By – Philip Anjorin
The hustle and bustle associated with popular parts of Lagos state is an ever-tiring, yet unending lifestyle that residents are used to. The bubbling business activities spread across the state ensured that residents would wake up and prepare for their daily bread, often forfeiting their meals to catch up with time. In substitution, some found the Gala Sausage Roll a ready-made snack to satisfy their hunger. Some also disclosed that its accessibility is a factor behind the wide patronage it enjoys. Gala, a product of UAC Foods Limited, was described as a sausage roll which is trusted by millions of Nigerians to provide the fuel required to keep going through the day.
People residing in the Ikorodu area of the state have, however, berated recent observation of expired sausage rolls available for sale by the roadside traders in the city. Faith Omoniyi, a student of Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, revealed his fears to buy sausage rolls from the roadside despite his often hungry state whenever he comes to his parent for the semester break. He said, “I don’t have two lives. There have been countless occasions where I stay with my friends and they buy in large numbers but I don’t want to mention the nearly expired state because I don’t want to spoil markets for the seller. So, I would rather not buy for myself.”
“I know they are close to getting expired. But what am I to do?” asked Rasaki Salami, an engineer residing in Asolo. He stated that his daily routine often prevents him from eating nice food to his satisfaction at home.
He said, “I wake up very early because I want to beat the dreaded Lagos traffic. In the end, I will go with just bread and tea, though I want more than that. Only for me to get to these roadside sellers when hunger from the day’s stress get at me, check what I want to buy ad then see that it’s expiring this month.”
Ayileka Tolulope, a student who resides in Odogunyan, once had food poisoning from taking the often expired sausage rolls. She narrated his experience with this reporter. “The day I bought gala at Ikorodu garage without checking the date, my intestines nearly showed me hell while boarding a bus to convey me to school. Since then, I fear buying anything at that garage because I know how much I spent to treat myself then”, she said. Food poisoning, one result of eating expired foods, is an expensive commodity. In 2021, researchers revealed that more than 200,000 youths die in Nigeria every year, while the cost implication is valued at $3.6 billion.
According to a research conducted by World Health Organization in 2021, there were almost 1 in 10 death cases across the world resulting from food poisoning, with more than $110 billion to spend in low- and middle-income countries on productivity and medical expense.
To tackle this menace, it must be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari signed the National Fertiliser Quality control bill into law in 2019 to clamp down on the usage of destructive fertilisers that contribute to food poisonings.
Also, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye -Director-General of NAFDAC- advised the public in 2019 against the consumption of additives that could result in illness and death. This was given after three persons lost their lives while about 200 were hospitalised in Kano.. She, however, firmly advised Nigerians to be wary of what they eat to avoid food poisoning.