Naija Foodie Update

Foodie Naija Update (Why Nigerians Patronize Road Side Food Vendors In Spite Of The Health Risk)

I just love the taste of mama- put food – Ernest Inyang, Engineer I patronize them not because I can’t afford fast food restaurants, but because I love the taste and flavour of the food sold at Buka joints. Some foods sold in Buka joints are usually not available in some of the fast food outlets.
Moreover, some fast foods restaurants microwave leftovers and sell them off to customers.

Mama-put joints serve hot, fresh meals – Dele Omojuyigbe (Phd), Lecturer Mama-put joints provide me with hot, fresh and original pounded yam which a restaurant cannot offer. I love the local dishes served at those joints and its freshness and originality. One good thing about Mama-put is that they hardly sell leftovers; their foods are served fresh.

Everybody is equal in roadside restaurants—Ogechukwu I prefer road side food to high end restaurant for a number of reasons. One is that it is usually very cheap and affordable, you can get whatever you want to eat for as low as N100, unlike what obtains at high brow restaurants.

I also get to feel the environment as I eat because I prefer natural breeze to the air conditioners in the bigger restaurants because of its health effects. Besides, in roadside restaurants, everybody is equal. There is no segregation based on class no matter what you are in the society, you will be served the way others were served. In big restaurants there is room for preferential treatment.

I eat at Buka joint when I’m too tired to cook – David Oboh, Musician- I eat from ‘mama put’ when I’m out or when I’m too tired to cook. Also because their food is affordable compared to most restaurants. I like the aroma and flavor. My favourite is egusi or vegetable soup. It’s affordable, with N300 you can eat good food at a ‘mama-put’ joint. These days, most mama-put owners keep their environment clean.

They are less expensive – Ibikunle Omolayo Johnson, Engineer- I eat at those roadside joints because they’re less expensive. Food from fast food restaurants are better but not affordable. I usually visit Buka spots on weekdays because I’m still a bachelor. My favourite is Amala and Gbegiri (Yam flour and beans soup) and ewedu (draw soup) with ogufe (goat meat). But I would advise that roadside vendors upgrade their services by maintaining good hygiene so as to attract more customers.

I pick the kind of joints to eat – Ganiyu Rashidat Temitope, Student- I patronise Mama put joints when I’m far away from home. I also eat there when I’m at work and when I have to leave early for classes. I don’t like taking food from the house to work, it’s cumbersome. But I do it wisely, I pick the kind of places I go to buy food to avoid food contamination and poisoning.

I eat at Mama-put joints because I hardly cook – Opeyemi Owoeye, Civil servant- I patronize them because most times, I don’t cook. So I eat at Buka spots on weekdays. I love Fufu, egusi and ogbono soup. I’m not sure what attracted me to those joints, I only tried it out and liked it.

There’s less possibility of eating stale food — Timothy I strongly prefer road side food sellers to big restaurants because the possibility of someone eating stale food in big restaurants is higher. I have never heard anyone complain of eating spoilt food at mama-put joints, but we have heard a lot of people say that about all these fast food restaurants and eateries. My point is that most of the things they use in preserving the food in big restaurants make it a big threat to health.

Food vendors don’t take cleanliness into consideration– Ezekiel, I strongly prefer eating in big restaurants because their level of hygiene is usually high unlike roadside food vendors. They make sure they keep the place where the food is being prepared tidy, because they are always inspected by relevant agencies.

Preventing Foodborne Illness
It is a fact that the activities of local food handlers and
premises are usually often not regulated.

This has resulted in poor hygiene practices and low safety levels of foods prepared in local
restaurants (bukas) especially in the rural and semi-urban areas in the country.
Saturday Vanguard investigations revealed ‘bukas’ are
prepared by owners and hired workers.

Safety Recommendations
Public health policy and practice recommend that in
order to reduce transmission of typhoid fever and other communicable diseases among food handlers, hand washing, universal use of plastic gloves and proper waste disposal system should be mandatory.

In addition, there should be access to
clean water and sanitary toilets near food service areas.

Government is urged to embark on enlightenment
campaigns on a regular basis and health hygiene training and retraining sessions
should be undertaken for these food handlers to create
awareness about the
importance of health hygiene and the risks associated with non compliance with the
rules and regulations that govern food handlers.


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