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NAFDAC investigation clears locally made noodles in Nigeria

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After an extensive investigation lasting several weeks, the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has officially declared that there are no foreign noodles present in Nigeria. The regulatory body has assured the public that locally made noodles are safe for consumption.

NAFDAC initiated the investigation in response to the recall of Indomie Instant Noodles ‘Special Chicken Flavour’ by the Ministries of Health in Malaysia and Taiwan. The recall was due to concerns over the alleged presence of ethylene oxide, a compound associated with an increased risk of cancer.

Prof. Moji Adeyeye, the director-general of NAFDAC, announced the investigation’s findings during a press briefing held in Lagos. Immediately after the recall, she directed the director of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition to conduct thorough investigations and random sampling of Indomie instant noodles and their seasonings, as well as other brands available to Nigerian consumers.

“Our Post Marketing Surveillance Division also conducted visits to markets and retail outlets in major cities such as Lagos, Abuja, and Kano. During these visits, we collected samples of instant noodles for laboratory analysis. This surveillance aimed to detect the presence of the Taiwan and Malaysian special chicken noodles in the Nigerian market,” Prof. Adeyeye stated.

A total of 114 samples were collected and analyzed, including samples from production facilities (58) and markets in Lagos (24), Abuja (16), and Kano (16). The analysis focused on ethylene oxide, a colorless and odorless gas used for sterilizing medical devices and linked to cancer-causing properties. To ensure accurate results, the samples were properly packaged and transported to NAFDAC’s Central Laboratory in Oshodi, Lagos, where they underwent rigorous analysis following international standards and methods, employing Gas Chromatography with a Mass Spectrometry detector.

The investigation concluded that ethylene oxide or its derivative was not detected in any of the instant noodles produced in Nigeria or their seasonings. Prof. Adeyeye emphasized, “The levels of mycotoxin and heavy metals were well within the internationally acceptable limits. Therefore, noodles made in Nigeria are completely safe for consumption.”

This declaration by NAFDAC provides reassurance to Nigerian consumers and reinforces the quality control measures implemented by local noodle manufacturers. The agency’s commitment to upholding food safety standards and conducting thorough investigations ensures the well-being of the public. Moving forward, NAFDAC will continue to monitor and regulate the food industry to maintain the highest standards of safety and quality for all food products in Nigeria.

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