Chairman, Travel Writers’ Corps of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Bayelsa State Council, Mr. Piriye Kiyaramo, has raised concerns over the reported high incidents of food-borne diseases worldwide.
Speaking with travel writers shortly after visiting major food business outfits in Yenagoa, as part of activities to mark this year’s World Food Safety Day, Kiyaramo advocated food safety education in schools.
He described the theme of this year’s Food Safety Day, “Safe Food Now and for the Future” as very appropriate.
He added that food safety had continued to be a major global public health concern in spite of much research and expenditure made by various blgovernments and research institutes, calling for a review of food safety and sanitation legislations to checkmate the exceses of food handlers.
He noted that food had an important position and role in the emerging experience economy (tourism), whether in the preparation of it, knowledge of it or consuming it, stressing that food safety should be seen as a shared responsibility between governments, producers, and consumers, as everyone had a role to play from the farm to table to ensure that the food we consumed is safe and healthy.
According to the Global Report on Food Tourism by the World Tourism Organisation, the average tourist spent a third of their holiday budget on food.
More than 91 million people fall ill and 137,000 die each year from food related causes, and non-typhoidal Salmonella, which can be caused by contaminated eggs and poultry, causes the most deaths, killing 32,000 a year, according to WHO.
The African Region is estimated to have the highest burden of food-borne diseases per population.
World Food Safety Day is observed on June 7 every year to draw public attention to help prevent, detect and manage food-borne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism, and sustainable development.
It stresses that the production and consumption of safe food have immediate and long-term benefits for people, the planet, and the economy.
Major food businesses visited include: Kilimanjaro, Swallow Buka, Chicken Republic, Pepperoni, Comfort Kitchen, Success Kitchen and Crunches.