The General Manager of LASCOPA, Mrs. Kemi Olugbode gave the warning at the 43rd-anniversary celebration of the Nigerian Institute of Food and Science Technology (NIFST) recently in Lagos.
Speaking at the event, themed “Street Food Safety”, Mrs. Olugbode said that hawked foods which are usually consumed by lots of people are sometimes prepared and displayed for sale in unhygienic places.
She noted that the handling of food requires health precautions, adding that the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency is set to monitor the activities of street food vendors and ensure the safety of consumers.
The General Manager, who was represented at the occasion by the Director, Scientific, Investigation, Research and Development Department, Mr. Deji Badejo said that the consumption of unwholesome street food is dangerous and could affect the wellbeing of consumers.
She disclosed that an estimated one in 10 people fall ill after eating contaminated food, saying that children under five years of age carry 40 per cent of food borne disease resulting in the death of over 125,000 every year.
Continuing, Olugbode said that in recognition of the need for food safety, the United Nation General Assembly in December 2018 adopted 7th June as the World Food Safety Day with the first celebration held this year with the theme “Food Safety, Everyone’s Business.’’
While nothing that the Lagos State Government is committed to ensuring that consumable products sold in the markets, supermarkets, shops and indeed the road sides around the State are safe for consumption, she stressed that it is in the bid to guarantee consumer safety that LASCOPA commenced the monitoring of the handling, sales and hygiene of fruits and vegetables in markets around the State.
The Agency, according to her, has also continued to monitor the activities of the various supermarkets around Lagos and had uncovered some places where expired products were displayed for sale but appropriate action was taken against the vendors.