The Lagos State Safety Commission has held a stakeholders engagement to commemorate this year’s World Food Safety Day.
Since 2018, the UN had designated June 7 as World Food Safety Day to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage the burden of food borne diseases, contribute to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development.
Welcoming participants to the event in Ikeja area of the State, the Director General of the Safety Commission, Mr Lanre Mojola who noted that issue around food contamination has been a great challenge, explained that the forum was part of efforts to ensure the consumption of safe food in Lagos as the Agency had been doing a lot in monitoring, enforcement and training of stakeholders.
“We are what we eat, as such, it is very important for us to ensure that the supply chain is kept safe to reduce contamination as much as possible. We are collaborating with all the Ministries, Department and Agencies to ensure that the food people eat are essentially safe and they won’t end up in the hospital” he said
Noting that continuous advocacy would help to safe guard the health of residents when it comes to food, the Technical Adviser to the Agency, Mr Seun Awojobi said government would continue to ensure best practices in the public space and enjoined Lagosians to also abide by safe food standards at home.
Mr Awojobi said “It is a collective process, we want to call on the public to also help us, we are putting out resource, materials, guide on how to ensure food safety, we encourage them read up this materials, brush up their own knowledge on food safety because this is the only way we can truly ensure safer food for everybody”
The Chairman of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria, Lagos State Chapter, Mrs Celia Moses-Nagbiku pointed out that most of the chemicals used as food preservatives in the country are harmful to health and called for more sensitization to properly educate Nigerians on food handling, preservation and processing.
“We are not looking inward enough, we are more or less looking to the west to copy but we are not copying right, the West has made a way of adding chemicals to their foods to preserve them, so, we copy them, but end up adding much more than they would in their own weather and at the end of the day, we end up hurting ourselves”
To achieve the theme of this year’s observance, Safer Food, Better Health, the stakeholders unanimously agree that it is imperative for Lagosians and Nigerians to eat for health rather than eating to sate hunger.