A food expert, Mr Abdulrauf Egbewole, has urged the members of the public, who patronise street food vendors to be vigilant and insist on proper procedure to avoid food poisoning and contamination.
He gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.
Egbewole, who is also the Pioneer Chairman, Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), Street Food Safety (SFS) Committee, said street food vendors could be easily accessed for immediate consumption of their foods.
He added that such foods, which include cooked and raw foods, snacks, drinks, fruits and vegetables, are readily available for immediate consumption on the streets and at restaurants.
According to him, about 80 per cent of the population patronise street food vendors because of the ease of accessibility.
Egbewole, however, said that most of them were not safe for consumption because of contamination in the process or from the food vendors.
“The environment is not safe, the food processor or in most cases, the vendors who prepare them don’t know what to do to make foods safe for consumption,” he said.
He also said that street foods might be contaminated biologically, chemically, physically or through allergies.
Egbewole urged patrons to be vigilant when buying street foods from the vendors.
“Look out for open cuts or injuries, particularly on the fingers of those preparing the foods.
“Don’t overlook anything that seems abnormal and insist on them doing things right.
“The environment must be clean. Ensure that you don’t just go to any food vendor, if you don’t know much about them.
“Ensure that the food is not cold. Don’t eat roasted plantain, yam or fried foods that are cold,” he warned.
He also warned against taking bottled drinks direct from the bottles, in order to avoid consuming the particles that might be inside such bottles.
“If the glass chips and gets into the drink and sinks or if there are particles in it and you drink directly from the bottle, you may not see such,” he said. (NAN)