By Ayo Ajayi
A professor of Microbiology at Covenant University, Ota, Professor Solomon Oranusi has recommended quality education for food handlers and the public on good and standard hygiene practices.
He also advocated the standardization of locally produced foods and drinks with respect to packaging, quality control, government policies on acceptance promotion and enabling environment to help local foods meet the international standard.
Oranusi made the recommendation while presenting the 28th Inaugural Lecture of the University on Friday.
In his presentation titled, “Safe Food for Sustainable Development of the Packets of Microorganisms Guided by Divine Essence,” Oranusi noted that man is essentially what he consumes and there was the need for regular microbiological testing of food items, specifically at the consumer level.
The Lecturer, who is currently the Head of the Department of Biological Sciences of the University decried the habit of promoting foreign food over locally-produced ones.
“The habit of promoting the foreign food over our local food is unhealthy. Let me note that a cup of our Zobo, Kunu, Tigernut drink and smoothy are richer than any of these sugar water on the market today. Also, our local salad is richer microbiologically and nutrition-wise.
“We must learn to patronize and engage in detailed research on our foods to help us tell our story. Food is the main item of trade worldwide; in the food business, nobody will promote you above their trade interest,” he said.
He highlighted his contributions to knowledge in the area of beverages; food condiments; ready-to-eat food and street vended foods; fruits and fruit juices; fresh and raw foods; water and drinks as well as food waste management. He concluded that the foods consumed in Nigeria and Africa are not necessarily poor microbiologically but require enforcement of food safety rules, adding that good health lies in obedience to the safety rules.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Abiodun Adebayo assured the audience that the University would strengthen its research focus and community development impact initiative awareness in the area of quality food products to live in a safe world.
He also enjoined the government to strengthen the health inspection officers and local food vendors to live to their responsibility.