The Food Hygiene Initiative Nigeria (FHIN), Anambra branch, has appealed to the state House of Assembly to help in sensitising food handlers on the imperatives of food hygiene knowledge and practices.
The group’s Leader, Mr Christopher Okpalaugo, made the appeal when he led a delegation of his members on a courtesy visit to the Speaker of the house, Mr Uche Okafor, on Friday in Awka.
Okpalaugo said FHIN observed poor food hygiene knowledge and practices among some commercial and domestic food handlers in the state.
According to him, poor food hygiene can result in increase in food poisoning and food-borne diseases, such as cholera, diarrhoea and typhoid.
“We are here to formerly introduce FHIN to the house and to plead that you assist us in carrying out awareness and training programmes in the state.
“As representatives of the people, you can help mobilise people at your various constituencies.
“We have discovered that food hygiene and handling are not supervised efficiently and this is because NAFDAC, which is supposed to be doing that, is focusing more on drugs.
“This initiative has a duty to educate, train and supervise farmers, food handlers, operators and administrators on food hygiene and safety practices across the state,” Okpalaugo said.
Ukpalaugo said that FHIN had a bill at the National Assembly, seeking to provide for the protection, promotion and fulfillment of the right of Nigerians to have access to safe food and water.
He said that when passed, the bill, which was at the public hearing stage, would go a long way in promoting confidence in foods produced in the country.
Responding, the speaker described food hygiene as a serious issue that should be given attention.
“It is alarming to see the kind of environment where our foods are prepared, hence we need this initiative to function in Anambra,” he said.
Okafor promised that the assembly would give the initiative all the necessary legislative backing to improve food hygiene and handling in the state. (NAN)