Abuja – The National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has advised Nigerians to cook their foods up to 60 degrees before consumption, to prevent infection.
Mrs Benedicta Obaseki, the Assistant Chief Regulatory Officer, Food Safety & Applied Nutrition Directorate of the agency, said this in an interview in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to her, poorly cooked food can cause infection, leading to diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid and cholera.
She said that the right temperature for food was between 5 degrees and 60 degrees Celsius, adding that all cooked and perishable foods should be properly refrigerated and not stored for too long, even in the required temperature.
Obaseki said since food is a basic necessity of life, people must consume food that is safe, nutritious and tasty, adding that poor food hygiene practice predisposed people to infections and illnesses.
“Refrigerate promptly all cooked and perishable foods and all cooked food should be kept hot more than 60 degrees Celsius prior to serving and consumption.
“A study done in the United States has suggested that improper food handling contributes to approximately 97 per cent of food-borne illnesses in food service establishments and homes.’’
The regulatory officer further advised that meat, poultry, eggs and sea foods should be thoroughly cooked, adding that the water used in boiling these sources of protein should be clear and not pink when boiled.
She also said that stews and soups should be boiled at 70 degrees Celsius.
On food storage, Obaseki said cooked foods should be properly separated from raw food, to prevent cross contamination.
She also emphasised the need for proper hand washing before cooking and after touching raw foods, to avoid infection. (NAN)