The Standard Organization of Nigeria says it will henceforth sanction any master baker caught operating in an unhygienic environment following the outbreak of Lassa fever in some states.
The Osun State Coordinator of SON, Mr Sunday Badewole, gave the warning at a seminar organised for members of the Association of Master Bakers and Confectionery of Nigeria on Friday in Osogbo.
At the one-day seminar with theme: “Good Manufacturing Practice: A Must in Factories’’, Badewole said that exposing flour and other raw baking materials to rodents was unhygienic.
According to him, exposing raw baking materials and final products to rodents and dirty environment will endanger the lives of many Nigerians who consume bread on a daily basis.
The SON official said the research carried out by the organisation revealed that many master bakers operated in environment that did not meet the Nigeria Industrial Standards.
“Preventing the spread of Lassa fever and maintaining clean factory environment is a collective effort and that is why we appeal to master bakers to keep their factory protected from rodents and pest. “They should ensure raw materials are of good quality and are stored in a good environment.’’
Badewole said that the aim of the seminar was to educate master bakers on hygienic practices required in bread baking and improving their knowledge on good manufacturing practices.
He stressed that the health of Nigerians was paramount to the organisation, adding that the SON would never compromise industrial standards.
The SON official urged the master bakers to always check for expiry and production date, manufacturers’ address and the Nigeria Industrial Standard mark of quality on every raw baking material purchased.
Badewole said that good ventilation, efficient waste disposal, hand-washing gadgets and providing standard operating procedures for all processes and equipment was necessary in factories.
He urged the master bakers to ensure their products get SON Mandatory Conformity Assessment Programme certificate.
In his remarks, the Chairman, Osun Master Bakers Association, Alhaji Abdul-Ganiyu Onaopepo, commended SON for organising the seminar for his members.
Onaopepo said that the seminar would go a long way in assisting members of the association in maintaining cleanliness in their various factories.