By Fatima Mohammed-Lawal
Ilorin – Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara has called for strong synergy among food safety stakeholders to guarantee consumption of wholesome food in the country.
Ahmed made the call on Thursday in Ilorin at an awareness forum on National Policy on Food Safety and its Implementation Strategy held in Ilorin.
Represented by the State Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mr Goke Bamidele, the governor said food safety remains essential for the protection of human health and improvement of quality of life of the people.
For ensured food safety, he said there must be proper coordination between the health, agriculture, trade and environment sectors.
He also urged governments at all levels, players in the food industry and individuals to collaborate in the prevention of food-borne diseases.
Earlier, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, had emphasised the need to give adequate attention to food safety.
He said that Nigeria had in the past placed more priority on food security to the neglect of food safety.
Adewole, who was represented by a Director in the Ministry of Health, Mrs Anthonia Opkara, noted the need to ensure food safety and security in the country for the citizens to be healthy.
The minister said the country was recently plagued by the outbreak of preventable food borne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and lassa fever and chemical contamination.
He said that these were as a result of poor food safety culture and poor hygiene practices in the country.
Adewole therefore called for effective sensitisation programme aimed at promoting food safety and security, especially at the grassroots and among vulnerable groups in the society.
An expert on food safety, Mr John Tehinse, in his lecture entitled, “Understanding the Basic Principles and Significance of Food Safety,’’ said personal hygiene is key to food safety and security.
He cautioned against the use of chemicals capable of causing food contamination.