NAFDAC raises alarm on use of Paracetamol to soften food, Lagosians express concern


Following a recent alert by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control on the use of paracetamol tablets in food preparation, some Lagosians have expressed shock and disappointment.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria in separate interviews that the news came to them as a shock.
They added that it had left them with concerns over the health implications of such a practice.
NAN reports that Paracetamol is used for the treatment of mild illnesses, moderate pains from headaches, backaches, toothaches, menstrual periods, flu and to reduce fever.
Unfortunately, some people had turned this painkiller into a tenderiser they add to food such as beans and molokony (animal hoof) while preparing them for human consumption.
Joy Ossai, a housewife, said though her family mostly eats meals prepared at home, she would create awareness among her friends about the dangers of eating foods prepared with harmful substances.
Ossai said: “I take my time to cook meals; I know people add potash to soften ponmo (cow skin) and other foods while cooking them.
“However, I have never heard of the use of paracetamol tablets.
“I have to caution some people against it; I will post it on my Facebook page and my group chats on the WhatsApp to tell them what is happening.”
Daniel Amadi, a pastor, said he had never heard of the practice but was worried as to what the consequences was to those who had eaten such in public meals, unknowingly.
He said he knew that some people used to add a whole bulb of onions into their beans while boiling it to make it soft on time.
Amadi said: “I do it too and it works for me.
“I will stop eating out; I’ll suggest people try and plan their meals so that they can prepare their foods themselves to avoid eating things that will harm them.”
Hannah Momoh, a student, said she would stop eating foods cooked outside her home to avoid getting sick.
Momoh said: “I was fond of eating out before.
“Since I heard that some food vendors usually add Paracetamol tablets to their food during preparation, I had become worried.
“I have to be more conscious of what I eat outside my home now.”
Vivian Monday, a caterer, who is popular for selling beans, bread and ponmo, advised that people should always exercise patience while cooking.
Monday also said people should adopt other methods that could aid food preparation instead of adding Paracetamol tablets to their food to quicken the process.
She said: “When cooking beans, do not add salt to the first batch of the water.
“When it is dry, you can then add salt and more water, cover your pot and allow it to cook; add as much water as it needs to get soft.
“For ponmo, I soak it first in salt water and sieve, then I fry it dry.
“When I need it, I just add it to what I am preparing and allow it to cook until it is soft.”