Food Safety Perspectives and Practices of Consumers and Vendors in Nigeria: A Review

Stella Nordhagen
Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition

This peer reviewed paper from Feed the Future’s EatSafe consortium, led by GAIN, summarises prior research on the perspectives and practices of consumers and vendors related to food safety in Nigeria. Through a systematic search and review process, 87 relevant studies were identified. Most of the studies (64%) focused only on vendors, with only one study focused on both consumers and vendors. Further, to better understand consumers’ and vendors’ perceptions of food safety issues associated with nutritionally dense foods (e.g. animal sourced foods, fruits and vegetables), it will be particularly important to consider open-air wet markets, where most of the food eaten by lower-income consumers in Nigeria is purchased. Despite the centrality of traditional markets to the everyday lives of consumers, only six of 87 studies reviewed focused on such markets. The findings of this paper are not only relevant for the future of the EatSafe programme in Nigeria, but also to provide lessons learned for governments, researchers, producers, vendors and consumers in other countries grappling with similar food safety concerns. 

This paper was adapted from an original EatSafe program report.

Some of the key messages from the article are : 

  • Food safety is likely to become an increasingly problematic issue in rapidly urbanizing Nigeria, as food supply chains undergo rapid changes. 
  • There is a comparatively large body of research on consumer and vendor food safety perceptions and practices in Nigeria, however, additional work is needed to identify root beliefs and motivations related to food safety.
  • To develop and implement approaches that can improve food safety and help reduce the burden of foodborne disease will require developing a greater understanding of the knowledge, motivations, beliefs, and practices of actors throughout the value chain and
  • particularly those of vendors and consumers.

This resource has been peer reviewed