In a bid to reduce the rate of food contamination, and promote nutritional hygiene in Akwa Ibom, the state government, through the ministry of Environment and Solid Minerals has stipulated new regulations to guide the activities of roadside chicken roasters and 'Suya' sellers in the state.
According to the information signed by the Commissioner for Environment and Solid Minerals, Sir Charles Udo, the state government mentioned that the contamination of 'suya', roasted chicken and plantain, and other foods in the state has become a major source of environmental health concern with the increased cases of food borne diseases.
The information also notes that the business has for a long time remained unstructured, improper food handling and storage by vendors, poor environmental sanitation as well as customer apathy. Hence, the government sees the need to regulate the business.
On account of this, the state government makes the following rules to guide indigens and non indigens operating such business within the state.
1. The Government directs compulsory use of clossed glass boxes for display of 'Suya', chicken, plantains and other roadside food items. This, According to the government, is to prevent contamination by flies and other vector carriers.
2. The government also directs all roadside food sellers to have a waste basket to dispose generated wastes to avoid indiscriminate waste disposal.
3. It is also directed that no roadside food vendor should operate close to a waste receptacle or dumping site. They should maintain at least 100 miters radius away from such locations.
4. All street food vendors are also, as a matter of compulsion, directed to register with the Ministry of Environment and Solid Minerals with the requirements being two passport photograph and a functional telephone number. The registration is said to be free of charge.
According to the information from the ministry, the guidelines will be effective from the 5th day of July, 2021. Failure to comply with these guidelines will lead to defaulters being prosecuted and food items seized.
The Ministry also advised the general public not to buy food from vendors who do not meet the guidelines as given by the ministry.
How do you see this regulations from the state government? Do you think the move is necessary? Or do you think there are other measures they could have taken on the issue? Feel free to share your opinion.