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NAFDAC frowns at poor handling of food by producers



NATIONAL Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has lamented poor handling of foods in Nigeria by producers and sellers, saying that the consumers are being exposed to health risks from contaminants.
Director-General of NAFDAC, Dr. Christiana Adeyeye, who spoke on the  theme, : “Food Safety, Everyone’s Business”, in a forum   with newsmen to mark the “2019 World Food Safety Day” said  that the World Health Organisation, WHO’s, report showed that an estimated 600 million cases of food borne diseases occur annually while children under age five carry 40 percent of the burden of the disease with 125,000 deaths every year.
According to her,  in Nigeria,  there had been reoccurring food safety issues as well as emerging issues which include artificial ripening of fruits using unapproved agents such as calcium carbide which could have deleterious effects on health when such fruits are consumed.
She said that,  “The use of unapproved insecticides such as sniper for the preservation of grains by unauthorised persons, the use of containers contaminated with hazardous chemicals such as fertilizer bags for grains or chemical drums and jerry cans for food storage are classic examples of a common practice among the market men and women due to ignorance.”
The NAFDAC boss further stated that unauthorised chemicals such as dichlorvos for storage of grains and other agricultural produce by unauthorised persons could lead to contamination of the stored products.
She added that exporters and dealers of agricultural commodities who spray hazardous pesticides on produce during storage to prevent damage by pests at the cost of human lives and public health are also guilty.
The Director General disclosed that, “All these among other poor practices unduly expose the populace to health risk from these contaminants.”
She mentioned other food safety challenges in Nigeria to include; display of food products in the sun which could produce harmful by products such as benzene in soft drinks, poor transportation, and use of non-food grade packaging materials among others.



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