… Educates Health Teachers, Food Handlers
The Lagos State Government, on Thursday, tasked food handlers and health teachers to step up hygiene in the handling and preparation of food to reduce malnutrition in children across the State.
Speaking at a Sensitisation Advocacy Workshop for Food Handlers and Health Teachers under the Lagos Central Senatorial District in Surulere, the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Mrs. Aderonke Odeneye said that the consumption of unwholesome foods that contain infectious or toxic substances is injurious to health.
The Permanent Secretary said that an ideal food with good nutrition will enhance the supply of essential nutrients in adequate proportion, stressing that maintaining the highest standards of hygiene, while working with food components, reduce the spread and multiplication of pathogenic micro organisms.
Odeneye, who spoke on the theme “Multi-Sectoral Strategic Plan of Action and Nutrition”, stated that malnutrition and nutrition-related issues are topics of public health concern due to its spread in geometric progression leading to high mortality and morbidity.
“The Ministry, in performing its responsibility of ensuring quality, safe and hygienic environment, has embarked on training of Food Handlers and Health Teachers in Lagos State to ensure compliance with best practices and food security for all stakeholders”, the Permanent Secretary said.
She maintained that statistics have shown that 50% of cases of children with nutrition-related issues in their first 1000 days on earth is due to excessive feeding or underfeeding which results in stunted growth in the children.
Noting that statistics gathered from routine inspections have shown a decline in compliance with food safety and hygiene which is of great concern to the State, Odeneye stressed that food-borne diseases are major human health problems occurring in developed and underdeveloped countries.
A Professor of Nutritional Biochemistry from Lagos State University, Professor Oluwatosin Adu, stated that the problems associated with food safety and poor nutrition are real, adding that adequate nutrition is the business of everyone.
He called on all participants to engage in safe food practices, which will in turn help reduce the rate of illness and malnutrition resulting from the improper handling of food.
The Sensitisation Advocacy programme, which had in attendance School Owners, Health Teachers and Food Handlers from Local Governments under the Lagos Central Senatorial District is the first in the series.