food safety

Topics: Food, Foodborne illness, Food safety Pages: 22 (3406 words) Published: April 6, 2014
Agricultural Science Research Journals Vol. 2(7), pp. 384-389, July 2012 Available online at
ISSN-L:2026-6073© 2012 International Research Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Food safety regulations: reducing the risk of foodborne diseases in rural communities of Abia state, Nigeria
G.E. Ifenkwe
Department of Rural Sociology and Extension, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, Nigeria.

Most kitchens, grocery stores and catering houses, especially those in rural communities, will fail abysmally if subjected to hygiene and food safety tests. This is in terms of meals/drinks served and cleanliness of tables, table cloths, utensils, and servers. Nigerian press reports is replete with cases of hospitalization and death arising from use of adulterated and fake food/drugs, and fatalities from use of banned food storage chemicals. Concern for the prevalence of food-borne ill-health, and the need to reduce the risk and losses associated with them, therefore, prompted this study which reviewed food safety legislative provisions in Abia State. The finding shows that although pragmatic steps have been taken in the state to address an aspect of food security (increasing food production to prevent hunger) in the issue of food safety, another aspect of food security, received only tangential legislative attention. The paper notes that even though Nigeria has over nine food laws, the problem lies with implementation of these laws. It, therefore, recommends that the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the food agency in Nigeria be given additional support to enable her extend surveillance and awareness-creation activities to the grassroots. Keywords: Food security, Functional foods, Food legislation, Food safety, Food-borne infections.

Food, a basic necessity of life, derives its importance
from the fact that it stimulates the appetite, and supplies
a variety of ingredients that give energy (carbohydrates,
fat, dietary fiber); replace worn out tissues, thus
promoting growth (protein); and help in preventing and
curing diseases (vitamins and minerals). The concept of
healthy eating for
healthy living and longevity
(Akobundu, 1999) is not new A national survey by the
National Bureau of Statistics on food expenditure by
states and commodity types has shown that Nigerians
spent double (N110, 300,796) on food as against nonfood items (N59, 190,093) such as clothing, footwear, rent, fuel/light, household goods, health, transport,
education, entertainment and drinks (NBS, 2007). Protein
foods were found to be the most expensive food
commodities (N24, 136,671), followed by cereals (N23,
432,085), and processed food (N15, 376,021).

Apart from serving a biological need, food has become
an economic and political weapon (Omotayo and
Denloye, 2002; Agbamu, 2009). Issues of food security
and poverty have been recognized as necessary
conditions for the creation of a stable socio-political
environment for sustainable economic development
(Jibrin, 2004). It is, therefore, not surprising that
eradication of extreme poverty and hunger is one of the
eight millennium development goals set to be achieved
by 2015.
Human nutrition basics require that food be consumed
in an unbound, reduced and wholesome form so as to
facilitate digestion, absorption and excretion. It also
requires that food consumed to promote good health
does not constitute any form of health hazard or such
nutrition disorders as obesity, underweight, iron
deficiency, dental caries and allergies. Others are


attention deficit, hyperactivity, disorder autism, spectrum
disorder, dietary fat and cardiovascular disease (Mahan
and Escott-Stump, 2004). Dietary needs are dictated by
physical, physiological, pathological and other conditions,
including the condition of disease, convalescence,...

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