NIGERIA – The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has arrested eight suspects in Niger State for allegedly producing unwholesome ice cream, yoghurt, and bread.

Mr. Shaba Mohammed, Director of the agency’s North Central Zone made this statement following an agency surveillance in the state’s Suleja region.

“During our surveillance in Suleja today, we discovered a cluster of 15 sites producing unhealthy ice cream, yoghurt, and bread for school children in Suleja.

“We immediately swung into action and eight suspects were arrested in connection with the unwholesome practices,” he said.

According to Mohammed, the suspects manufactured the goods and distributed them to Suleja’s gullible schoolchildren.

He said that a bakery that used potassium bromate to make bread was also uncovered during the operation.

In addition, NAFDAC also found out that the items weren’t registered with and certified by the organization.

“These products are unwholesome, we discovered the use of harmful chemicals in the products. The products are being produced in an unhealthy environment.

“Some of these products can cause cholera, cancer, and other health issues,” he said.

He admonished parents, guardians, and school management to be conscious of what children consume to ensure healthy living.

“We want parents and school management to stop persons into such unwholesome activities from bringing their products into the school environment and report them to NAFDAC,” he said.

In a similar vein, Mr. Francis Ononiwo, the agency’s Director of enforcement, stated that the suspects, who were with police officers, would be subject to appropriate investigations and legal action.

Assistant Chief Regulatory Officer Mr. Ahmed Yusuf stated that the organization would step up its efforts with the police to capture the true proprietors of the production outlets.

The exercise, according to the State Coordinator, Mr. James Kigbu, was a continuing effort to protect and preserve public health.

UNBS calls for vigilance in checking quality

In other developments, as students get ready to return to school, the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has asked suppliers, school administrators, and parents to be watchful of the quality of school supplies.

To assure their safety, quality, and affordability, the Bureau promotes procuring these items from UNBS Certified Companies/Service Providers.

The main issue with food supplies in schools, according to UNBS Executive Director Mr. David Livingstone Ebiru, is their susceptibility to contamination during the processes of harvesting, storage, transportation, processing, packing, and handling.

These contaminants include dust, rocks, metals, dampness, mold, and other foreign substances, such as aflatoxin, which is a disease-causing agent.

Maize flour, rice, beans, milk, bread, drinking water, and snacks, are some of the common food supplies consumed in schools, all of which must meet the necessary quality standards.

The Bureau advises anyone who purchases these Supplies to make sure they are UNBS Certified and have a Quality Mark (Q-Mark).

The brand name, date of manufacture, expiration date/sell-by date, name of the manufacturer, address of the manufacturer, storage instructions, use instructions, size, and net weight of the products must all be clearly shown on the packaging and labeling of the products.

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