ByÂ Tony Edike
ENUGUâ€”AT least two bakeries and three pharmaceutical shops were yesterday closed down by the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, in Enugu for various offences.
NAFDACâ€™s Head of Enforcement in Enugu, Mr. Udoekpo Ekpo,Â who ordered the closure of the bakeries and pharmaceutical shops during a raid within the Enugu metropolis, said the bakeries located somewhere in New Haven area of Enugu, were temporarily closed because of poor hygienic practice.
Ekpo also said that three shops had been closed at the Ogbete drug market for selling adulterated drugs, adding that NAFDAC traced the shops in the course of investigating one Loyal Ejime, who was recently arrested along Agbani Road in Enugu, while distributing some drugs to retailers.
â€œWe have been on the fight against the use of potassium bromate for making bread. For now, we are on bakeries, sensitizing and supervising their activities. I can authoritatively tell you that we have closed some bakeries, not for using potassium but for poor hygienic practice and we are still investigating the matter. In the search for potassium, we cannot close our eyes against other issues. No bakery should for any reason use potassium bromate as an enhancer because it causes cancer and very dangerous to health.
â€œIt is unfortunate that there is no way it can be detected by mere looks but we have tried our best to ensure that all good breads carry NAFDAC numbers. We have not discovered any offender. Anybody found guilty will certainly go in for it. We are still on surveillance,â€ Ekpo said.
He said there was reasonable level of compliance to sale of standard goods in Enugu, adding that Enugu had remained a disciplined place but that â€œthe battle is a continuous process.â€
The unit head said that the influx of products into Enugu, especially the foreign ones had continued to pose challenges for the Agency and that their efforts to check fakes were already yielding fruits.
According to him, NAFDAC had engaged in a lot of sensitization programmes and workshops this year, to alert people on the dangers of using unhealthy chemicals to produce eatables.