The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Thursday advised food manufacturers to adhere to recommended industry standards to ensure food safety.
The Director-General of the Agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, gave the advice while delivering a paper at the 10th Edition of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Apapa Branch, ‘Environmental and Safety Seminar’ in Lagos.
Professor Adeyeye spoke on “Environmental and Food Safety: Any Silver Lining for Public Health Living?
Adeyeye, represented by Mr Anthony Abah, Assistant Director, Food Safety, NAFDAC, noted that most problems with food quality was due to contamination.
According to her, abuse of plastic, fossil fuels, industrial and agrochemicals are responsible for food contamination, health issues and death.
She cautioned against cross contamination of food during supply and storage.
Adeyeye further cautioned against poor food hygiene, mishandling of foods, contamination from environment and pesticide residues.
“During transportation, you have to train your drivers, freight personnel on how to handle foods. Fresh produce can be contaminated in loaded trucks. Some people use tankers used to transport petrol to transport palm oil,” she said.
She recommended some best practices, which include; proper access control, pest control, material selection, personal hygiene, good storage and safety measures.
“Access control is the first line of defence.
“If you sack somebody and he’s coming to that place, you have to beware because they can come and do anything.
“Use wall fence or physical demarcation where applicable.
“You’re not expected to use fumigants while your products are there. So, use traps in the store.
“Material selection is key to quality products.
“The quality of your product is the same as the quality of your material. If your raw material is defective, your product will be defective or you spend more to achieve the same quality.
“Poor hygiene is the root cause of many microbiological contamination.
“Avoid touching ears, noses, eyes, mouth while in contact with food.
“Keep cold food cold.
“Demarcate different materials and products from each other; label all materials and products clearly,” she advised.
Adeyeye urged companies to properly dispose of its expired, substandard products to prevent citizens from accessing dump sites to repackage such products for consumption.