It is common practice in Nigeria to find people eating in small canteens and patronising mobile food vendors. This they do due to lack of time to cook, the need to quench hunger as fast as possible and so many other reasons.
Few of these consumers, however, know the state of hygiene of these canteens because they just sit, eat and take their leave. Most of these canteens are situated in very dirty environments with refuse all around and drainages filled with stagnant water. Besides, the meals are served by dirty and haggard-looking food vendors. This, surprisingly, does not deter people from trooping in and out of such places to eat the hygienic meals served.
Some respondents said they had to go these canteens in a desperate bid to quench hunger. Others said it was due to laziness to cook or lack of time and energy. However, these reasons do not justify patronising dirty food vendors who cook meals with dirty and untreated water, serve meals with dishes that are not properly washed and sometimes serve spoilt meals that should rather be disposed of.
The Food and Drugs Act of1974 is supposed to protect consumers and preserve their safety and nutritional value. But in Nigeria, most of these consumer protection laws are not properly enforced.
The onus is actually on the people to find out the state of hygiene of the food vendors and to make sure that they eat in clean and hygienic environments to avoid diseases that can be contacted as a result of this because poor hygiene is detrimental to human health. As an organ constitutionally charged with protecting the security and welfare of the people, the government should compel NAFDAC and other relevant agencies to be alive to their responsibilities.
Mass Communication Dept.
AAU Akungba, Akoko,
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