Storing cooked food in the refrigerator for more than 3 days can lead to death – NAFDAC warns

NAFDAC warns on refrigeration of cooked food past 3 days

In commemoration of the 2024 World Food Safety Day, Nigeria’s Director General of the National Agency for Food and Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Professor Moji Adeyeye, has cautioned Nigerians against storing food that has been cooked for more than three days in the refrigerator. According to her, such practice can lead to contamination by disease-causing pathogens, posing a significant risk to public health and even death.

Adeyeye emphasized that food safety is not only crucial for public health but also essential for economic development and food security. She stressed that it is a collective responsibility, requiring the involvement of everyone from producers to consumers to ensure food safety.

The agency’s Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, said in a statement that the warning is in line with this year’s theme, “Food Safety: Prepare for the Unexpected.” The theme aims to promote global food safety awareness and strengthen efforts to prevent, detect, and manage foodborne risks worldwide.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that over 600 million people fall ill each year after consuming contaminated food, resulting in the loss of millions of healthy life years. According to WHO, $110 billion is lost annually in productivity and medical expenses due to unsafe food in low- and middle-income countries.

Experts say that foodborne diseases are preventable, but require a multisectoral approach involving the health, agriculture, and environment sectors. They emphasized the importance of promoting good hygiene practices in homes, communities, and food establishments to ensure a safer and healthier food supply.

Adeyeye urged Nigerians to take deliberate actions to institute a food safety culture in their operations and warned that failure to do so can have severe consequences. She called on stakeholders to work together to strengthen the country’s food safety system and prepare for unexpected incidents.

In light of these concerns, Nigerians are advised to prioritize food safety by handling and storing cooked food properly to avoid contamination and ensure a healthier population.

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