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National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says 22 bakeries and 25 “sachet water” factories have been sealed during routine inspection in Maiduguri. The agency’s Coordinator in Borno, Nasiru Mato, disclosed this shortly after a raid in Maiduguri on Sunday. Mato said some of the shut factories did not meet the minimum requirements to operate, while others were not registered with the agency. He added that “we have done a lot in terms of surveillance, investigative inspections and prompt response to consumer complaints and alerts. The objective is to ensure that the health and safety of the public is adequately catered for. “Recently, we embarked on serious sensitisation visits to worship centres across the state. We have visited not less than 20 Mosques and Churches to create awareness on key issues of health concern, ranging from dangers of drug abuse and how to identify fake products. “We have also educated people on the dangers of calcium carbide, a dangerous chemical used to hasten fruits’ ripening and the efforts has yielded positive results. “Many people are more aware now and are wary of things happening around them. “Operationally, we have paid surveillance and unannounced visits to bakeries to ascertain their good hygiene practices and to further ascertain their compliance with NAFDAC regulations. “In addition, we visited factories where packaged water is produced to ensure that producers comply with good hygiene practice, as well as good manufacturing guidelines.” He explained that where there was default, the agency meted out necessary sanctions on violators to ensure safety of consumers. He noted that “in respect of bakeries, we sealed 22 for different categories of violations. And most of these violations are; unregistered products, products with expired licences, while some had hygienic practice. “And in some cases, the bakeries were found using the dangerous potassium bromide, which is carcinogenic and has potential to cause cancer. “In respect to water packaging establishments, we sealed 25 for non-compliance to regulations and importantly the failure of manufacturers to stick strictly to good manufacturing practices. “You see, any product that does not carry NAFDAC registration is categorically defined as fake. “That means the safety, wholesomeness and efficacy of the product has not been ascertained, so it is dangerous to the health of consumers. So, we are always calling on consumers to check for NAFDAC registration number before buying products. “We are also calling on them to look at the manufacturing date on products, as well as the expiry date and batch number and the address of the company before buying products.”

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