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NAFDAC Explains Why Refrigerating Cooked Food for Over Three Days Can Be Hazardous

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NAFDAC urges Nigerians to avoid refrigerating cooked food for more than three days due to the risk of contamination and foodborne diseases. Director General Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye emphasized the importance of food safety during the 2024 World Food Safety Day.


The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has urged Nigerians to refrain from storing cooked food in the refrigerator for more than three days due to health risks.


NAFDAC Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, issued this warning during the 2024 World Food Safety Day, themed “Food Safety: Prepare for the Unexpected.” She highlighted that cooked food stored in the refrigerator for extended periods is susceptible to contamination by disease-causing pathogens, which are key agents of foodborne diseases that can lead to severe health issues or even death.


Prof. Adeyeye emphasized that food safety is a collective responsibility, involving everyone from producers to consumers. According to a statement by the agency’s Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that globally, one in ten people fall ill, and 420,000 die each year due to consuming contaminated food. This situation results in the loss of 33 million healthy life years, disproportionately affecting children under five and vulnerable groups in poorer regions.


The NAFDAC Director General noted that food safety is crucial not only for public health but also for economic development and food security. She stressed the importance of every individual playing their part, from the farm to the table, to ensure that the food consumed is safe.


For World Food Safety Day 2024, WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) are urging all stakeholders in the food supply chain to prepare for unexpected threats to food safety in an increasingly interconnected global food supply system.


Prof. Adeyeye explained that managing food safety incidents requires dedicated efforts from policymakers, food safety authorities, farmers, and food business operators. She also noted that consumers have a vital role to play.


She reiterated that the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has developed programs for the elimination, prevention, and control of foodborne diseases. These include the National Integrated Guidelines for Foodborne Disease Surveillance and Response, which are crucial for preparedness and rapid response to emerging and re-emerging foodborne diseases.


Prof. Adeyeye challenged all stakeholders, including regulatory officers, experts, producers, processors, distributors, retailers, restaurant outlets, and consumers, to consider their preparedness for unexpected food safety threats.


“Let us all stay true to the statements ‘food safety is everyone’s business’ and ‘food safety is a shared responsibility’ as we celebrate this year’s World Food Safety Day. Working together, we will continue to strengthen our food safety system, ensuring its resilience, robustness, and preparedness for the unexpected,” she added.

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