Consumers in Nakuru County have been urged to demand for safe food to ensure the reduction of food borne diseases and other diseases associated with food safety.
According to WHO, this year’s Food Safety Day themed ‘Food Safety, Everyone’s Business’ aims to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage food borne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development.
Speaking yesterday during a virtual meeting with farmers and various stakeholders, Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries CECM, Dr. Immaculate Maina, said that the County is making major strides in ensuring production of safe food.
She added that, as a producer of most food in the country, Nakuru is keen to produce wholesome food for human and livestock consumption.
With a few hitches along enforcing of safety standards, Dr. Maina said that the County is working on a system of food handlers association while banking on personal responsibility to ensure food safety.
Ms.Josephine Simiyu, Manager- Compliance &Regulatory Services- Horticulture Crops Directorate- AFA, acknowledged challenges like regulated urban and peri-urban food production, consumers unwilling to pay for premium quality produce and choice of quantity over safe food among others.
While congratulating County Governments, stakeholders and farmers in their collaborations to ensure food safety, she recommended the need for upscaling sensitization sessions and ensure same set standards for food locally consumed as food at the export markets.
The County currently has a formalized Food Safety Coordinating Committee, engages closely with partners through farmer based projects beyond policy making and through Public Health enforcement of food safety standards is ongoing with hoteliers and street food vendors to ensure the standards are adhered to.