By Chioma Obinna
LAGOS â€” The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has ordered fresh mandatory registration of bread followingÂ discovery of the use of potassium bromate by bakeries in the production of bread.
To this end, the agency has vowed to intensify efforts aimed at proper monitoring of bread production throughout the federation.
Director-General of the agency, Dr. Paul Orhii, who disclosed this at a one-day workshop on food safety in bread and bakery products for stakeholders in the bakery industry organised by Establishment Inspection Directorate, Lagos Special Zone (EIDLSZ) of NAFDAC, said recent review of routine inspections carried out by the agency revealed that most of the bakeries were still using potassium bromate in bread production.
Maintaining that this had prompted the introduction of mandatory registration of bread by the agency since 2007, he said the use of potassium bromate was not permitted in the country.
His words: â€œWe will like to state emphatically here that the use of potassium bromate is not permitted in the production of bread and bakery products in this country. Potassium bromate is carcinogenic, which can eventually cause serious health problems like kidney failure, cancer amongst others.
â€œDuring the EID Lagos Special Zoneâ€™s routine inspections, some bakeries found to be producing under very poor hygienic conditions or using potassium bromate were fined appropriately. Some were promptly closed down and the suspects as applicable were arrested to forestall further production of bread that are unfit for human consumption in line with the NAFDAC regulatory guidelines.â€
He also warned that the sale and use of unregistered improvers by some companies were illegal because they were not licensed to carry such and were usually avenues for sales of fake improvers.
Orhii who lamented that many bakeries were in the habit of not maintaining Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) after their products have been registered by NAFDAC, warned that the workshop was to remind them of the Agencyâ€™s requirements as well as the renewed efforts to carry out regular routine inspection and surveillance.
Also, speaking, the Agencyâ€™s Deputy Director of EIDLSZ, Mrs. Titi Owolabi who noted that the workshop was organised to remind bakers of the importance of the hygiene of the production environment and equipment they used in production.
Owolabi also who also called for more support of bakers stressed that the cooperation and mutual understanding of the genuine ones have really made them to accomplish some progress in the fight against bromate and unhygienic practices.