NIGERIA – The National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has closed down six bakeries for not adhering to good hygiene.

The state Coordinator of NAFDAC, Mr. Nasiru Mato, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) disclosed that most of the bakeries did not meet the minimum requirements to operate while others were not registered with the agency.

“NAFDAC in Kaduna has embarked on massive surveillance on bakeries in the state as part of efforts to ensure strict compliance to standards. The focus of the reappraisal visit to the bakeries by NAFDAC in the state is to ensure that bakers regularize their licenses, adhere to Good Hygiene Practice, among other stipulated laid down regulatory requirements,” he said.

During the visit, a total of six defaulting bakeries were placed on hold as the first line of sanction for various irregularities.

“The fact that people see bread and other products with NAFDAC numbers does not mean they are fully registered because some people fake the numbers by themselves. These products are not certified and have not gotten a license from us, so we are closing them down and we will make sure they are not seen in the market for consumption,’’ he stated.

Mr. Nasiru said NAFDAC would carry on to certify that manufacturers of all regulated products do what is right within the ambit of the agency’s regulations and guidelines for a healthy citizenry.

He reiterated that the Agency will always remain resolute in the discharge of its responsibilities of safeguarding public health and will not hesitate in applying the full wrath of the law on any non – compliant and violating manufacturer.

The agency has also raised an alarm over the use of Azo dye, popularly known as Sudan Dye, to make palm oil look reddish and attractive. Azo dye is a chemical used in dyeing textile materials. It is considered an illegal dye, mainly because of its harmful effect over a long period of time, as it causes cancer.

She called on marketers and dealers of palm oil and even farmers to be very vigilant while urging anyone who discovers the usage of such chemicals on palm oil to report to security agencies. NAFDAC’s emphasis has been on processed foods but there is a paradigm shift in their campaign to focus on raw foods that enter the markets.

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