The Consumer Protection Council said on Wednesday in Makurdi that 500 people died between 2006 and 2007 from contaminated food related complications.
The Director-General, Mrs. Ify Umenyi, disclosed this in Makurdi at the opening ceremony of a three-day National Workshop on “Quality and Safety of Street Vended Food‘‘, citing a survey by the Federal Ministry of Health.
She noted that in Nigeria, like in other parts of the world, the number of persons who ate at least one meal a day outside their homes was on the increase.
According to her, the desire of food vendors to take advantage of the growing population of their patrons and maximise profit has taken a negative toll on food preparation, packaging and presentation.
“The effect of all these is the upsurge in the cases of food-borne diseases and the number of consumer complaints received by organisations like the CPC in respect of injuries suffered from the consumption of contaminated foods,” she said.
She said a survey carried out by the Department of Public Health of the Federal Ministry of Health in 2006 and 2007 traced the death of over 500 Nigerians to cases of food borne diseases.
“Similarly, the result of a survey of Abuja, FCT, conducted by my Council in 2008, showed among others, that the quality and safety of street vended foods in contemporary Nigeria could jeopardise the health of our consumers,” she said.
Umenyi said the workshop, organised in conjunction with the National Orientation Agency and the office of the First Lady of Benue State, was intended to train Environmental Health Officers and food vendors on best practices.