The Registrar of Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, Dr. J.E.T Babatola, has stated that hygienic preparation and preservation of food are necessary in order to avoid food poisoning and Cholera. He made the comment on Tuesday, October 5th 2021 while making the opening remarks at the 2nd Food Vendors Workshop organized by the University Catering Committee for all food vendors in the University. He said the workshop was aimed at transforming the process of food production and Catering services based on the chosen topic: ‘Towards Optimum Food Safety Delivery”.
He said it was important that utmost care be taken in the preparation of food because in the year 2021, between January and August, 31, 425 suspected cases of Cholera were reported in Nigeria with 812 deaths recorded as reported by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). He noted that food poisoning and contamination constitute a similar challenge with over 200,000 yearly deaths recorded in Nigeria. He told the food vendors to take extra care to ensure that they keep their environment clean. He congratulated them for taking part in the workshop and advised them to put what they would be taught into practice.
After his opening remark, the Guest lecturer, Professor Subuola Fasoyiro from the Institute of Agricultural Research, Ile-Ife, addressed the participants. She harped on the importance of proper food preparation to avoid food poisoning, and ensure consumer safety. She told them to ensure that they consider quality, consumer safety before profit, assuring them that adherence to that order would keep them in business because customers would keep coming back for more.
On the other hand, Dr. S.A Kehinde, who represented the Oyo state Environmental Board addressed the vendors and gave them tips on how to generate and maintain a routine for keeping their operating environment clean. The Director of University Health Services, Dr. J. B. Aiyejumoh, in his contribution, told the food vendors that a clean environment was very critical in food preparation. He told them that anyone having a runny stomach and vomiting must not be allowed to prepare food for public consumption. He told women that their hair must be properly covered before they enter the kitchen to cook.
After the workshop participants asked questions and proposed some measures to improve catering services on campus. The Dean of Students, Dr. R. Isibor and Secretary of the Parents Forum, Dr. Stephen Solanke, were on hand to interact with the vendors. The Chairman of the University Catering Committee, Dr. Mrs. A. A Olanbiwoninu was on hand to thank the participants and organizers of the event.