Ibadan Residents Call for Prosecution of Paracetamol Food Vendors

Years back, people used different strategies in processing food such as dropping nails in meat while cooking to soften it, adding potash to beans and fermenting cassava over a period of three to four days for fufu.

The story has changed nowadays, and the latest trend whereby paracetamol, bleach and detergents are being used in food processing is beginning to generate concerns among Nigerians. 

Some residents in an interview with our correspondent in Ibadan stressed that until some of these culprits are arrested and prosecuted to you the ugly trend will not stop.

Reacting to the issue, a canteen operator at Sawmill area of Ibadan, Mrs. Taiwo Adekola decried the practice, pointing out that other means like garnishing with onions, garlic and bay leaves could be used to tender meat.

On her part, a public health nutritionist, Mrs. Yetunde Adeseluka Oladejo suggested other alternatives such as marinating (soaking) with vinegar, citrus juices or wine before cooking to make meat tender.

Head of Pharmacy, Adeoyo Teaching Hospital, Mr. Adediran Oluyedun stressed that use of these harmful agents could be linked to increasing numbers of people coming down with liver and kidney diseases.

Nephrologists are also raising alarm on this, urging stakeholders especially the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, National Orientation Agency, NOA and food technologists to sensitise people on the dangers inherent in using paracetamol for cooking.

Paracetamol when cooked changes its form from pain killer to poison according to experts.

Also, the areas where the drug is metabolised is in the liver, excessive consumption therefore places a strain on that organ in the body which could lead to its failure to function optimally.

To curb this menace, the residents also advocated the setting up of task force to visit cafeterias and all food outlets as well as local government area where cassava are processed to ensure safety of their end products.

Anthonia Akanji

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