NAFDAC to enforce hygienic practices in bread production, ensure food safety

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Lagos, June 25, 2023 – National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has advised bread and other confectionery to imbibe the culture of Good Hygiene Practices (GHP) in the production of bread and other allied products.

NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, gave the advice on Friday during a stakeholders’ meeting with the Lagos State Chapter of Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria.

She said that NAFDAC would not compromise the quality of bread production in the country.

The NAFDAC boss, who was represented by the Director, Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FSAN), Mrs Eva Edwards, said that the Agency was sensitive to the increasing costs of ingredients used for bread production.

She, however, said that this should not be an excuse to undermine the safety and quality of their products to endanger the lives of consumers in the process.

‘’You should have full confidence that you can give your family members to eat from what you have produced for the Nigerian consumers.

“In this case you would not want to produce what will make you or your family members sick if eaten’’.

 Adeyeye said they should avoid using expired raw materials and contaminated packaging materials as well as embrace food safety culture.

In a statement by the NAFDAC Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, on Sunday, Adeyeye said that the overall objective of GHP in the food processing sector including bakeries, quick service restaurants was to ensure the safety of the food from the raw materials to their final products.

According to the DG, good hygienic practices must be strictly adhered to from the beginning to the end of the production process, stressing that the finished products should not be exposed to the ravaging onslaught of rats and other pests in the Lagos metropolis.

‘’Food raw materials/ingredients that are not properly sealed, compromised packaging, infested by rodents or their droppings and not adequately labelled should not be used’’, she further warned, adding that storage and handling of food ingredients/raw materials should be such that mix-up and cross contamination are avoided.

‘’Detergents, disinfectants, engine oil/lubricants should be kept away from food raw materials’’, she said, adding that the Agency would not hesitate to take decisive action If bakers’ operations endangered the health of the public.

She added that as a responsive Agency, NAFDAC was prepared to support their businesses to survive and thrive.

She further stressed that production facilities should not be sited in locations that can compromise the safety and quality of the finished products, such as near a cemetery or directly opposite a toilet or soak away.

NAFDAC boss said the agency would not stand aloof while the health of the public was being put at a risk.

‘’GHP in food facilities cover all stages of the process, starting from the planning stage for the location of the factory. Food facility should not be located in an area that is close to source(s) of contamination or prone to flooding’’, she said.

She said that their equipment should be impervious and not erode or react with the food during processing.

‘’They should be properly installed and arranged to enable easy cleaning of the immediate surrounding and allow for free movement of personnel,” she said.

Adeyeye also advised that vehicles used for transportation of chemicals, or any hazardous materials should not be used to transport bread,

She stressed that the finished products should be adequately covered and protected from contamination while in transit.

According to her, medical tests should be conducted periodically to ensure personnel do not harbour diseases that could be transmitted through food, stressing that food handlers were also not expected to work with open wounds; ‘’and when they are ill, they should be excused from work’’.

She said the principles of food safety and Good Hygiene Practices should be adopted and maintained in any food production or processing facility.

She emphasized that it is imperative to ensure the wholesomeness of the raw materials/ingredients and the process of food production to consistently have wholesome end products.

The NAFDAC boss also advised the Master Bakers on the need for proper labelling of their products.

Mr Matthew Ayoola, The Acting Chairman of the Association, commended the initiative of NAFDAC for engaging his members on the way forward with their businesses.

He pledged that his members would use the knowledge imparted to them at the engagement to further enhance the quality of their products in the State.

He said his association had set up a task force with a view to “bringing forward” any recalcitrant members to NAFDAC for necessary guidance towards compliance with the regulations, and sanctions as deemed necessary by the Agency. (GBN)

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