Refrigerating Cooked Food For More Than Three Days Dangerous, NAFDAC Warns

Storing cooked food in the refrigerator for more than three days is dangerous, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned Nigerians.

According to NAFDAC, cooked food stored in the refrigerator for days is susceptible to contamination by disease-causing pathogens, key agents of foodborne diseases that can cause death.

The NAFDAC Director-General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, thus urged stakeholders in the food chain to take deliberate actions to institute a food safety culture in their operations to mitigate the hazards and risks that can compromise food safety.

Prof. Adeyeye spoke at the 2024 World Food Safety Day, themed ‘Food Safety: Prepare for the Unexpected’, where she emphasised that food safety is a collective responsibility, and everyone, from producers to consumers, must play their parts to ensure the food we eat is safe.

Adeyeye noted that food safety is not only important for public health, but a sine qua non for economic development and food security. According to her, the WHO and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is asking stakeholders along the food supply chain to prepared for unexpected threats to food safety in an increasingly interconnected and interlinked global food supply.

According to her, while being ready to manage food safety incidents requires dedicated efforts from policymakers, food safety authorities, farmers, and food business operators, as well as consumers, can also play a very active role.

Prof. Adeyeye said the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has developed programmes for the elimination, eradication, prevention, and control of diseases. Such programmes, she said, include the National Integrated Guidelines for Foodborne Disease Surveillance and Response, useful for preparedness and rapid response to emerging and re-emerging foodborne diseases.

The NAFDAC chief added: “Let us all stay true to the saying that ‘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.”

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