Food Hygiene Initiative of Nigeria (FHIN), an NGO, has advised Nigerians to adopt adequate food handling and safety policies to prevent diarrhoea and other endemic diseases in the country.

Mr. Nicholas Karimu, the Director-General of the organization, gave the advice on Thursday in Abuja.

According to him, adequate food hygiene and safety is one of the foundations on which public care should be considered.

Karimu said the moral and legal responsibility of the authorities for protecting the public against disease arising from the consumption of unwholesome food must be strongly upheld.

“Food-borne illness and diseases such as diarrhoea, typhoid, and dysentery form a significant part of the mortality profile of Nigerians and have been on the increase in recent times.

“Safety policy and food hygiene is therefore formulated to address the major problems, which impede healthy development of the people and contribute to the nation’s development.

“Government being aware of the important role food hygiene and safety could play in sound public health, agrees that a specific policy is required to address safety problems in all their ramifications.

“I, therefore, call on all Nigerians for adequate food handling and to keep their environment clean to guard against infection from any form of disease,” he said.

Besides, he added that there was a need for stakeholders’ collaboration to promote access to water supply and sanitation in rural communities.

Karimu said people should be cautious of the kind of food and water they consume and should always keep their surroundings and water clean.

“Poor personal hygiene, poor environmental sanitation and poor access to water supply were causes of endemic diseases.

“These problems are associated with a variety of factors, including those related to food hygiene, sanitation, poverty and general conditions,” Karimu noted.

The director-general advised all Nigerians to be mindful of how they manage their surroundings and ensure they observe sanitation exercise regularly.

He urged governments at all levels to create emergency working group and response plan from the rural level to reduce disease outbreaks.