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FG Launches Safety Manuals on Foodborne Illness Prevention

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FG Launches Safety Manuals on Foodborne Illness Prevention

By Franca Ofili

The federal government on Tuesday launched the unified food safety training manuals to reduce the burden of foodborne illness in the country.

Health Minister Dr Osagie Ehanire performed the launch ceremony in Abuja.

He said it was important that food security stakeholders in Nigeria came together, developed these one-of-a-kind training manuals that would be of great value in training farmers and food processors.

He added that the manuals would be useful to traders and vendors “on the need to ensure that the food sold, traded and consumed is safe and meets national and international standards”.

Ehanire said that in 2010, 31 dangerous foodborne illnesses were responsible for more than 600 million illnesses and 420,000 deaths worldwide.

According to him, in 2014, the World Bank’s “Safe Food Imperative” found the cost of diarrhea disease, attributable to food contamination, to be around $ 10 per case, with Nigeria losing around $ 6 billion. dollars per year in productivity. .

He said statistics underscored why the health sector prioritizes the safety of food sold, marketed and consumed in Nigeria.

The minister said the training manuals relate to the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) system, principles and techniques with requirements of good hygiene and manufacturing practices throughout the production chains. food supply.

“The ministry wishes to achieve the objectives of the National Food Safety Policy and the implementation strategy.

“It will also develop the manuals in collaboration with the National Food Safety Management Committee and stakeholders in the food supply chain sector,” he said.

Ehanire said that according to the United Nations resolution on strengthening food security, the ministry will focus on food security, as a serious element of public health that requires concerted efforts.

He said the manuals would ensure that the basics of food safety reach the basics and reduce the rate of preventable foodborne illness.

The minister said the textbooks would increase consumer confidence in Nigerian foods and increase the commercial advantages of Nigerian foods in international markets.

He said the training material was aimed at developing human capacities in the food safety system throughout the food supply chain.

“The development of the manuals should focus on the need for micro, small and medium-sized food processes to be trained on food safety management systems,” Ehanire said.

He said the categories of food handlers targeted were farmer food processors, food service providers, food regulators, transporters, wholesalers, retailers and food exporters.

According to him, the objective of the manuals is to put in place an effective food safety system with the aim of improving and maintaining appropriate food safety practices in line with international best practices.

“It will promote the continuing education of food safety officials and other stakeholders and improve the skills of relevant stakeholders involved in agriculture, processing, packaging, storage, transport and distribution of food. food and food products in local and international markets. “

The permanent secretary of the ministry, Alhaji Abdulaziz Maschi, said the ministry was aware that food security had become a priority in public health.

According to him, the ministry has done everything possible to ensure that healthy food is accessible for production, consumption and trade.

He said the training manuals were a requirement for good hygiene and manufacturing practices throughout the food supply chain system with principles and techniques.

“The manuals were developed because in Nigeria and most developing countries there is little training material on the food safety management system,” Mashi said. (NAN)

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