NIGERIA – The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has advised Nigerians to ensure that only safe and wholesome food is consumed to boost immunity and improve the body’s natural defenses in fighting diseases.
NAFDAC reiterated that Nigerians do not need medicines if they eat right, stressing that eating right means making healthy food choices from safe, wholesome, and nutritious foods.
Prof.Mojisola Adeyeye, NAFDAC’s Director-General, in a statement to commemorate the 2022 World Food Safety Day, disclosed that unsafe foods are the main cause of many diseases and contribute to other poor health conditions, such as stunted growth and development.
She highlighted that the World Food Safety Day was an opportune time to create and generate awareness around food safety and position it as a very significant issue of public health concern.
‘’We know that food safety is a shared responsibility, and everyone has a role to play in ensuring we have safer food for better health starting from the growers to processors, to transporters, sellers, buyers, and those who prepare or serve food,” she said.
The NAFDAC boss urged policymakers and food regulators to design all public procurement of food, such as food aid, school feeding and other publicly owned food outlets so that consumers can access safe and healthy foods.
She suggested that they support policy measures and legal frameworks to strengthen the national food safety system and ensure it complies with food safety standards and regulations.
Further, she called for multisectoral collaboration at the local, national, regional, and global levels, asserting that food businesses should engage employees, suppliers, and other stakeholders to grow and develop a food safety culture and comply with international and national food standards.
She equally counselled educational institutions and workplaces to promote safe food handling as well as engage with families and involve them in food safety activities, according to The Sun Nigeria.
Adeyeye admonished consumers to practice safe food handling at home and follow the World Health Organization’s (WHO’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.
She pointed out that NAFDAC as a key actor in the Nigerian food safety system has the responsibility to key into global best practices that ensure that food placed on the market for sale is safe, wholesome, nutritious and of good quality.
‘’We have seized the opportunity of the World Food Safety Day to put together a capacity-building event for staff members.
“I believe that it will provide an additional layer of awareness and knowledge on food safety as well as ensure a food safety culture that will go beyond the celebration of World Food Safety Day, while making us true advocates of the consumption of safe foods, leading to improved health outcomes,” she added.