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Public Alert No. 0023/2019 – Alert on Dangerous and Unapproved Use of Paracetamol Tablets in Food Preparation.

December 29, 2019,

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) hereby alerts the public on the dangerous and unapproved use of Paracetamol Tablets to soften meat used in food preparation. NAFDAC is seriously concerned by social media publication on dangerous and illegal use of Paracetamol Tablets to tenderize meat by some households and restaurant operators.

The members of the public, especially restaurant operators are cautioned to desist from the dangerous and unapproved use of Paracetamol Tablets to soften meat used in food preparation, as such illegal practice makes food to be toxic, unwholesome and unfit for human consumption. When used to cook, paracetamol is broken down (or hydrolyzed) into a toxic substance. This substance ultimately damages the liver and some other organs in the body. Thus, the consumption of toxic and unwholesome food illegally prepared using Paracetamol Tablets may result in serious health consequences, including liver damage, kidney failure and untimely death.

The members of the public are urged to use genuine NAFDAC registered Table Salt (in moderation) to tenderize meat (by soaking meat in salted water for about 30 minutes prior to cooking) to prevent serious health consequences that may result from dangerous and illegal use of Paracetamol Tablets in food preparation. Other established and safe methods for tenderizing meat include:

  • Cooking with a pressure cooker.
  • Marinating (soaking) with vinegar, citrus juices or wine before cooking.
  • Marinating with enzymes: Pineapple, kiwi, ginger, Asian pear and pawpaw contain enzymes that can help soften meat.
  • Slow-cooking the meat, or
  • Using commercial meat tenderizers (in moderation), which are sold in powder or liquid form.

Genuine Paracetamol Tablets registered by NAFDAC are used to relieve mild pain and if the pain persists, the patient should consult a healthcare professional for expert advice.

NAFDAC has heightened surveillance on restaurant operators in the thirty-six (36) States and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja to prevent the dangerous and illegal use of Paracetamol Tablets  in food preparation.

The members of the public are implored to contact the nearest NAFDAC Office with any information on dangerous and illegal use of Paracetamol Tablets in food preparation.

Anybody or organization discovered to be involved in the dangerous and illegal use of Paracetamol Tablets in food preparation will be severely sanctioned.

Consumers are advised to report adverse events related to dangerous and illegal use of Paracetamol Tablets in food preparation to the nearest NAFDAC office, 0800-1-NAFDAC (0800-1-623322) TOLL FREE from all networks or via pharmacovigilance@nafdac.gov.ng

NAFDAC……..Customer-focused, Agency-minded!!!

Signed Management