The Lagos State Ministry of Health has restated its commitment toward identification, prevention and management of food security risks to promote safe and healthy food for all.
This was stated in a statement issued to newsmen by the Director, Environmental Health/Occupational Health and Safety, Ministry of Health, Dr. T. F. Ajayi in commemoration of 2021 World Food Safety Day themed “ Safe Food today for a Healthy Tomorrow.
Ajayi said that the Lagos State Ministry of Health for over two decades has paid a special attention to regulations of the food processing and consumption in the State, in a bid to prevent food related illnesses and diseases which may have devastating consequences on the populace.
He noted that consumption of unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances causes well over 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhea to cancer, which affects productivity, income and other direct and indirect costs.
He said as part of the THEME agenda of the current administration, the Health and Environment sectors plays a key role in the adoption of Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDG).
Ajayi further said “Lagos state is the home to over 20 million people and the demand for food is very high. As these demands are being met, the process of planting, genetic modification, production, use of fertilizers, pesticides, seed modification and other system put in place for higher yield should be scrutinized to ensure food safety and security.
“To effectively maximize the benefits of Food Biodiversity we enjoin all to embrace food safety practices in the preparation, handling and storage of food to prevent food borne illnesses and injuries. This is an essential approach to hygiene and accountability that concerns every aspect of the global food industry. Food safety is a critical ingredient for a healthy people, healthy family and a healthy Nation”.
He stated further that the State is proud to discuss her existing structure on food safety, through the implementation of the Food Safety Management System (FSMS): Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) for all regulated premises, in which compliance is being strengthened, through activities of the Directorate of Environmental Health/Occupational Health and Safety Services on issuance of HACCP Compliance certificate since 2017. FSMS:HACCP is a food protection system that starts from the farm/manufactures to fork and hence the need to ensure food safety.
How are we poised to further improve safety today for a healthy tomorrow? Ajayi said “we must seek to embrace FSMS: HACCP to the foundational pillar of our food business as it reduces Governmental and individual expenditure on health, reduces food borne disease, reduce waste, helps traceability and recall. I truly believe in our inherent power to advance the course of food safety in Lagos State and by extension Nigeria’s path towards realistic dreams