Lagos Moves to Check Food, Water, Beverage Contamination in Restaurants, Hotels

Commissioner for Health, Lagos State, Jide Idris .Sensitises stakeholders in food, water and beverages industries on HACCP Martins Ifijeh The Lagos State Government has moved to check food and water contamination in eateries, restaurants and hotels across the state, charging stakeholders to embrace the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and certification.
HACCP is a management system that gives a systematic preventive approach to food safety, from biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product, through identifying where hazards may occur and design measures to reduce this risks to a safe level by putting in place stringent actions, strictly monitoring and controlling each process.
Speaking at a sensitisation meeting for food, water, beverage handling establishments in Lagos recently, the Special Adviser to the governor on Primary Healthcare, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga lamented that food safety had become a major concern to the food industry given that the consumption of contaminated food and water contributed to a myriad of health problems in the World.
Onanuga noted that food hazards or contamination may also come from primary production like the farm, from improper handling or storage in the food industry, or from errors during preparation at home or in other places where the food is consumed.
He noted that a tool that gives a holistic approach to food safety for consumption is Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) stressing that there was need for an effective HACCP system to be in place in every food, water, beverage organisation that meet food safety requirement and protect the consumer from harm that could result from any form of hazards.
He stressed that in addition to enhanced assurance of food safety are better use of resources and timely response to problems.
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Modele Osunkiyesi said the essence of the meeting was to sensitise food, water and beverage-based establishment on the importance and having an understanding of the HACCP initiative as well as foster and promote the adoption of the HACCP system in their organisations.
She added that the meeting also aimed at emphasising the relationship between good hygiene practices and the HACCP systems as well as gain management commitment to the promotion of food safety and hygiene.
“A proper understanding will prevent sanctions, reduce the form of delays in processing documents and ensure a transparent HACCP Certification by the Ministry.
While noting that the HACCP sensitisation meeting will be organised for all zones in the state to reach about 1000 food, water and beverage organisations in February 2018, the Permanent Secretary posited that the implementation of HACCP is the most secure and cost effective method for controlling hazards during food, water and beverage production.

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