600 million people get sick, another 420,000 die worldwide from toxic food | The Guardian Nigeria News

• NAFDAC urges healthy diet to control disease
Some 600 million people fall ill and another 420,000 die each year after consuming contaminated food.

Health Minister Dr Osagie Ehanire, who made the revelation at an event to mark World Food Safety Day 2022 yesterday in Abuja, observed that hungry children under five were more at risk. risk.

He said unsafe food causes one in six deaths from diarrhoea, a major killer, adding that “it is vital that the average Nigerian demands healthy and safe food at home, in the cafeteria, in restaurants, in the street, at the market and at social events.

Ehanire said farmers and food operators should make extra efforts to seek professional advice regarding the application of additives, agricultural feeds, agrochemicals, good agricultural practices (GAPs) and hygiene practices. .

The Minister insisted that “there is no food security without security”, adding: “Only when food is safe will it meet nutritional needs and help adults lead a healthy life. active and healthy life, apart from children growing and developing”.

THIS came as the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, urged Nigerians to prioritize the consumption of safe and healthy foods. healthy for better immunity.

She said Nigerians don’t need medicine if they eat right.

Adeyeye bared her spirit on the fourth World Food Safety Day 2022, themed “Safer Food, Better Health”, where she noted that “where food is unsafe, our goals nutritional values ​​cannot be achieved”.

In a statement released by Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, the CEO of NAFDAC reportedly said, “Food security is an essential component of sustainable development and contributes to improved public health, poverty reduction and increasing food security”.

She pointed out that this year’s theme is appropriate, as the world gradually returns to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adeyeye said the theme also aligns with the World Health Assembly’s 75th topic, “Health for Peace and Peace for Health”, adding that safer food does indeed come first. for better health and relative personal and world peace.

“You all know my popular saying that you don’t need medicine if you eat well. Eating well means making healthy food choices from safe, wholesome and nutritious foods,” she said.

She stressed that the occasion of World Food Safety Day is an additional opportunity for us to create and raise awareness about food safety and to situate it as a very important public health problem, especially in light of the fact that safe and healthy foods are important for boosting immunity and improving the body’s natural defenses in the fight against disease.

“The theme ‘Safer Food, Better Health’ is very relevant to us here in Nigeria, as much of the food we consume is produced by micro- and small-scale producers; these include our smallholder farmers, street food vendors, traditional and open food markets. »

She noted that these are important players whose activities fall within the informal sector and that they constitute a significant part of our national food supply.

Adeyeye, however, noted with dismay that their activities are of concern over safe food practices or the lack thereof.

She added that these foods are frequently exposed to less hygienic and sanitary conditions, leading to contamination and resulting in incidences and outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, situations that are becoming increasingly serious food safety concerns.

The NAFDAC boss revealed that unsafe foods are the cause of many illnesses and contribute to other health issues, such as impaired growth and development.

“We know that food safety is a shared responsibility and that everyone has a role to play in ensuring we have safer food for better health: from producers to processors, transporters, sellers, buyers and those who prepare or serve food. Policy makers, educational institutions and workplaces, as well as consumers are not left out; Food safety is everyone’s responsibility. We all need to work together to help get safer food for better health.

She said her “call to action” on this World Food Safety Day was aimed at four groups of stakeholders, namely food policy makers and regulators, food businesses, food establishments education and workplaces as well as consumers.

She urged policymakers and food regulators to design all public food markets, such as food aid, school feeding and other public outlets, so that consumers can access safe food. and healthy. She added that they should support policy measures and legal frameworks to strengthen the national food safety system and ensure that it complies with food safety standards and regulations.
She however urged them to encourage and engage in multi-sectoral collaboration at local, national, regional and global levels.

Adeyeye said food companies should also engage employees, suppliers and other stakeholders to develop and grow a culture of food safety; and comply with international and national food standards.

Adeyeye said educational institutions and workplaces should promote safe food handling, engage with families and involve them in food safety activities.

Adeyeye urged consumers to practice safe food handling at home and follow the WHO’s five keys to safer food: keeping clean, separating raw and cooked foods, cooking well, keeping foods at safe temperatures safe and use safe water and raw materials.

She pointed out that NAFDAC, as a key player in the Nigerian food safety system, has a responsibility to build on global best practices which ensure that food placed on the market for sale is safe, wholesome, nutritious. and of good quality.

“We have taken the opportunity of World Food Safety Day to organize this capacity building event for staff members, and I believe it will provide an additional layer of food safety awareness and knowledge and ensure a culture of food safety that goes beyond celebrating World Food Safety Day today, while making us true advocates for eating safe food, leading to better health outcomes .

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