In Nigeria Paracetamol is a household name, whenever pain and headache occurs. It’s one table tablets in every home no matter how poor that family is and the first form of first aid used for the treatment of mild illnesses, moderate pains from headaches, backaches, toothaches, menstrual periods pains, flu and to reduce fever.
The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) earlier in the week advised raised alarm on the use of paracetamol tablets in food preparation by unscrupulous caterers to soften meet and beans
Paracetamol is known to accompany Malaria treatment even without doctor’s prescription every mother knows this but Unfortunately, some people had turned this painkiller into a tenderizer they add to food such as beans, cow skin (pomo) and cooking of animal hoof while preparing them for human consumption.
A pharmacist NWAOBODO IKENNA said “Paracetamol is a medicine and it is not supposed to be used in cooking; it is quite poisonous when it gets into hot water. “If combined with meat fibre it forms a toxic substance, which is very harmful to the internal organs of the body and can lead to cancer or other terminal problems,” he advised that Nigerians should only use approved resins or local ones such as garlic and onions to soften foods during preparation.
NAFDAC in its alert cautioned members of the public, especially restaurant operators, to desist from the illegal practice of using Paracetamol tablets in food preparation noting that the practice may result in serious health consequences, including liver damage, kidney failure and untimely death.
NAFDAC, however, advised the public to use approved table salts, in moderation, to tenderize meat by soaking it in water for about 30 minutes before cooking.
Nigerians suggest possible options to avoid consuming paracetamol meat.
Pastor Femi Ogunlano said. “I’ll suggest people try and plan their meals so that they can prepare their foods themselves to avoid eating things that will harm them,” I will stop eating out;
Baridah Vivian said “I have to be more conscious of what I eat outside my home from now onward.’’
Ifeome Okpala said I am worried for those bachelors who are fond of eating out. All these IYA BASIRA, MAMAPUT, should be monitored closely by NAFDAC and Health Inspectors.
FASTEST WAYS TO SOFTEN BEANS/COW SKIN
For IFY IGADILO – ‘’I add a whole bulb of onions into the beans while boiling it to make it soft on time. “I do it too and it works for me.
UWANA a caterer who is popular around the Azikiwe axis in old Port Harcourt. She said, “When cooking beans, do not add salt to the first batch of the water. “When it is dry, you can then add salt and more water, cover your pot and allow it to cook; add as much water as it needs to get soft.
Another caterer at Railway said “For `Pomo’, I soak it first in saltwater and sieve, then I fry it dry. “When I need it, I just add it to what I am preparing and allow it to cook until it is soft.