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Akwa Ibom sets hygiene standards for sale of akara, suya

Akwa Ibom sets hygiene standards for sale of akara, suya
May 06
20:31 2021

The Akwa Ibom ministry of environment and solid minerals has issued guidelines for the sale of suya (grilled meat) and other street foods in the state.

Charles Udoh, commissioner for environment and petroleum resources, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

He said the contamination of suya, akara (fried bean cake), barbecued chicken, roast plantain, and other street foods has become a major source of environmental health concern as a result of increased cases of food-borne diseases.

The commissioner said most street foods are not covered and are exposed to flies, and other environmental elements.

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He condemned the attitude of consumers towards poor environmental sanitation and their seeming ignorance of food safety precautions, despite being aware of the health risks.

According to him, the approved standards include: “compulsory use of closed glass boxes for the display of suya, roasted chicken, and plantain, as well as other street food items”.

The commissioner said the guidelines will ensure that edible items are kept clean and free from contamination, and adequately protected from pests and environmental hazards.

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“All vendors of food must have a basket for the disposal of generated waste to avoid indiscriminate waste disposal,” he said.

“Street food vending is prohibited within 100 meters radius of a refuse dump site or waste receptacle.

“All street food vendors must register with the ministry of environment and solid materials. Registration fee, which is free of charge, is to ensure proper coordination of environmental health in that sector. Requirements for registration are two passport size photographs and a functional telephone number.”

Udoh said the guidelines will take effect on July 5, adding that all food items seized will be deemed unfit for consumption and will be destroyed.

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While emphasising the need to maintain personal hygiene, cleanliness of utensils and equipment, and sanitary condition of vending sites among akara and roasted corn sellers, he warned that defaulters will be prosecuted.

He urged residents and citizens to avoid uncovered street food and ensure that every food item served is prepared under hygienic conditions.

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