The Director-General of The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye has issued tips to food product manufacturers on avoiding food contamination.
She made this known at the 10th Edition of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Apapa Branch’s Environmental and Safety Seminar.
The seminar tagged ‘Environmental and Food Safety: Any Silver Lining for Public Health Living?’ held on Thursday, June 13.
She stated that the mishandling of plastic, fossil fuel, industrial and agrochemicals is the leading cause of food contamination in Nigeria, advising caution especially during supply and storage of these food products.
The Director-General of NAFDAC was represented at the seminar by Mr Anthony Abah, the Assistant Director, Food Safety, of the Agency.
“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,” the NAFDAC DG said.
Adeyeye advised that expired and substandard products should be duly disposed to avoid such products being recovered by citizens and recycled into the market.