The Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) FCT Chapter on Thursday dissociated itself from the `misleading information’ going viral in the social media about Abuja markets’ inspection.
The President of NIFST, Mr Wole Toye, in a statement, said that the viral information had to do with the inspection of Utako and Garki markets in Abuja metropolis.
Toye said that the information on social media said it visited the two markets during the celebration of the maiden edition of 2019 World Food Safety Day.
“The institute does not inspect markets or any food facility but promotes the development and application of science and technology in every aspect of food,’’ he said.
Social media came up with an information that NIFST went to inspect the Utako and Garki Markets in Abuja.
The information was that NIFST official discovered people frying akara, puff-puff, yam, meat, fish, using transformer oil mixed with vegetable or groundnut oil.
The information further had it that Ariel detergent was being used to ferment cassava for fufu; and that fish sellers sprayed sniper on dry fish to keep flies away.
Furthermore, social media reported that in the abattoir, tyres and used plastics were used to roast slaughtered animals sold in the markets.
“To mark the maiden edition of the World Food Safety Day, members of the FCT Chapter of NIFST visited Utako and Garki markets in Abuja metropolis to sensitise the food handlers/sellers on wholesome/acceptable food handling practices.
“Members met with the market authorities before the event to mobilise the food sellers.
“On the event day, FCT Chapter members discussed good food hygiene practices with the market food sellers and appealed to them to stop any sharp practices that will render food unsafe for consumption.
“Members also informed the sellers that sharp practices such as use of carbide to ripen fruits, washing fruits and vegetables with detergents and colouring palm oil with Sudan IV (a red dye), were not right.
“They were then advised to always allow the fruits to go through natural ripening processes, sell palm oil as it is and wash fruits and vegetables with clean water,’’ the NIFST president said.
Toye said that the market food sellers were further informed that safe food handling would help prevent illnesses such as cancers, typhoid, diarrhoea and even death.