Member representing Boki I State Constituency in the Cross River State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Itam Abang has sponsored a bill for food safety and other related matters.
During presentation of the bill, yesterday, on the floor of the House, Hon. Itam said the bill was necessitated upon the poor sanitation and hygiene of food vendors in the state.
According to Hon. Itam, whereas there are numerous food vendors with great patronage from both Cross Riverians and visitors, however, there is no legislation to check the process of production before these foods were served to the public.
Hon. Itam who informed that most major health challenges were courtesy of contaminated foods, held that her proposed bill, named; Cross River State Food Safety Bill 2019, if passed into law will address all sorts of unsanitized and not-consumable food items sold to the public, even as she recalled an arduous scenario where she bought a fresh fish from the market but could not eat it because it was caught from a contaminated water and as such not healthy for consumption.
Supporting the presentation of the sponsor of the bill, Rt. Hon. Friday Okpechi submitted that because Cross Riverians consume food on daily basis, if these foods were not properly checked to ascertain their level of consumability, then, on daily basis, Cross Riverians would have been consuming different forms of poisons in each of their meals.
To support his argument, Rt. Hon. Friday narrated a scenario where he bought contaminated apple fruits that later gave him stomach upset upon consumption as he will later discover rotten spots in the rest of the other fruits.
Another supporter of the bill, Rt. Hon. Fred Osim of Ikom I opined that the bill should also bother on areas of sensitization of what was fit for people to consume. Hon. Fred stated that most of the big hotels in the state have poorly hygiened kitchens, appealing that the bill should emphasize routine spy-and-checks on public kitchens.
After all contributions, the Bill was read a second time and thereafter referred to the House Committee on Water Supply/Sanitation and Environmental Maters, to be reported back on the floor in three weeks time.