24 October 2020 by Gami Tadanyigbe
The Food Hygiene Initiative of Nigeria (FHIN), an NGO, has called on Nigerians, especially food vendors, to ensure proper handling of food to promote food safety and healthier living in the Country.
Mr Jonah Karimu, the Director-General of the Organisation, made the call at a graduation ceremony, after a three-day training exercise of 250 officers on food hygiene in Abuja.
He said that food safety has become a dominant factor in governance due to its effects on public health, agriculture, trade and investment, poverty, hunger and tourism.
Karimu said that food-borne ailments have become a global phenomenon affecting billions of people who suffer from diseases caused by contaminated and poorly cultivated, handled, processed or cooked food along the supply chain.
“It has been established since 2014, we have been in the field creating awareness, training and ensuring that all Nigerian food vendors received adequate training for food safety and hygienic standard practices.
Karimu said the participants, mainly food vendors and consumers selected from the 36 states of the Federation , were educated on food handling, especially in the rural areas.
According to him, the organisation is also saddled with the responsibility of educating consumers and food handlers on the importance of food safety and hygiene in line with the WHO standard.
Karimu commended the National Assembly for the move to pass the bill for an act to establish the Nigerian Food Safety and Hygiene Surveillance Corps.
He said he was happy over the progress of the bill, noting that if finally passed, would go a long way to address poor food handling especially in rural communities.
The bill, which passed through second reading on July 23, 2020, was sponsored by Aminu Mani (APC-Katsina)
Karimu explained that the organisation would continue to work with relevant stakeholders to shore up food and hygiene standard practices in the Country.
He advised food hygiene officers to represent the organisation positively and be good ambassadors of food safety practices in the Country.
Mr Sylvester Lynus, a participant from Niger State, thanked the organisation for the training and promised to use the knowledge acquired to promote food safety in the Country.