The Chairperson, Abuja chapter of Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), Mrs. Vera Eze, has warned Nigerians to consume only safe foods so as to check life-threatening sicknesses and diseases.
The food scientist said this in Abuja on Thursday while speaking on the backdrop of food contamination and poisonous foods.
“Most of the foods we consume in Nigeria can kill out-rightly, and this is alarming.
“It is the responsibility of food scientists to ensure that the foods we consume are safe.
”We are concerned with how our farmers cultivate their crops, to harvesting methods, to preservation and storage until they are ready for consumption,” Eze said.
She appealed for government’s intervention in the creation of silos and collection centres for farmers.
According to her, this will help regulate and distribute foods in the country effectively.
Eze cautioned against buying ripe fruits in the markets as many of these vendors ripen the fruits artificially with harmful chemicals.
She, however, stated that ethylene gas was the only chemical used to ripen fruits which is safe to consume.
“Most of the people who sell fruits these days ripen their fruits with carbide, which is a harmful chemical.
”I advise people to buy unripe fruits which they can ripen by themselves, using safe methods.
“Ethylene gas is one safe material to ripen fruits, it could be more expensive but it is safe,” she said.
She explained that the NITSF was making plans to organise sensitisation programmes to enlighten citizens on the hazards of consuming poisonous foods.
”We intend to periodically bring stakeholders together to discuss the challenges of food quality management and proffer solutions.
”It is part of our corporate social responsibility to ensure that all the impediments to safe food in Nigeria are identified and gradually removed.
“Our aim is to ensure that Nigerians no longer die from avoidable poisonous elements in the food they consume,” the food scientist said.