Oyo Trails Lagos, Bans Use Of Styrofoam For Food Services, Others

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Trailing an earlier policy by the Lagos State Government, the Oyo State Government has also banned the use of styrofoam for food services, storage, and other related purposes.

The state Commissioner for Health, Oluwaserimi Ajetunmobi, made the announcement on Monday during the Food Safety Stakeholders Forum, and the inauguration of the task force, held in Ibadan, the state capital.

The Commissioner said the decision was part of government efforts to uphold food safety standards in the state.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Akintunde Ayinde, Ajetunmobi said, “Prevention is better and cheaper than cure; hence the need for people to adhere strictly to food standards to save lives in the state.

“The menace of food poisoning, indiscriminate use of chemical products for food production, processing, packaging, and other sharp practices being carried out by food business operators have become great public health concerns in the state.

“The directorate of Food, Water, and Laboratory Services is saddled with the responsibility to regulate food business operations to ensure the presentation of wholesome edibles for public consumption in the state, and plans to double her efforts to monitor/inspect food business premises in the state.

“Consequently, the use of Styrofoam for food services, storage, and other related usage in the state is also banned,” the Commissioner declared.

The commissioner explained that the task force would be sensitising the actors along the food chain on the importance attached to the implementation of food safety standards by the government.

Earlier, the Director of Food, Water, and Laboratory Services in the Ministry, Afusat Akande, highlighted the basic requirements that actors along the food chain must meet before they can be certified.

Akande explained that the requirements included routine medical fitness certificates from designated state government hospitals, evidence of regular fumigation of production premises by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources recognized consultant, and water quality analysis by the Ministry of Health recognized consultant, among others.

The permanent secretary, Ayinde, who is the leader of the task force, promised to work with the ministry to achieve its set objective.

The task force comprises members from the state Food Safety Management Committee, the Nigeria Police Force, the Association of Table Water Producers, the Association of Canteen Workers, and a host of others.

In January, the Lagos State Government started the ban on the use and distribution of Styrofoam and other single-use plastics across the state.

Following suit, the Oyo State House of Assembly, on Thursday, February 8, 2024, urged the state government to ban the use of styrofoam for food purposes in the state.

Consequently, it inaugurated the Food Safety Compliance Enforcement Task Force to oversee the enforcement of food safety rules and regulations in the state.

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