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Nutrition experts have warned Nigerians against consuming poorly preserved yoghurts, especially those stored under the sun, noting that they could cause serious health complications including food poisoning.
According to the experts, while yoghurt consumption is often encouraged because of its nutritional benefits, consuming those stored in the sun, as commonly found in local shopping marts and on the streets across the country could be very dangerous.
The experts stressed that consuming improperly stored yoghurts could be detrimental to the health, noting that those drinking them are at serious risk of food poisoning.
Food poisoning is a food-borne disease. As explained by medicalnet.com, food poisoning is the ingestion of food that contains a toxin, chemical or infectious agent (like a bacterium, virus, parasite, or prion) that may cause adverse symptoms in the body.
Symptoms of food poisoning, it stated further may be related only to the gastrointestinal tract causing vomiting or diarrhoea or they may involve other organs such as the kidney, brain, or muscle.
According to the experts, the right way of storing yoghurts both commercially and at home is by storing them at a cold temperature, noting that leaving them out in the sun gives room for toxic microorganisms to grow and multiply in them.
Speaking in an interview with PUNCH HealthWise, a professor of food and nutritional biochemistry, Achinewhu Simon explained that because yoghurts are made from cow milk they are supposed to be kept frozen, adding that commercially produced yoghurts that are left for days in the sun are not healthy.
Explaining, Achinewhu, a former director of the Rivers Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, said, there are microorganisms present in yoghurts, noting that if left in hot temperature they (the microorganisms) become infected.
“Yoghurt is produced from milk. Those things must be kept frozen but if you expose them to hot temperatures, you are exposing them to be infected by microorganisms and these microorganisms could breed toxins that are detrimental to human health.
“So, such things are supposed to be kept frozen in a temperature that would discourage microorganisms from attacking it and producing toxins.”
The professor discouraged people from consuming yoghurts not bought directly from the fridge as it could constitute a deadly health hazard for them.
Achinewhu stated that the microorganisms found in the yoghurts stored in unfavourable conditions could cause harm to the body through food poisoning.
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