The Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) has recently called for implementation of food safety standards to enhance product acceptability in the international markets.
The President of NIFST, Wole Toye, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
According to him, not only will it enhance acceptability of foods in the international markets but it will also lead to producing foods that are nutritious, wholesome and safe to consume locally.
He noted that now that the country is trying to become self-sufficient in some food products, it is needful to do things right.
He stated that food products like beans being banned by the U.S. has to do with the right standards.
Toye said to ensure that food fabricators locally abide by the standards, there was the need to look into the activities, most especially of the Small and Medium Enterprises that are into food processing.
He noted that the institute would be embarking on an awareness campaign to highlight the relevance of adopting international standards in food processing.
He listed the stakeholders to be the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Local government and the Nigerian Police.
His words “This year, we will ensure that we do more with SMEs, local fabricators that are into food processing as they are another cornerstones.
“Since most of the street food vendors are informal, we need to take the campaign to them and explain why they need to pay attention to food safety no matter how small they think the food they are preparing is.
“These street vendors are areas that are prone to food contamination. We are lucky in the country that we have never had any case of outbreak of food borne disease but we should not wait, the time is now, ‘’ he said.
Toye said that in creating the awareness, the institute would be using people called street food safety professionals among our members.