The Osun Government has warned caterers and food vendors against the use of paracetamol to tenderise meat while cooking.
It also warned them against using bleach detergent for cassava processing to induce whiteness of ‘fufu’ and ‘gaari’.
Dr Siji Olamiju, the Special Adviser to Gov. Gboyega Oyetola on Public Health, gave the warning in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Osogbo.
NAN reports that the government had raised an alarm on Jan.9 following its discovery of the use of paracetamol to tenderise meat.
It had also warned food vendors and caterers in the state against the use of hypo bleach detergent for cassava processing to induce whiteness of ‘fufu’ and ‘gaari’.
Olamiju said that the dangerous trend was uncovered by the state public health surveillance volunteers’ team that was assigned to visit primary health centres across the state.
He said that the state government had started sensitising food vendors and caterers on the health implications of adding paracetamol and bleach to their food preparations.
Olamiju said that the practice had been on for close to seven years before it was uncovered.
He said that the state government was proposing a law to punish anyone caught in the act.
“This practice has been on for close to seven years and nobody raised an alarm until the administration of Gov. Gboyega Oyetola came on board.
“The use of paracetamol and hypo to cook food is dangerous and deadly.
“Hypo, a bleaching detergent is a dangerous chemical which must not find its way into the human body.
“The use of paracetamol to cook can cause kidney and liver damage.
“We are proposing a bill to the State House of Assembly to get a legislative backing to punish any food vendor or caterer caught in the act.
“We are condemning this act in its totality and anyone caught will be punished severely”, Olamiju said.
He said that the state government in collaboration with the Department of Chemistry and Food Science Technology of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife was also carrying out a research.
He said that the research findings would help to ascertain the extent of damage which paracetamol and bleach could do to the human liver and kidney.
NAN also reports that NAFDAC had some weeks warned the public against adding paracetamol to tenderise their meat and beans while cooking them.