The management of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has said that it is expanding its test for the presence of the killer seasoning, ethylene oxide, to other brands of instant noodles offered for sale to Nigerians.
The regulatory agency had on Monday said it has commenced random sampling of Indomie noodles (including the seasoning) from the production facilities, while Post Marketing Surveillance Directorate is carrying out test on samples from the markets.
In addition, the agency said that the Ports Inspection Directorate (PID) is also on heightened alert to guard against importation of the implicated product into Nigeria.
Ethylene oxide is a compound associated with an increased risk of cancer.
In a statement signed by the Director General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, the agency said: “NAFDACNAFDAC, as a responsible and responsive regulator, is taking swift actions to carry out random sampling and analysis of Indomie noodles (including the seasoning) for the presence of ethylene oxide, as well as extending the investigation to other brands of instant noodles offered for sale to Nigerians.”
NAFDAC said its action was based on the recall of Indomie instant noodles special chicken flavour by Health officials in Malaysia and Taiwan over alleged detection of ethylene oxide, a carcinogenic compound.
Adeyeye said NAFDAC was aware of the recalls of Indomie Instant Noodles Special Chicken Flavour by the Ministries of Health in Malaysia and Taiwan on account of the alleged presence of ethylene oxide, a compound associated with an increased risk of cancer.
She said: “We use this medium to assure the public that thorough investigation of the products will be conducted both at the factory and market levels and our findings will be communicated.
“The public is also hereby informed that the implicated Indomie Instant Noodles Special Chicken Flavour is not registered by NAFDAC for sale in Nigeria.
“It is important to mention that noodles are on the Import Prohibition List of the Federal Government of Nigeria and is therefore not permitted for importation to Nigeria.”
The DG further explained that the Indomie instant noodles products (and other brands of noodles) registered by NAFDAC for sale in the Nigerian market are manufactured in Nigeria and are only granted NAFDAC registration status following a strict regulatory regime covering all aspects of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).
“NAFDAC wishes to re-assure the public that the Agency is proactive and remains alive to her responsibilities of safeguarding the health of the public,” Adeyeye said.