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Friday, 7 June 2019


The Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) today celebrated the World Food Safety Day 2019 declared for the first time by the United Nations. For members of the NIFST Lagos chapter, it was time to go on the street for enlightenment campaign on health and best hygiene for food handling, food preparation and general cleanliness.

Members of the organization gathered early at Cairo market in Oshodi where the enlightenment of the street traders took place. As they moved from one trader stall to another, they shared hand gloves and printed pamphlets meant to educate the traders on proper hygiene.

Lagos Chapter Chairman of NIFST with another member engaging a street fruit trader in the market

Mr. Sunday Bamgbose, the Chairman of the Institute, who later spoke to newsmen at the market said that, the World Food Safety Day is a day earmarked to ensure that the food that people consume worldwide is safe. “We all know that food is mandatory for every human being. Nobody can survive without food so if the food we are consuming is not safe then it would not be benefiting to the body. If you have ever experienced food poisoning at one time or the other, you will know that it is not something palatable.

All the foods we eat fall into different category and they come with different risk during preparation. It can be physical for instance if pin is found in food and swallowed which can cause injury in the body. It can also be biological or chemical that is if there is a wrong item that is added to the food. Basically our profession is all about providing food for the teeming population. So we have to ensure that the food that people are consuming is safe.”

On why NIFST chose Oshodi Cairo market for the World Food Safety Day celebration, Bamgbose said that, “we thought that since the industries have Nafdac, SON and so on to check on them, the food vendors on the streets, who are substantially great in number, have no one regulating them. A large population eat from these street traders, nobody regulates it or ensure that safety is required in what they do. So we decided to come to their level to meet them to enlighten them about the safety in preparation of food. We enlightened them, gave them hand gloves, nose mask and other items along with fliers to encourage them on food safety. It is our contribution to the society.

Asked what the street traders response had been, Bamgbose replied that, “It has been positive, though there was also apprehension from some of them who thought that we are from the government regulatory organizations. But explanation, many of them co-operated and saw the need for the enlightenment that we were giving them and told us that they will be more watchful and conscious of the hygienic conditions in the preparation of the foods that they handle.”

“This is actually like testing the water. This is a concept that has been developed by the Lagos Chapter of our organization but has now been adopted by the national body. So all other chapters around the country have keyed into this programme and they are also running with it?

Sunday Bamgbose also added that different organizations in the Lagos Chapter, participated in yesterday’s enlightenment programme. “Our membership cuts across private and public organizations. So we have here with us, people from Nafdace, SON, FIIRO, and private industries.”

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