The general public has been warned in a statement released by The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Monday, to shun consumption of fruits ripened with calcium carbide.
According to NAFDAC who warned the public on the dangerous effects of eating carbide-ripened fruits, side effects of eating such fruits include include cancer, heart, kidney and liver failure. The statement reads;
“NAFDAC hereby warns farmers and the general public against the dangers of using calcium carbide for ripening fruits such as banana, mango, plantain, orange and cashew,” the management said.
On how to identify carbide-ripened fruits, the management said that “naturally ripened fruits usually have brown or black spots while those artificially ripened have traces of powdery substances and peel off quickly’’.
The Agency further warned that “ripening fruits and vegetables with calcium carbide is a criminal offence’’,adding that henceforth, perpetrators would be prosecuted.
It advised the public to “report suspected cases to the nearest NAFDAC office or call 09094262773, 09094262772 and 08133630600’’.
NAFDAC few days ago, also warned against the importation of processed meat products into the country, due to the recent outbreak of listeriosis disease in South Africa caused by contaminated processed meat products.
As at 2nd March, 2018, nine hundred and forty eight (948) laboratory confirmed cases of Listeriosis were recorded with one hundred and eighty (180) deaths, according to the public alert cited on the NAFDAC website dated 17, Saturday, 2018.
The agency publicised that the South African Minister of Health issued a Press Statement to confirm the source of the outbreak as processed meat products manufactured by Enterprise Corporation and Rainbow Chicken Limited. In addition, the Consumer Protection Act of South African issued a safety recall notices on 4th March, 2018 to manufacturers of these products. The safety recall includes the manufacturer’s entire distribution network, both domestic and international.
However, NAFDAC has strengthened surveillance to prevent importation of contaminated processed meat products produced by Enterprise Corporation and Rainbow Chicken Limited, South Africa. The Agency has also strengthened surveillance on wholesale and retail outlets to seize and sanction any organization in possession of meat products produced by these companies.