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Monday, 4 January 2016

SON warns fast-food operators against food poisoning

The Standard Organisation of Nigeria has restated the need for operators of fast-food restaurants in the country to make use of the relevant code of practice for their operations in order to avoid food poisoning.

The Oyo State coordinator of the organisation, Dr. Omolara Okunlola, said this in an address she read during a meeting with stakeholders in the fast-food business, noting that the 2004 Code of Hygienic Practice for Fast Food was put in place to protect members of the public who patronise the eateries against food poisoning.

At the forum, which was attended by representatives of all major fast-food companies in the state, Okunlola highlighted the causes of food contamination, the effects and the consequences, saying that they could be prevented if foodstuffs were properly handled.
She said, “There are many ways and points at which food contamination and poisoning could occur in food business and this is why operators of fast-food centres must employ qualified personnel to handle and preserve raw materials.   It is equally vital that the issue of environmental hygiene in food handling areas and sanitary facilities which include source of water supply, storage and waste disposal must be properly handled.”
While stating that the organisation would not hesitate to punish any company that failed to comply strictly with safety standard in food business, Okunlola also called on fast-food operators to always look out for SON safety logo before purchasing processed food materials and seasoning.
“We are concerned with the health of Nigerians who visit these fast-food centres daily. We want to urge the operators to play by the rule, conform to safety standard and protect their customers by avoiding the use of substandard food materials and other items used in preparing what is consumed by the people.
“For the operators of these eateries to maintain high standard, it is also important for them to develop good relationships with relevant standard agencies, welcome criticism from them and customers and ensure training and re-training of their employees,” she said.


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