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Kano food poisoning: NAFDAC apprehends merchants of dangerous chemicals

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has apprehended dealers in dangerous chemicals used in foods and drinks believed to improve taste that killed three people in Kano.

All three died after consuming adulterated flavored drinks.

The agency’s director general, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, made this known in a statement issued by Mr. Olusayo Akintola, the resident media consultant of NAFDAC on Sunday in Abuja.

The (NAN) reports that three people died in Kano in March after consuming a flavored drink, which allegedly contained the chemical additives.

The NAFDAC chief therefore warned against adding chemicals or additives to foods and drinks to improve taste, stressing that such a practice could lead to serious illness and even death.

Adeyeye said the agency will stop at nothing to ensure that only safe foods and other regulated products are available on the market for consumption and use.

She said the preliminary results of the agency’s investigation into the victims were submitted to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State during his two-day visit to the state to assess the incident.

She noted that “it was heartwarming that dealers in deadly chemicals and additives were apprehended as the investigation continued.”

According to her, the importance of food cannot be overstated and that when dangerous foreign elements find their way into food and water, they become toxic rather than nutritious.

She pointed out that food contamination and poisoning can occur by consuming expired food or preparing food with poor quality water and putting cooked food on the shelf for days or months.

She said, “We are very particular about food additives, the temperature at which food can be stored or the expiration date of food. If all of these are violated, there may be food poisoning.

“Whether it’s food or water, adding chemicals and other substances to improve the food or change its shape can be dangerous, especially when we can’t verify the source and content. of these additives.

“NAFDAC is now working diligently in partnership with the Kano State government to prevent the March 11 incident from happening again.”

Adeyeye added that the agency would work with the Kano State Task Force as part of the Federal Task Force on Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unhealthy Processed Foods, as well as the Human Rights Agency. consumers in Kano to verify the threat.

She recalled that shortly after receiving the news of the death, six branches of the agency took action to unravel the mystery behind the sad event and found that only two of the five flavored drinks identified in the incidence had been registered by NAFDAC.

She said the other three were not in the agency’s database.

She said that samples of the chemicals and additives added during the preparation of the flavored drinks were then collected and taken to the NAFDAC laboratory in Kaduna for testing and

further testing was conducted at the agency’s central laboratory in Lagos for confirmation.

According to her, any unregistered food is not guaranteed by NAFDAC and that it may be unhealthy or fake or that such food is smuggled into the country.

“We tested all the food samples and there were E-Coli bacteria in some; one would wonder how the E-Coli bacteria would turn into powder. It depends on the storage.

“If stored in a very humid and expired state, the packaging was probably compromised, you can introduce bacteria to a dry powder medium, but normally that shouldn’t happen,” she said.

Adeyeye said the agency’s pharmacovigilance leadership has sent an alert to all 36 state offices of NAFDAC and FCT to set up surveillance on unregistered products and mop them up.

According to her, before a chemical can be legally imported into Nigeria, a full clearance and permit must be obtained from NAFDAC to ensure that no hazardous chemicals are imported.

She noted that “NAFDAC performs end-to-end monitoring for all chemicals and distribution requests and use patterns before granting importers permits to import chemicals.”

She said the agency was also monitoring the person to whom such chemicals were sold in the sellers report, adding that “all of this needs to be clarified at NAFDAC before approval is given.”

She stressed that the public had a vital role to play in informing the agency about suspicious products in order to avoid falling victim to food poisoning.

Adeyeye said that despite all the measures NAFDAC has put in place to ensure the safety of food, chemicals and other regulated products, some have still found ways to smuggle these products into the country. .

She therefore warned that “the public should know that they are not required to add chemicals to food, except table salt. The chemicals kill very quickly because there is no prescribed amount to use.

“To use chemicals to make food or drink sour, you might never know what you’re adding.

“The only regulated additives are sugar, saccharin and sweeteners; and there is a prescribed amount to put in the food.

“These regulated products are inside the food and not something you sprinkle on the food like what happened in Kano,” she added. (NOPE)

(NAN)

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