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The Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) held the 2nd Edition of the Lagos State Food Safety Conference and Exhibition with the Theme “Safer Food, Better Health” on Tuesday, 29th November, 2022. The Conference and Exhibition which was held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Secretariat Alausa, Ikeja in conjunction with FOODDOTCOMACADEMY SERVICES, a food entrepreneurship training centre, was organised to draw attention and mobilise actions to detect, prevent and manage food-borne risk and improve human health among the inhabitants of this mega city.

Delivering her lecture as the keynote speaker at this Food Safety Conference and Exhibition with theme “Safer Food, Better Health at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja, Lagos, a Professor of Food Technology in the Department of Food Science and Technology, under College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC), Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) and a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), Prof. Mrs. Folake Olayinka Henshaw states that Food Safety is everybody’s business, adding that nobody can adequately live without food adducing that safer food and better health is actually of global imperative.

Speaking further to the excited gathering, Prof. Henshaw states that Food is all about the consumers survival when the said food chain is been consumed adding that there are problems along the food supply chain. Also, she added that food is the only source of nutrient for the consumers whenever it is consumed safely. According to the Professor of Food Technology who adduces that there are hazards along the food chains that can contaminate food at any state between production and consumption (Farm to Fork).

She clearly and loudly disclosed to the crowds that Government Agencies must bring food safety to the front burner, adding that there are physical hazards, chemical hazards and biological hazards. She further informed the cerebral audience that for physical hazards there are insect body parts, seeds, stem, stones, broken glass, metals, strands of hairs, feathers while for the chemical hazards, there are pesticides, agro chemical, chemical additives, chemical intoxicants, veterinary drugs, residues and lastly she largely disclosed to the crowds that there are bacteria viruses, parasites, fungal toxin, microbial, food borne disease. And again, Prof. Henshaw uncommonly informed the audience that a food borne outbreak is an incident in which many consumers are negatively affected adding that the Nigeria Centre For Disease Control (NCDC) has a great roles to play in making sure that food safety supply chain is sustained for all and sundry.  In wrapping up her excellent and brilliant presentations to the gathering, she states that Government should ensure that food is safe and nutritious for all and sundry, that food producers should grow it safely and as well as adopt and ensures good hygiene practices (GHP) during distribution. Furthermore, she advise all the relevant Government Institutions, Consumers, NGOs, Media, Farmers to play their important roles, adding that the origin of the food production is where the safety begins and she also added that healthy citizenry are the ones to contribute meaningfully to the growth of the economy.

Speaking to the audience in his welcome address, the General Manager of Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) Afolabi Solebo Esq. states that he is pleasantly gladdened that LASCOPA is heralding the Second Lagos State Food Safety Conference and Exhibition which he also said that the theme “Safer Food and Better Health” is not academically chosen by the agency but in tune with the prevalence issues in the society.

The Second Guest Speaker who incidentally is the AGM, Research and Development Department of Ajinomoto Foods Nigeria Limited, Mr Anani Harrison who delivered an excellent presentations on “Food additives, Allergies and what the Consumers need to know” largely and did not shy away from telling the audience that included representatives of food vendors, environmental health officers association of Nigeria, the truth. The Ajinomoto Representative, Mr Anani did not disappoint the audience with his delivery adding that Ajinomoto is a brand name in Mono-sodium Glutamate (MSG).

The Third Guest Speaker, Mr. Ifem Francis, a retired Deputy Director with the Directorate of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of NAFDAC and now Managing Director FMCBOGIA Foods Consultant    and a strong voice on Food Safety advocacy and regulation, while presenting his extraordinary paper on “The Consumer’s Health- Street Foods and the health Implications” at the 2nd LASCOPA Lagos State Food Safety Conference and Exhibition dwell more on the dangers associated with consuming unwholesome and unsafe street vended foods due to the poor handling by the vendors, poor quality issues associated with the raw materials, little and inadequate training by the food processors.

Most of the attendees at this 2nd edition pleaded for greater awareness to have large attendance of food vendors in subsequent editions, adding that the whole essence of gathering should have included all manner of street food vendors because they actually need this kind of educations and consciousness from the messages by the various speakers that spoke to the audience. Another participant praised the efforts of LASCOPA believing that the agency has done well with her conference and exhibition which also has the theme ” Safer Food Better Health”. He concurs if the sanitation personnel do inspect the environments with the right mindsets and moderate punitive measures, most food vendors operating will ensure proper cleaning of their environment and equally ensure that healthy food is consumed by consumers.

Speaking with the various media organisations present at the event, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of FOODDOTCOMACADEMY SERVICES, Mr Rasaq Oke, a Technical partner to the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) states that the 2nd Lagos State Food Safety Conference and Exhibition has adequately come at the right time when all and sundry in the Food Safety Supply Chain begin to appreciate and understand how safer food and better health can be achieved by all and sundry. Mr. Oke, who is the Immediate National Publicity Secretary (NPS) of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) says that the second edition of Lagos State Food Safety Conference and Exhibition is well-timed and appreciate the presence of the relevant stakeholders in the industry to spread the message that “Food safety is a shared responsibility and it should be everyone’s business”. As a front runner in food safety advocacy and awareness among the grassroots, Mr. Oke advocated for a safe and nutritious food for all.

Present among the stakeholders at this one day event are the high-powered team from the Lagos State Branch of the Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria (EHOAN), representatives of the DG, of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), DG of Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Nutrition Society of Nigeria (NSN), Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST), FrieslandCampina Wamco(FCW), Promasidor Nig. Ltd. CHI Ltd, Nigeria Bottling Company (NBC)  Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Lagos State Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Lagos State Ministry of Health and many others

If it’s not SAFE, then it’s not FOOD!


About The Author

Rasaq Oke

Rasaq Oke hold a Bachelor of Science (B. Sc.) Honours degree in Food Science & Technology from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife. He is a seasoned Food Technologist and Agribusiness expert with wide and rich industry experience that cut across reputable organization like Guinness Plc, Crown Cork and Seal, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals (now Neimeth Pharmaceuticals), Livestock Feeds Plc. and Tantalizers Plc. He is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of FOODDOTCOMACADEMY SERVICES, Managing Consultant with RESPITALITY CARE COMPANY (RCC), and Publisher/ CEO of FOODPRENEURS PUBLISHING COMPANY, the publisher of FOODPRENEURNEWS, a print and online food magazine ( Mr. Oke is an accomplished food entrepreneur, consultant, administrator, instructor, and facilitator. He is a member of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) and the Head,-Editorial Board of the NIFST Food Forum Magazine; An Executive Member of the Nigeria Association of Agricultural Journalist (NAAJ). He is an Full Member and Secretary of the Membership, Certification and Education Committee of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Institute of Training and Development (NITAD). He a a Media and Communication Consultant to the Lagos State Fadama Coordination Office (SFCO) and the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority (LASCODA) in addition to being a Technical Partner to the Lagos State Consumer Protection Authority (LASCOPA). He is married with children and loves playing table tennis as well as travelling.

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