A Nutritional Biochemist, Prof. Gloria Elemo, said on Tuesday in Lagos that the status of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) would soon be enhanced, to enable it exert its authority on food safety.
Elemo, the immediate-past executive director of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi, made the ascertion at the 43rd Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) Day in Lagos.
According to her, there is need for government to hasten its stand on the bill for the establishment of the Nigerian Council of Food Science and Technology (NCFST) for the NIFST.
She said that the status was apt as it would give them the needed power to address the currently prevailing issues that have to do with food safety in the country.
“The theme is well captured, as against the backdrop of what is prevailing in the society.
“What happens in the streets is an outright disregard for food safety and this practice, whether we accept it or not, should not arise because it will cause a lot of havoc to the people,’’ she said.
Elemo said that the increase in urban population posed a serious challenge to the nation’s food system, adding that food legislation and regulation are constantly thriving for change.
She pointed that the high risk associated with street food towards the young and elderly showed that more light should be thrown to establish areas that should be tackled to safeguard people’s lives.
Elemo tasked the NIFST to ensure that the project was handled successfully as it was worthwhile, urging them to partner with the Lagos State government to evolve a strategic plan for them.
“Lagos state is too strategic to be having unsafe food,’’ she said.
Also, Mrs Yetunde Akinlabi of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) said that the organisation and NIFST would work together to ensure that street food are wholesome.
“We elaborate on standards and we must ensure that things are done in compliance to standards in the country.
“There is a code of practice that we can develop together with NIFST to make food wholesome,” she said.