By Ibironke Ariyo
A Nursing expert, Mrs Victoria Opakunle, has warned Nigerians against consuming dented and rusted canned foods as it could cause some deadly diseases in the body.
Opakunle, Head of the Nursing Unit, Kamwire Medical Centre, Ilorin, gave the warning in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday.
She said that dented or rusted cans could have tiny holes which allowed bacteria to enter the food, saying that this could be disastrous to health.
She condemned the habit of some Nigerians who consumed foods from rusted containers, saying that this could also cause cancer and other deadly diseases.
Opakunle noted that dented, swollen or rusty cans were indications that the food inside the container was no longer safe to consume.
“There are some things people do not take serious and one of them is eating from dented or rusted containers because they may not be aware of the health implications.
“Cans that are heavily rusted can have tiny holes in them, thereby allowing bacteria to enter.
“Surface rust that you can remove with your finger or paper towel is not serious.
“If you open the cans and there is any rust inside, do not eat the food.
“The way cans are stored will affect the life of the food inside the cans,’’ she said.
According to her, if foods are stored in a cool, dry place with a stable temperature, they will last longer than cans stored in places where the temperature fluctuates widely.
“Damp storage areas can cause the can to rust which will also shorten the shelf life of the can,” Opakunle said.
The nurse advised that Nigerians should stop consuming foods from rusted containers because that was serious food poisoning.
She also advised dealers not to store canned foods under the sun or rain for too long to avoid rusting before they were distributed.
Opakunle called on the National Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to take adequate steps to ensure that manufacturers and dealers did not circulate rusted canned foods.