Okwe Obi, Abuja
Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association (NVMA), has raised concern over the filthiness of abattoirs and poor meat processing and production practices.
NVMA Publicity Secretary, Dr. Gloria Daminabo, in a statement, recently said the problem had led to food poisoning, death and adversely affected the country’s economy as most countries do not patronise Nigeria.
“On this 2nd World Food Safety Day, the Nigerian Veterinary Medical Association note the risk, morbidity and mortality figures from food related illnesses around the world especially from developing nations such as Nigeria due to poor production practices, handling, processing, adulteration, marketing and consumption of food of animal origin.
“Food-related illnesses compromise our immunity which poses more health risks especially in the face of the current COVID 19 Pandemic.
This second anniversary offers us the opportunity to emphasis the clarion call for more vigilance and compliance with food safety in line with global best practices in the following areas of concern to the Association:
“Poor state of food of animal origin infrastructure (abattoirs and slaughters slabs, under developed traditional dairy facilities, transportation facilities and marketing outlets etc),
under regulation of food supply chain and enforcement of food safety regulations, and
inadequate veterinary and other related manpower in line with global best practices in the country.
“These have led to mortality, economic losses, and inability of Nigeria to participate and benefit fully in international trade in food of animal origin despite our enormous livestock resources,” she said.
Daminabo urged government and stakeholders to enforce relevant laws and provide basic infrastructure, to nip the crisis in the bud.
She said: “We call on government to take concrete steps to safeguard the health of the public by providing adequate infrastructure and manpower to handle food safety issues in other to prevent avoidable food borne illnesses and death.
“We call on all stakeholders in the food production and supply chain to imbibe good safety practices as laid out in the country’s laws in their operations and seek advice from professionals to meet global food safety needs and access to market.
“We urge the agencies and professionals in the food safety industry to be more alive to their responsibilities and work in synergy to curtail morbidity and mortality associated with food borne diseases in the overall interest of the country.”