CHOLERA OUTBREAK: NAFDAC Warns Nigerians Against Eating  Refrigerator Stored Foods…details

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The Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof Moji Adeyeye, has sent warning to Nigerians to avoid storing cooked food in the refrigerator for more than three days as its dangerous to health.

 

This warning was contained in a statement released on Tuesday, in commemoration of the 2024 World Food Safety Day tagged: ‘Food Safety: Prepare for the Unexpected’, explained that cooked food stored for too long can become contaminated with harmful pathogens, leading to foodborne diseases that can be fatal.

 

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Adeyeye maintained that this warning is targeted to promoting food safety and preventing food-related illnesses.

 

NAFDAC noted that it is essential to handle and store food properly to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Cooked food should be refrigerated promptly and consumed within a safe timeframe to avoid foodborne diseases.

 

Adeyeye further appealed to all stakeholders in the food supply chain to take deliberate actions to institute a food safety culture in their operations to mitigate food hazards and risks that could compromise food safety.

 

However, the World Food Safety Day celebrated annually on June 7 was established by the United Nations General Assembly task force in 2018 to raise awareness and encourage efforts to prevent, detect and address public health risks linked to unsafe food.

 

In a statement, Adeyeye “urged Nigerians to refrain from storing cooked food in the refrigerator for more than three days,” warning that cooked food stored in the refrigerator for days is susceptible to contamination by disease-causing pathogens, key agents of foodborne diseases that can lead to death.

 

She emphasised in the statement the crucial role of food safety in – public health – preventing foodborne illnesses and ensuring safe consumption, also stressing that food safety is a collective responsibility, requiring collaboration from the producers, processors, distributors and consumers.

 

While the campaign aims to raise global awareness, strengthen efforts, and promote preparedness for food safety incidents.

 

Having the slogans, “Food safety is everyone’s business” and “Food safety is a shared responsibility” highlight the importance of collective action. By working together, we can build a robust and resilient food safety system.

 

According to the World Health Organisation, an estimated 600 million – almost one 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.

WHO said $110bn is lost yearly in productivity and medical expenses resulting from unsafe food in low- and middle-income countries.

 

Also, the Director of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Mrs Eva Edwards, alerted that foodborne diseases are expensive, yet they are preventable.

 

At the end, he emphasized the importance of collaboration and individual responsibility, Edwards encourages a unified approach to food safety that benefits public health and well-being.

 

She said, ‘’Let’s all play our part in promoting the culture of good hygiene practices in our homes, communities, and food establishments. Together we can ensure a safer and healthier food supply for everyone,”.

 

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