The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the governor on Tourism, Mr. Piriye Kiyaramo has stressed the need for proper food handling practices and procedures to be implemented at every stage of the food production life cycle in order to curb food poisoning risks and prevent harm to consumers.
Mr Kiyaramo reiterated that from farm to factory to the table, food products may encounter any number of health hazards during their journey through the supply chain, saying that food handlers have the responsibility of being cautious when supplying food to consumers.
The SSA, who stated this at opening of a new restaurant at the Mechanic Village, along Imiringi Road within Yenagoa metropolis at the weekend, pointed out that where food safety and hygiene are not maintained, consumers could become seriously ill with food poisoning and foodborne illnesses.
He said food safety and food hygiene should be given utmost priority in other to protect the health of the unsuspecting consumers, while calling on food vendors in the state to ensure that the food they handle and produce are safe for consumption.
He explained that poisoning occurs when food becomes contaminated by bacteria, viruses and other germs, making those who consume the contaminated food fall ill, pointing out that food safety and hygiene remain the foundation of healthy living.
The governor’s aide on Tourism said: “Food safety refers to routines in the preparation, handling and storage of food, meant to prevent foodborne illness and injury, with a view to retaining maximum nutrients for a healthy diet.
“Infectious microbes live in and on the human body and can enter into food if proper kitchen hygiene is not maintained.”
Earlier, the Proprietor of Eat & Smile Restaurant, Chef Joy Godknows, a graduate of catering from Landmark Catering Institute Port Harcourt had explained that she was trained to prepare all African and continental dishes and promised to comply with all food safety and hygiene requirements.
An elder of the Nigerian Automobile Technicians Association, Mr Peter Idolo assured the proprietor of the new restaurant of safe and secure operational business environment.
It will be recalled that most foodborne infections are preventable with proper food hygiene.