NAFDAC investigates poisoning claims in plantain chips

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The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has initiated an investigation into a viral social media post alleging that a woman fried plantain chips using oil adulterated with polythene.

NAFDAC’s Resident Media Consultant, Sayo Akintola, released a statement on Saturday affirming the agency’s commitment to public health and the thorough examination of the claim before any action is taken.

According to the circulated post, the woman reportedly melted about five pieces of “olonka rubber” (polythene) into the oil before grating plantain to make chips. NAFDAC acknowledged the seriousness of the allegation but pointed out that the post lacked details such as the date and location of the observed practice.

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The agency emphasized a science-based approach to responding to the claim, assuring the public of its dedication to health safety. NAFDAC urged consumers to remain vigilant and cautious, advising them to purchase regulated food products only from reputable sources with visible NAFDAC registration numbers on product labels. Additionally, the agency cautioned against products with suspicious packaging, objectionable smell/color, or unusually low prices.

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NAFDAC pledged to conduct necessary laboratory investigations into the alleged claim and assured the public of its proactive measures in safeguarding health. The agency promised a thorough investigation based on scientific findings and committed to taking appropriate action.

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In a related development, the Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency issued a caution to consumers of fried plantains, commonly known as “plantain chips,” advising them to be wary of unwholesome practices in the processing of plantains for sale. This warning aligns with the viral social media report claiming to have witnessed a woman melting polythene into the hot oil used for frying plantains to harden the chips.

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