diseases.
“Unsafe foods are the cause of many diseases and contribute to other poor health conditions such as impaired growth and development. Foodborne diseases are steadily becoming significant food safety concerns,” explained Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye.
In addition, consumers were urged to practice safe food handling at home and follow the World Health Organization’s Five Keys to Safer Food: keep clean, separate raw and cooked, cook thoroughly, keep food at safe temperatures and use safe water and raw materials.
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