As the world mark this year’s World Food Safety Day, the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA) has called for compliance with food safety regulations.
The NVMA frowned at the morbidity and mortality figures from food related illnesses, especially from developing countries, including Nigeria.
NVMA said food related illnesses reduces our immunity which poses a health risk especially in the COVID-19 pandemic era.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Publicity Secretary of NVMA, Dr. Gloria Daminabo.
“On this 2nd World Food Safety Day (a unique focus on general health issues), the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association wishes to draw attention to the need for compliance with food safety regulations by all stakeholders.
“We note the risk, morbidity and mortality figures from food related illnesses around the world especially from developing nations such as Nigeria due to poor production practices, handling, processing, adulteration, marketing and consumption of food of animal origin.
“Food related illnesses compromise our immunity which poses more health risks especially in the face of the current COVID 19 Pandemic”, the statement noted.
NVMA said this second anniversary offers the opportunity to emphasis the clarion call for more vigilance and compliance with food safety in line with global best practices in the following areas of concern to the Association.
According to the statement, one of the areas of concern to the Association is “poor state of food of animal origin infrastructure (abattoirs and slaughters slabs, under developed traditional dairy facilities, transportation facilities and marketing outlets etc), under regulation of food supply chain and enforcement of food safety regulations, and inadequate veterinary and other related manpower in line with global best practices in the country”.
It explained that “these have led to morbidity and mortality, economic losses, and inability of Nigeria to participate and benefit fully in international trade in food of animal origin despite our enormous livestock resources.
The Association, however “called on all tiers of Government to take concrete steps to safe guard the health of the public by providing adequate infrastructure and manpower to handle food safety issues in other to prevent avoidable food borne illnesses and death.
“Calls on all stakeholders in the food production and supply chain to imbibe good safety practices as laid out in the country’s laws in their operations and seek advice from professionals to meet global food safety needs and access to market.
“Urge the agencies and professionals in the food safety industry to be more alive to their responsibilities and work in synergy to curtail morbidity and mortality associated with food borne diseases in the overall interest of the country.
“Encourage the public to take more interest in food safety issues and demand at minimum, action by Government, producers and professionals to allow only safe and wholesome food to reach the supply chain from farm to the table”.
NVMA said it will continue to play its advocacy and professional role and in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders and the public to promote the goal of safe food practices as enshrined in national and international regulations, treaties, and guidelines for the benefit of humanity.
Source: Nigerian Tribune
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