On 12/Jun/2019 / In Medical News
The Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, has warned food producers not to compromise food safety standards in the race to increase food production and processing.
Speaking during a World Food Safety Day briefing held last Friday in Lagos, Adeyeye described food safety as the absence of hazards in food that may harm the health of consumers.
She said, “A major concern that deserves very serious attention is how not to compromise food safety standards in the race to increase food production and processing to provide food for the ever-growing population around the world.”
The NAFDAC DG noted that some of the problems of food safety in Nigeria included artificial ripening of fruits by using unapproved agents, such as calcium carbide; the use of unapproved insecticides, for the preservation of grains; the use of containers contaminated with hazardous chemicals for food storage and the unauthorised use of chemicals for storage of grains and other agricultural produce.
“Another key issue impacting negatively on food safety is the use of non-food grade packaging materials. Key hygiene issues arising from producers and printers include residues of printing ink, solvents, lubricants that contaminates packaging materials when appropriate precautionary measures are not taken during the manufacture of packaging materials. These chemicals subsequently migrate into the food product constituting hazards to consumers,” she added.
Adeyeye frowned at attempts made by some food producers to include unapproved additives to foods that could impact negatively on the health of consumers.
“A classic example of unapproved additives is the use of potassium bromate as bread improver and the addition of Sudan dyes to palm oil to improve the colour. Companies should obtain regulatory approvals for any food additives they intend to use in their product before they can be used,” the NAFDAC DG said.
Adeyeye stressed that the issue of food safety was everyone’s business and efforts should be made to ensure that all actors in the food chain play an active role in ensuring that people consume safe foods.
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