200,000 people die of food poison annually in Nigeria – Prof. Ihenkuronye

Specialists speak on the need for sensitization to prevent food poisoning.

A Professor of Food Science and Technology, Alfred Ihenkuronye, has said that more than 200,000 persons die of food poison in Nigeria annually.

Mr. Ihenkuronye said in Abuja on Wednesday that the deaths were caused by contaminated foods through improper processing, preservation and service.
“There are many avenues through which foods can be contaminated. And when people eat these foods, they will have problems which may result in deaths,” he said.
On how to address the problem, he called for continuous sensitisation and training of food handlers on how to operate in hygienic environment.
“The way out is sensitisation and training. We sensitise people about the enormity of the problem and we train them on how to do things properly,’’ he said.
Earlier, Mr. Ihenkuronye, who is currently a visiting professor, Federal University of Technology (FUT) Minna, had spoken at a sensitisation programme for food vendors operating in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).
Martha Dogo, a Nutritionist and Dietician at the AMAC Health Department also stressed the need for sensitisation to reduce the incidents of food poison and deaths.
“The AMAC Health Department will continue to train those involved in food processing and preparation in order to reduce the occurrence of food poison,” Mrs. Dogo said.
She, however, declined to speak on efforts by the council to inspect the environment where food vendors operate, saying it is the responsibility of the Environment Department of the council.
Also interviewed was Okeh Ufomadu, an AMAC Food Consultant, and Manager, Food Safety Nigeria Ltd., who said that the food company has trained more than 50,000 vendors across the nation on safe foods for public consumption.

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