Anambra - The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Thursday sealed off a bakery in Nnewi, Anambra, for using potassium bromate and Saccharine in bread production.
The use of such substances in bread production had been banned by the Federal Ministry of Health since 1993.
Mr Benson Kine, NAFDAC’s Deputy Director in charge of Onitsha Zonal Office said that two suspects had been arrested in connection with the incident.
‘’We arrested two workers of the factory on the spot; while the production manager absconded during the operation. ’’
Kine said that the operation was part of the routine surveillance of all registered food manufacturers in the state.
He said that the affected bakery had failed to observe the laid-down specifications for bakery operations.
He said that the bakery was also unkempt, with cloths and mattresses littering around its premises.
Kine said the agency had recovered some quantities of the obnoxious substances, adding that the bread already produced for sale to unsuspecting members of the public had also been impounded.
"I sent my men into the suburb because NAFDAC is safe-guarding the health of the nation; we have to go into the suburb to see what is going on.
"And we came across a bakery, a bakery that was using potassium bromate, which had been banned by banned by the Federal Ministry of Health since 1993.
"They were using it as a dough enhancer in the production of bread; added to that, we also found out that they were using saccharine, also a dangerous product in bread particularly on the health of children.
"So, these products are dangerous, potassium bromate affects vitamin A, B1, B2 and Vitamin E, which are mandatory fortifications in bread.
"The nation had found out that these vitamins are critical, and deficient in the country, so it was decided that these vitamins must be added to bread. So there is mandatory fortification of bread with these vitamins.
"But you find out that when bread is being produced with potassium bromate; potassium bromate will destroy these vitamins, thereby nullifying the efforts of the nation to fortify the bread with these vitamins.
"Besides, it causes cancer, it causes kidney failure, and causes a lot of things and at the extreme, it causes death. ’’
The NAFDAC deputy director said that the agency would launch massive enforcement in remote areas to check any deviation from laid down regulation and to ensure cleanliness of all food and drug manufacturing factories.
"So we are launching our offensive into the suburbs, for bakers that are still using these products as dough enhancers.
"We also appeal to them to stop using it because if they are caught, the agency would take very drastic action against them.’’