An Enugu based Public Safety Volunteer outfit, Enugu Safety Group, ESG, has commended the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), for raiding some Markets in state as part of efforts to guarantee food safety in state.
EnuguDaily reports that the Enugu Office of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) impounded 400 bottles of fake, substandard and injurious Mayonnaise cream in Abakpa-Nike Community Market in the Enugu metropolis ” .
A statement by the Coordinator of the group , Barrister Henry Okeke acknowledged the feat achieved by the SON.
“We are aware of the recent discovery of unsafe and injurious food items in Enugu State which could have killed or made a lot of people sick in the Coal City State. Therefore, we wish to commend the efforts of Standards Organization of Nigeria, SON”.
Barr. Okeke who is also the Special Asssistant to Governor Ugwuanyi on Safety, advocated the need for the establishment of Enugu State Safety and Standardization Directorate to locally intensify market surveillance and create needed consumer confidence in Enugu State.
“This recent discovery by SON is a confirmation that our proposal for the establishment of Enugu State Safety and Standardization Directorate is germane”.
“Unsafe food is responsible for a lot of public health challenges and we are volunteering to assist Government maintain Safety and Standardization in Enugu State.”
The ESG conveners and Coordinator highlighted the World Health Organization (WHO) Key facts on Food Safety to include;
“Access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food is key to sustaining life and promoting good health.
“Unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances, causes more than 200 diseases – ranging from diarrhoea to cancers.
“An estimated 600 million – almost 1 in 10 people in the world – fall ill after eating contaminated food and 420 000 die every year, resulting in the loss of 33 million healthy life years (DALYs).
“US$110 billion is lost each year in productivity and medical expenses resulting from unsafe food in low- and middle-income countries.
“Children under 5 years of age carry 40% of the foodborne disease burden, with 125 000 deaths every year.
“Diarrhoeal diseases are the most common illnesses resulting from the consumption of contaminated food, causing 550 million people to fall ill and 230 000 deaths every year.
“Food safety, nutrition and food security are inextricably linked. Unsafe food creates a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition, particularly affecting infants, young children, elderly and the sick.
” Food borne diseases impede socioeconomic development by straining health care systems, and harming national economies, tourism and trade.
“Food supply chains now cross multiple national borders. Good collaboration between governments, producers and consumers helps ensure food safety.
He charged the general public to provide Information that can expose Unsafe Food in Enugu State, “this is the most impart full way of curtailing the circulation of Unsafe Food in Enugu.” , Barr. Okeke stressed.