Food experts have cautioned Nigerians against the consumption of imported foods which they said could lead to cancer.
The experts gave the warning on the sidelines of a sensitisation programme organised for food handlers and manufacturers by the Lagos State Ministry of Health, recently.
Speaking, a Director in the Directorate of Environmental Health Services, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr Theophilus Ajayi, hinted that casualties arising from food borne diseases, including cancer, were on the rise.
He noted that this was not unconnected to Nigerians’ penchant for foreign foods in addition to improper food handling, preparation, preservation and unsafe source, amongst others.
He said most food handlers in the state have refused to comply with the laid down procedures for food safety which he said also aided the rise in food borne diseases.
He said, “In the course of our routine inspection, we discovered most of the food manufacturers and vendors do not comply with the laid down procedures for food safety in the country despite awareness and statistics of food poison in the country.
“This has prompted us to organise this sensitisation programme tagged: Food Safety, a Call for Active Participation.
“This is to familiarise stakeholders in the food chain with the food safety management system called Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point, HACCP.
“As a result, they won’t fall short of the law while we can also boast of a healthy population in Lagos. We see a need for active collaboration to combat the menace of foodborne diseases.”
Earlier, President of the International HACCP Association of Nigeria, Dr. James Marsh, stressed the need for Nigeria to fully embrace HACCP as a condition for a safe population with regards to food consumption.