ENUGU STATE PLEDGES COMMITMENT TO FOOD SAFETY

 

ENUGU STATE PLEDGES COMMITMENT TO FOOD SAFETY

ABUJA – 20 September 2017

Farmers, food handlers, sanitation operatives, and other stakeholders in the Enugu State food industry participated in a Food Safety Induction and Awareness Workshop in the state capital between 13 and 14 September, 2017. The two-day workshop was facilitated by United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), through its National Quality Infrastructure Project for Nigeria (NQIP), funded by the European Union.

UNIDO-NQIP, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, aims to create awareness among participants on basic principles and significance of food safety to food and non-food handlers selected from the 17 local government areas of Enugu State. The training, facilitated by the UNIDO-NQIP National Expert on Food Safety, Mr. John Tehinse, was a hands-on-interactive workshop to upgrade the existing poor level of food safety knowledge and practices of participants. The training workshop focused on building capacity in specific food safety themes: Good Agricultural Practice, Good Hygienic Practice, and Good Manufacturing Practice.

The over 600 participants and beneficiaries of the training ranged from senior officials of relevant state Ministries, Departments and Agencies, such as the Ministries of Agriculture, Health, Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Environment, and local government areas; media correspondents/reporters on Agriculture, Health, Trade; representatives of farmer’s umbrella associations; small and medium-sized enterprises involved in food processing, food catering/restaurant business, distributors and retailers of food products, exports/imports of food commodities; as well as members of State Chambers of Commerce and related bodies.

The Federal Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Folorunso Adewole, was represented by the Ministry’s Director of Food, Chemical & Water Safety Division, Ms. Anthonia Opara. The Director encouraged Enugu State to “attach high importance to [the] awareness and capacity building exercise [in order to] have a good grasp of the latest international best practices in food safety.” Ms. Opara also said that the new learnings are “expected to cascade down to the grassroots touching the 17 local government areas of Enugu State.”

The Executive Governor of Enugu State, Mr. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, represented by the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Fintan Ekochin, said that the Enugu State government is ready to “continue…in the promotion of food safety awareness and the implementation of relevant government policies.”

The workshop was concluded successfully, with over 97% of the participants rating it as “highly recommended”. The greater awareness of the people of Enugu State will contribute to the improvement of food safety in each sector of the supply chain and will bring long-term benefits to the producers, service providers and customers as well.

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