BREAKING: NAFDAC begins testing of Indomie noodles, bans importation

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has announced that there is a ban on the importation of Indomie noodles to Nigeria.

POLITICS NIGERIA reports that this comes in response to recent allegations that a cancer-causing chemical, ethylene oxide, was found in the noodles.

In addition, the product has not been registered by the agency, this newspaper understands.

Health officials in Malaysia and Taiwan recently detected the compound in Indomie’s “special chicken” flavor noodles. Ethylene oxide is an odorless, colorless gas used for sterilizing medical devices and spices, but it is known to be carcinogenic.

The Malaysian Ministry of Health conducted an examination of 36 samples of instant noodles from various brands since 2022 and found that 11 samples contained ethylene oxide.

As a result, both countries have recalled the product.

In response to the latest development, Mojisola Adeyeye, the director-general of NAFDAC, stated that the agency would start random sample tests of the noodles and other brands from May 2.

She noted that NAFDAC began investigating once it became aware of the recall of the products by Taiwan and Malaysia authorities.

Adeyeye explained that the product is on the federal government’s prohibition list and is not registered by the agency. The product has been banned from importation to Nigeria for several years now.

“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.”

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