The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has warned food vendors and others against the use of paracetamol as tenderiser in cooking meat and beans, saying it can cause kidney and liver failure.
Mrs Roseline Ajayi, the Kwara Coordinator of NAFDAC, said this on Thursday in Ilorin during sensitisation programme for fast food operators and food vendors on dangers of using the drug to cook.
Ajayi said “the use of paracetamol to tenderise meat and beans while cooking may be considered as a way to cut cost, but with grievous and unprecedented health implications, which include liver and kidney failure.”
The NAFDAC coordinator explained that paracetamol is a drug used to treat pain and fever, belonging to the class of drugs referred to as analgesic and anti-pyretics.
According to her, the common brand names available are panadol, Emzor paracetamol, commonly available in tablets, caplets and syrup dosage forms and is over the counter drug which is readily accessible.
She noted that foods provide nutritional support for life, while drug is a substance used in treatment, cure, and prevention of diseases.
She warned that “foods are not drugs and it’s a necessity for life, while drug is indicated for or against ailment.
“When drug is used for cooking, it is hydrolyzed or broken down into components, which include 4-aminophenol, a highly toxic chemical to the kidney and liver.
“NAFDAC is compelled to respond to emerging food safety issues, which is capable of consuming the health of several unsuspecting and innocent victims and citizens.”
She, therefore, warned people who patronise food vendors either Bukateria, cafeteria or fast foods that they may be exposed to indiscriminate intake of paracetamol unknowingly, which is harmful to their health.
Ajayi also said that the sensitisation became necessary as it was directed by the Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, that awareness be created on the grave consequences of the practice of using paracetamol to cook.
She appealed to the conscience of the practitioners to desist from the practice, while also urging those with large families to conduct their cooking business with the understanding of the consequences of their decisions on the health of the populace and family members.
Ajayi listed some methods of meat tenderisation that people could adopt to include soaking meat in salt for 30 minutes, marinating with vinegar or citrus or wine before cooking.
Other methods she said were using thyme and onions, as well as using pressure cooker.
Mr Otepola Adeolu, a representative of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), also warned people against the bad cooking habit.
He urged people to report any case of the practice to the appropriate authorities.
The issue of the bad cooking habit came under “Motion on Matter of Urgent National Importance on the Need to Investigate Alleged Use of Paracetamol and Bleach to Tenderise Meat and Process Cassava in Osun State and across the federation’’ recently at the House of Representatives, where members urged NAFDAC to sensitise Nigerians against the practice.
The House also mandated NAFDAC and other relevant government bodies to arrest and prosecute all offenders of this provision to serve as a deterrent, while helping to curtail the continuous perpetuation of such crimes against humanity.
The lawmakers further urged federal and state ministries of health, NAFDAC and other stakeholders in the industry to develop a blueprint that would ensure constant and regular monitoring and supervision of food vendors and processors to avoid recurrence.
They mandated the House Committee on Health Care Services to liaise with NAFDAC and ministries of health to engage relevant government agencies charged with supervision and monitoring of public foods and services, with a view to investigating this revelation in Osun, Delta and other states of the federation.
The committee is expected to report back to the House within eight weeks for further legislative action.
Why We’re Rehabilitating And Reintegrating Ex-Boko Haram Members — Borno Commissioner
Borno state commissioner for women affairs, Zuwaira Gambo has revealed why they are rehabilitating people considered as repentant Boko Haram members after their arrest.
Speaking at a forum on preventing and countering violent extremism organised by Search for Common Ground (SFCG) in partnership with UN Women and the government of Japan in Abuja over the weekend, Gambo admitted that the term “repentant Boko Haram terrorists” gives wrong signals to members of the public especially victims of terrorism.
The commissioner who stated that the de-radicalisation and reintegration of Boko Haram members have been misunderstood by the public as a result of a communication gap between the government and citizens, averred that some of the arrested terrorists were at the wrong place at the wrong time and were also forced to join the terrorist group.
She said, “Some of the persons reintegrated are victims who had no part to play but were arrested in the course of security checks by the military as they were caught at the wrong time in a wrong place.
“Because they have spent time in detention between two to five years, there is need for rehabilitation, counselling and socio- psychological support.
“We are not saying that there are not some people who have partaken in destruction of lives and properties but these people are in the minority and you also have to understand that these set of people joined involuntarily as they are forced to do so.”
BREAKING: No Comment On Boko Haram Threat To My Life — Pantami
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy Dr Isa Ibrahim Pantami on Monday declined to comment on the threat to his life by Boko Haram /ISWAP leader , Abubakar Shekau.
Shekau, in a viral video, had threatened President Muhammadu Buhari for visiting Maiduguri , Borno state last week following the killings of over 30 people by Boko Haram terrorists.
He also threatened Pantami for his stance on sim card registrations and measures being taken by government to clean up unregistered or pre- registered SIM cards within the system.
When accosted by newsmen at the Government Secondary School , Garki , Abuja where he delivered a lecture on digital mentoring , the Minister said he had “no comments for now” on the threat to his life by the leader of the insurgent group.
Agba Jalingo Regains Freedom After 6 Months In Detention
Six months after he was detained, Publisher of Cross River Watch, Agba Jalingo, has been released from prison custody.
He was released after meeting his bail condition.
Jalingo, who was detained for allegedly writing articles criticizing Cross Rivers Governor Ben Ayade, was granted a N10m bail term last week.
He was first arrested by the police in August 2019 on the orders of the Ben Ayade-led Cross River State Government.
He was subsequently arraigned for treason and attempting to overthrow the state government due to the highly critical articles he published.
Due to his long detention, Amnesty International had declared the activist as a prisoner of conscience.
Last week there were a series of protests staged in Cross River over his detention.