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Bakers urged to comply with guidelines to improve hygiene, safety, standards

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[FILES] NAFDAC has tasked bakers to comply with the agency’s guidelines to improve quality and safety standards.

The National Agency for Food Drug and Administration Control (NAFDAC) has tasked bakers to comply with the agency’s guidelines to improve quality and safety standards.

The agency harped on the need to remind bread producers of the basic good hygiene practice requirements and the need for effective compliance with NAFDAC guidelines and procedures.

Director-General, NAFDAC, Prof. Christianah Mojisola Adeyeye, at a one-day workshop for bakers, said that surveillance activities through routine inspection have shown a lack of commitment by most bakers to good hygiene practices.

“This has necessitated the need for the agency to collaborate with good hygiene practice through frequent workshops and grassroots sensitisation activities. The illegal use of dough improvers like potassium bromate, a potential carcinogen in bread has been of food safety concern,” Adeyeye said.

She said it is important for bakers to understand the safety standards and adhered to in order to increase consumers’ confidence in food safety.

The NAFDAC boss said it is expected that bread quality intervention strategy will ensure that all bread producing facilities will produce safe bread for the Nigeria populace because the effective protection of over 167million Nigeria public against cancer requires a preventive management approach.

Similarly, Director, Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at NAFDAC, Mr. Sherif Olagunju, said bakers use potassium bromate because it increases their yield.

He said that intelligence gathering discovered that most of them keep the potassium bromate in their homes, put a few tablets in their pockets and bring to the bakery, so when you search everywhere you would not see anything.

Olagunju continued: “Another thing we discovered is, if somebody is going to make like four or five batches of bread, he may decide to add potassium bromate to like two or three batches and when supplying he will mix them up.

“There is a very safe alternative available, most of the flour millers already produced high yeast flours that have the kind of addictive needed. There is quite a number that are already registered with NAFDAC and are safe for use.”

He urged defaulters to desist from potassium bromate because the substance has the capacity to cause cancer and it has shown and proven through research that this chemical is no longer safe.

President, Premium Breadmakers Association of Nigeria, Tosan Jemide, said they are very concerned because it is key to stick to the regulations.

He noted that the association does not believe in substandard products because they actually promote the use of quality ingredients.

“In a lot of ways, we self regulate. So as an association, even without NAFDAC, the calibers of people in this association, we are well exposed, educated and already understand the basic principles of not feeding the people with poison.

“We are happy NAFDAC is taking this big step, in every way, we are going to support and partner with them as best as we could to ensure that the use of bromate or any other harmful addictive is discouraged completely,” Jemide added.


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