On World Food Safety Day in particular, people are often reminded that if food is not safe, it is not food. In her address to the annual World Food Safety Day workshop at the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Nigeria, Professor Folake Henshaw went further. “If your food is not safe,” she told the 1000-seater hall, “it’s poison!”
Henshaw is well known for her outspoken and passionate approach to spreading the word on food safety. Indeed, one of the reasons for such an assertive approach was highlighted by Vice Chancellor of FUNAAB, Professor Kolawole Salako, who made the point that in Nigeria, food insecurity can often be an issue, and in those times, food safety is less of a priority. If people don’t have food, they are “bound not to mind food safety,” he said, continuing with “a hungry man does not care about whether it is safe or not.”
Henshaw teaches in the College of Food Science and Human Ecology (COLFHEC) and coordinates the Food Safety Ambassador Network (FOSAN) at the University. In her address she went on to describe the different food safety hazards that can arise and the ways in which unsafe food can make us ill. She also outlined the impacts of foodborne illness not only on human health, but also on health systems and economies.
She also commended the university management for always supporting the workshop, which has been a feature in the university calendar since the very first World Food Safety Day in 2019.