Don To FG: Create Framework To Guide Street Food Vendors Operations - Paul Ukpabio's Blog


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Friday, 21 June 2019

Don To FG: Create Framework To Guide Street Food Vendors Operations

Prof Folake Henshaw of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, has called on the Federal Government to create a framework and structure to ensure street food vendors operate effectively.

Henshaw who is a professor of Food Technology Department of Food Science and Human Ecology, made the appeal on Tuesday in Lagos during the 43rd Nigeria Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) Day, Lagos chapter.
According to her, food consumption is very important as people eat to live and become healthy, unfortunately street food vendors which majority of people get food from, do not perform wholesome food.
She added that this had resulted to food professionals creating awareness to curtail such operations saying that not curtailing such would lead to harzards.

She also called for a multi-stakeholder approach to help to address the problem associated with eating unwholesome street food from vendors.

The event which had as theme: Food Safety Enlightenment - Strategies for Safe and Wholesome Street Foods, according to Henshaw, was very topical due to the fact that in the future of food safety as regards world globalization, the food chain was becoming more complex, as the food we often eat, are not necessarily produced within.

"The street food vendors are largely unregulated sector of food supply chain in the country. NIFST as a professional body wants to highlight the hazards associated with eating unhealthy street food especially when there are other social economic factors that can prevent and make the sector better.

"Street food vendors serves as a form of employment generation, poverty alleviation for people as they can get their source of livelihood just by making small local food, snacks  and others. We must have to do something to curb the trends and the prevalence of foodborne diseases, and this is by ensuring that street foods consumed by people are done in a hygienic way,'' she said.

NIFST, she said, is making a case for an increased investment in ensuring through governments partnership with professional bodies, with private partners with NGOs, and all stakeholders that the knowledge was passed to the public.

She urged government on the wherewithal in terms of investing in agencies, sponsoring programme that would educate the public on the issue. Adding that there is the need to create awareness, to enlighten and educate people with the knowledge that would help them  prevent food contamination; that when people are knowledgeable about safety, it would drive changed in practices, change the attitudes and changes in their behavior on how they handle their food.

“NIFST is the major professional body, which has the trust and the repository of expertise to lead the nation towards maintaining and assuring the safety of food supplies. So, today's topic is the gap that has been identified and as a sector that is largely unregulated, we need to do something urgently to ensure the safety of street foods.

Henshaw said that due to the relevance of having secured food from street vendors, this year alone had witnessed two major event concerning  global food safety, from the United Nations Agencies and the World Health Organization in conjunction with the African Union in Addis Ababa.

She said that these conferences were created to ensure food safety awareness and the need to drive actions to ensure food safety.
The university don said that food safety was everyone's business and so all hands must be on ground to ensure that what people consumed was hygienically.

The Chairman of NIFST Lagos chapter, Mr Sunday Bamgbose said that today's event was an opportunity to enhance people's knowledge on latest development in food safety not only as professionals in the field but also as consumers.
According to him, there is the need for all stakeholders to work together to ensure safe food for healthy future for ourselves and our nation's.

He added that the theme was in line with the project on street food safety started by Lagos chapter of NIFST, adopted by the national and which had caught the attention of many other organisations both local and international. 

 A Nutritional Biochemist, Prof. Gloria Elemo, on Tuesday in Lagos said that the Nigeria Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) having its status would ensure they exert authority on food safety.

Elemo, the immediate past executive director of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshod made the ascertion at the 43rd Nigeria Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) Day, Lagos chapter.

According to her, there is need for government to hasten its stand on the bill for the establishment of the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology (NCFST) for NIFST.

She said that the status was apt as it would give them the needed power to address the current prevailing issues that had to do with food safety in the country.

``The theme is well captured as against the backdrop of what is prevailing out in the society. What happens in the street is an outright disregard to food safety and this practice either we accept it or not should not arise because it will cause many havoc to people,'' she said.

Elemo said that the increase in urban population posed a serious challenge to food system, adding that food legislation, regulations are constantly thriving for change.

She pointed out that the high risk associated with street food towards the young and elderly showed that more light should be thrown to establish areas that should be tackled to safeguard people's lives.

She tasked NIFST to ensure that this project was handled successfully as it was worthwhile, also urging them to partner with the Lagos State government to make it a strategic plan for them.

"Lagos state is too strategic to be having unsafe food,'' she said.
Also, Mrs. Yetunde Akinlabi of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) said that the organisation and NIFST would work together to ensure that street food are wholesome."

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