…..to comply with food safety procedures
The Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN) has started training Caterers and support experts involved in the National Home Grown School Feeding Program (NHGSFP).
According to the Agency, this is in a quest to ensure safety and hygiene of food served in the NHGSFP, which is to strictly make sure there is compliance in Food safety and hygienic procedure in the alternative school feeding scheme.
Speaking at the venue of the training program in Abuja, National President of the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria, Chief Abiodun Odusanwo, said the Institute employed the services of competent and qualified professionals in food hygiene and safety to impact the knowledge and skills of food preparation, management and service to consumers in the safest ways that ensure the desired health benefits of food consumption for beneficiaries of the new, improved alternative School Feeding Program.
Chief Odusanwo noted that food-borne illnesses are a major public health concern especially in the home grown school feeding program meant for children as it can impact negatively on their health and of individuals, giving rise to reduced economic productivity, adding that in the event of outbreaks of food-borne diseases, this costs the nation millions of Naira annually to address.
He stressed that illnesses which are mostly caused by the consumption of contaminated food or water, poor hygiene, cross contamination, improper handling and inadequate heat treatment of food, can be averted if those engaged in food preparations and other handling processes and procedures are expertly trained with the requisite management skills on food safety handling which the Servesafe modules in the alternative school feeding program seeks to address.
He added that the key challenges facing the enhancement of food safety in the country include lack of awareness of the socio-economic importance of food safety, absence of adequate information on incidence of food borne disease outbreaks, lack of understanding of food safety and quality standards as outlined in international agreements and the inability to enforce compliance commensurate with the demands of enforcement of regulatory bodies, noting further that it is in response to these challenges that the Servesafe Quality Assurance Supervisors, Caterers and Support Experts trainings were organized.
The two training programs were executed by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development in collaboration with the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria.
The participants of the Training Programmes drawn from all Training Centres, Caterers Food Hygiene Handling Experts across the country, were drilled on key food safety areas, and presented with Certificates acknowledging them as qualified food safety supervisors and qualified Food Hygiene Caterers respectively in the country’s food value chain and hospitality trades.