By Aderogba George
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has pledged to step-up campaign against the use of paracetamol by some Nigerians to cook their food.
The Director-General of the agency, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said in Abuja that NAFDAC got to know about the use of Paracetamol tablet to cook meat in December 2019.
She said that the habit of cooking with Paracetamol tablet as tenderiser was an indication of the level of illiteracy among many Nigerians.
She added that “when I got to know about Paracetamol and Aspirin being used to cook “ponmo” (cow skin)
in the name of food softner, I said to myself `what else can we not do?’.
“Paracetamol is a medicine and an analgesic to be taken for pains, and for some Nigerians to use it
to cook meat as tenderiser? this surprises me.
“Paracetamol is a chemical that changes when the temperature is high; it changes from Paracetamol or Alcetaminophin to paraminophino and to benzoquin.
“These are products that destroy the kidney.
“We have done a lot of enlightenment on this through a programme called ‘NAFDAC and Your Health.
“Our people don’t realise that chemical will always be chemical, and when subjected to unusual temperature, pressure and humidity, it changes.”
Adeyeye said that the agency would continue to scale up enlightenment on the subject matter until Nigerians stop the bad cooking habit.
Although no arrest had so far been made on the subject matter, the NAFDAC boss said the agency would
begin to visit food vendors to take samples of their soup for laboratory test.