The Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) on Friday celebrated the World Food Safety Day 2019 declared for the first time by the United Nations. For members of the NIFST Lagos chapter, it was time to go on the streets for enlightenment campaign on health and best hygiene for food handling, food preparation and general cleanliness.
Members of the organization gathered early at Cairo Market in Oshodi where the enlightenment of the street traders took place. As they moved from one trader’s stall to another, they shared hand gloves and printed pamphlets meant to educate the traders on proper hygiene.
Mr. Sunday Bamgbose, the Chairman of the institute, who later spoke to newsmen at the market said that the World Food Safety Day is a day earmarked to ensure that the food that people consume worldwide is safe.
“We all know that food is mandatory for every human being. Nobody can survive without food, so if the food we are consuming is not safe, it would not be benefitting to the body. If you have ever experienced food poisoning at one time or the other, you will know that it is not something palatable.
“All the foods we eat fall into different categories and they come with different risks during preparation. It can be physical. For instance, if a pin is found in food and swallowed, it can cause an injury in the body. It can also be biological or chemical. That is, if there is a wrong item that is added to the food.
Basically our profession is all about providing food for the teeming population. So we have to ensure that the food that people are consuming is safe.”
On why NIFST chose Cairo Market in Oshodi for the World Safety Day celebration, Bamgbose said: “We thought that since the industries have NAFDAC, SON and so on to check them, the food vendors on the streets who are substantially great in number have no one regulating them. A lot of people eat from these street traders. Nobody regulates it or ensures that safety is required in what they do.
“So we decided to come to their level to enlighten them about the safety in the preparation of food. We enlightened them, gave them hand gloves, nose masks and other items along with fliers to encourage them on food safety. It is our contribution to the society”.