An official of the Niger State Government has advised the Ministry of Health to train vendors for the proposed free school feeding on proper hygiene and sanitation, to avoid food poisoning.
Mrs Afiniki Dauda, the Special Adviser to Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger on Empowerment and Social Protection, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Minna on Monday.
She said that there was the need to train vendors on necessary measures to ensure safety of food from production to consumption.
“Food can become contaminated at any point during slaughtering or harvesting, processing, storage, distribution, transportation and preparation.
“Lack of adequate food hygiene can lead to food-borne diseases and possible death of the consumer.
“Therefore, there is need for proper education on safe food handling through systematic disease prevention and health education programmes to food handlers,’’ she said.
Dauda called on the Ministry of Education to ensure proper monitoring of vendors to ensure compliance.
“The State Universal Basic Education should play adequate supervisory role during the process.
“A vendor is supposed is to attend to one hundred pupils.
“This will enable the ministry to identify and monitor each vendor, in case there is food poisoning and know which vendor is responsible.
“And a vendor is not allow to purchase food items from the market,’’ she added.
Dauda also advised the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to encourage livestock farming by making government to buy the food items from farmers in the state, rather than purchasing from other states.
“The Ministry of Agriculture should identify the available potentials to encourage farmers on livestock farming for the state to benefit from, just like Osun State, instead of going to other states to purchase them,’’ she said.
Dauda, however, enjoined both the state and local governments to show the political will towards the smooth running of the programme. (NAN)