Balarabe disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja. According to the director, Swab test is the counting of total number of aerobic bacteria, yeasts and moulds on any surface. She said that the procedure of conducting physical microbial test at various zones of the FCT would commence in the first quarter of 2016. The essence of this, the director explained, was in a bid to safeguard the health of Nigerians. She said that the department also undertakes health promotion, surveillance, prevention and control of diseases in hospitality industries within its purview
Balarabe added that the department was responsible for formulation, implementation and evaluation of public health policies and guidelines in the FCT. She said that the procedure would be carried out for chemical and microbiological contaminants, monitoring, cleaning processes and swab on surface and cooking utensils. Besides, the director said part of its responsibility was also to enlighten residents on food hygiene and environmental sanitation. “We offer advice on how to set up a sanitised food industry, environmental control and monitoring, which would help meet the specifications required for good food industry and environmental hygiene. “This is because, a sanitised environment is essential for the production of safe, high quality food products,’’ she said. Balarabe stated that improving food safety in all the hotels within its purview was to ensure that cleaning and sanitising programmes were effective.
According to her, food hygiene actually starts from the farm and does not end till it gets to the kitchen or restaurant. The director said that the certification comprised a three-week medical examination process on each of the caterers to ascertain their health status, while authorisations would be issued by the department. Balarabe said that the monitoring and evaluation team would ensure total compliance with its standards and regulations.