FAO Takes Awareness on Food Standards, Practice to Grassroots

This is contained in a statement on Friday in Abuja, by Mr David Tsokar, Communications Specialist for FAO.

Tsokar said the aim of the awareness/sensitisation was to protect the health of consumers and ensure fair practices in the international food trade.

He said this would be achieved by educating the key stakeholders on the importance of the food safety standards and codes.

He explained that the awareness would also ensure the safety, quality and fairness in international food trade, the Codex Alimentarius or Food Code.

“This is a collection of international standards, guidelines and codes of practice adopted by the Codex Alimentarius Commission,” he said.

He also said that during the awareness raising workshops in Kano and Lagos States, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, who chairs the National Codex Committee (NCC), highlighted the issues of food safety practices to participants.

“He advised them to pay attention to quality and standards in food production and processing, to ease trade facilitation, especially at the international markets.

“The NCC membership in Nigeria is made of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, the Private sector, All Farmers Association, Research Institutes and the Food Industry.

The Minister pointed out that little or no attention was given to the issue of safety, quality and standards in food production, processing and trading and that it was high time to take the message down to the grassroots for awareness,” Tsokar said.

Similar, Director-General, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Malam Farouk Salim, harped on the need for enhanced synergy between regulatory agencies, the private sector and research institutes.

He said this would continually contribute to the efforts of ensuring food safety in the country.

Mr Fred Kafeer, FAO Representative in Nigeria, noted that food safety is an essential path to sustainable food security and could be attained by establishing workable food safety control systems.

Kafeer, represented by the project’s Focal Point, Mrs. Saadiya Haliru, also noted  that the safety control systems could transform to international food standards.

Among the recommendations made was Local Education Levels Communication (IEC) handbooks by FAO, interpreted and translated into different local languages for distribution.

Recommendation was also made to include journalists in the membership of NCC to effectively assist in the dissemination of information.(NAN)

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