Renowned Food Safety Expert, Prof (Mrs) Folake Henshaw has lamented how several Nigerians have killed and still killing themselves by devouring poison voraciously thinking they are eating palatable food due to ignorance or sheer carelessness.
Speaking at this year’s World Food Safety Day, held at the University’s 1000 seater Hall, Prof. Henshaw declared affirmatively that, “if food is not safe, it is poison”.
Prof. Henshaw who is the pioneer Dean of College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC), FUNAAB spoke at the sensitization Workshop, organized by COLFHEC in collaboration with Food Safety Ambassador Network (FOSAN).
Speaking on the theme, “Safe Food Now for A Healthy Tomorrow, Food Safety Is Everyone’s Business”, the Convener and Coordinator of FOSAN explained that when safety is not maintained throughout the production, distribution and consumption chain, food can be a vehicle for disease.
She added that ingestion of food contaminated by bacteria, parasites, chemical contaminants and bio-toxins can trigger a wide group of diseases ranging from diarhoea to cancer.
The erudite Professor is of the opinion that people are at the risk of food-borne diseases, which have become major public health problem that has cost billions annually in productivity losses, overburdening of health systems and reduction of economic development due to loss of confidence in tourism, food production and the marketing system.
She reeled out the statistic that about 600 million people globally fall ill from food-borne diseases annually while 420,000 die and 30% are children as food-borne diseases affect vulnerable populations the most, but they are also preventable she said.
The Don advised that safety standards must be applied throughout the food chain from primary production, transportation, and processing through distribution, sale, and consumption.
She commended the University Management for always supporting the Workshop since inception in 2019, saying that FUNAAB is one of the stakeholders that have a major role to play in food safety because FUNAAB grows food and processes it to the table level.
The Food Safety expert implored the government to take steps towards making sure food is safe for the society from farm to the folk advising everyone to team up and take the awareness of food safety to all nooks and crannies of the world.
Declaring the Workshop Open, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kolawole Salako remarked that when there is food scarcity people go for whatever is available to eat not minding the safety of the food, as it is desirable at the moment.
The Vice-Chancellor who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development), Prof. Clement Adeofun, stated that should food safety be achieved, there would be an abundant supply of food to the society. He restated that people are facing food insecurity and they are bound not to mind food safety, saying that a hungry man does not care about whether food is safe or not.
He noted that FUNAAB is blessed with Departments, Units and organs that are involved in various food chain processing from production to the table level charging them to work together on food safety.
In his Remarks, Dean COLFHEC, Professor Wasiu Afolabi stated that theme of this year’s World Food Safety Day drew everybody’s attention and entire action to help prevent and manage food borne risks and contribute to food security, human health, economic prospective and sustainable development, saying that the workshop is to arouse the consciousness of everyone on food safety.
Last Updated on June 24, 2021 by FUNAAB