NAFDAC Warns Against Storing Cooked Food in Refrigerators for Over Three Days

The Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Moji Adeyeye, has cautioned Nigerians to avoid storing cooked food in refrigerators for more than three days due to the risk of contamination by disease-causing pathogens, which can lead to severe foodborne illnesses and even death.
This warning was issued in a statement on Tuesday by the agency’s Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, in commemoration of the 2024 World Food Safety Day. The theme for this year’s event is ‘Food Safety: Prepare for the Unexpected.’
Prof. Adeyeye emphasized the importance of a robust food safety culture across the food supply chain to mitigate hazards and risks that could compromise food safety. She stated, “Food safety is not only important for public health but a sine qua non for economic development and food security.”
The United Nations General Assembly established World Food Safety Day, celebrated annually on June 7, in 2018 to raise awareness and encourage efforts to prevent, detect, and address public health risks associated with unsafe food.
Adeyeye also highlighted the collective responsibility of ensuring food safety, urging everyone from producers to consumers to play their part.
She noted, “Let us all stay true to the statements ‘food safety is everyone’s business’ and ‘food safety is a shared responsibility’ as we celebrate this year’s World Food Safety Day. Working together, we will continue to strengthen our food safety system, ensuring its resilience, robustness, and preparedness for the unexpected.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 600 million people – nearly one in 10 worldwide – fall ill after consuming contaminated food each year, with 420,000 fatalities.
This results in the loss of 33 million healthy life years. WHO also reports that unsafe food costs low- and middle-income countries $110 billion annually in productivity losses and medical expenses.
Supporting this, Mrs. Eva Edwards, Director of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, pointed out the preventable yet costly nature of foodborne diseases.
She emphasized that food safety emergency responses should involve a multisectoral, collaborative, integrated approach across health, agriculture, and environment sectors, alongside various government tiers, external partners, and NGOs. “Let’s all play our part in promoting the culture of good hygiene practices in our homes, communities, and food establishments. Together we can ensure a safer and healthier food supply for everyone,” she added.
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