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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Cooked food stored in refrigerator for days is harmful, warns NAFDAC

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has advised Nigerians not to keep cooked food in the refrigerator for more than three days.

According to the Director General of NAFDAC, Mojisola Adeyeye, cooked food stored in the refrigerator for days is susceptible to contamination by pathogenic pathogens, key agents of foodborne illnesses that can lead to death.

Ms Adeyeye was quoted in a statement on Tuesday signed by NAFDAC Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, at an event organized to commemorate the 2024 World Food Safety Day (WFSD).

This year’s global event is themed: “Food Safety: Prepare for the Unexpected.”

The WHO had also recently advised that food that has not been properly refrigerated due to power outages be thrown away.

According to the WHO, perishable and cooked foods stored in the refrigerator after four hours without electricity are no longer safe for consumption.

This is a major concern in Nigeria as power supply across the country remains unstable due to reasons such as unreliable grid systems, gas shortages and substantial debt burdens.

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Food safety

Celebrated annually on June 7, World Food Safety Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2018 to raise awareness and encourage efforts to prevent, detect and address public health risks related to unsafe foods.

According to WHO estimates, globally, one in 10 people get sick and 420,000 die each year after consuming contaminated food.

The WHO noted that around $110 billion is lost each year in medical expenses in developing countries due to unsafe food.

However, the Director General of NAFDAC called on 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. .

He emphasized that everyone has a role to play, from farm to table, to ensure that food prepared for consumption is safe and does not cause harm to health.

”Let us stay true to the statements ‘food security is everyone’s business’ and ‘food security is a shared responsibility,’” he said.

“As we celebrate this year’s World Food Safety Day. Working together, we will continue to strengthen our food security system, ensuring its resilience, robustness and preparedness for the unexpected.”

Participant in event organized to commemorate World Food Safety Day 2024

Preventable Foodborne Illnesses

In her speech, the director of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Eva Edwards, pointed out that foodborne illnesses are costly but preventable.

Mrs Edwards emphasized the importance of food as a necessity for human life, adding that it can also be a source of harm if not handled properly.

Affirmed that food safety emergency response must be based on a multi-sectoral, collaborative and integrated one-health approach across all health, agriculture and environment sectors, levels of government, including relevant external partners and non-governmental organizations.

He explained that the goal is to have a coordinated approach to investigate foodborne illness outbreaks and bring knowledge and skills from different sectors to achieve a robust and comprehensive investigation.

”Let us all play our part in promoting a culture of good hygiene practices in our homes, communities and food establishments. Together we can ensure a safer and healthier food supply for all,” he stated.

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