The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has said that importation of Indomie noodles to Nigeria has been hereby banned following allegations of a cancer-causing chemical found in the noodles and non-registration of the agency.
Health officials in Malaysia and Taiwan recently detected ethylene oxide, a compound in Indomie’s “special chicken” flavour noodles.
Ethylene oxide is a colourless, odourless gas that is used to sterilise medical devices and spices and is said to be a cancer-causing chemical.
The ministry of health in Malaysia noted that it examined 36 samples of instant noodles from different brands since 2022 and found that 11 samples contained ethylene oxide.
Both countries have since recalled the product.
Speaking about the development, Mojisola Adeyeye, NAFDAC director-general, said the agency would begin random sample tests of the noodles and other brands from May 2.
Speaking with TheCable on Monday, Adeyeye said the NAFDAC started investigating once it got wind of the recall of the products by Taiwan and Malaysia authorities.
“Tomorrow, May 2, 2023, NAFDAC’s food safety and applied nutrition directorate will randomly sample Indomie noodles (including the seasoning) from the production facilities while post marketing surveillance directorate (will) samples from the markets,” she said.
“The compound of interest is ethylene oxide, so the director, food lab services directorate has been engaged. He is working on the methodology for the analysis.”
The DG said the product is on the prohibition list of the federal government, adding that it is not registered by the agency and had been banned from importation to Nigeria years ago.
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