Rice seized by Customs was contaminated, not plastic – NAFDAC

The National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), says the rice seized by men of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) was contaminated and not plastic rice as purported by many.

Acting DG NAFDAC, Mrs. Yetunde Oni, stated this on Thursday following completion of laboratory analysis on the seized rice.

Read full briefing below:

It gives me great pleasure to address you today, 29th December, 2016 on the quality of the suspected fake rice seized by the men of Nigeria Customs Service.

The rumour was that plastic rice was in circulation and a consignment had been seized by Customs. Following the report of the seizure of the “suspected fake rice”, by men of Nigeria Customs Service, the Agency swung into action by sending team of inspectors to the office of the Customs Area Comptroller, Federal Operations Ikeja, Lagos to draw samples from the seized consignment for Laboratory analysis.

The product, branded as “Best Tomato” was in 25kg pack size, without NAFDAC number, no batch number, no date markings and no details of the manufacturer. The preliminary result of the analysis was conveyed to the Honorable Minister for Health, Prof Isaac F. Adewole and was made public on 22nd December, 2016 whilst awaiting the comprehensive result.

I hereby this day the 29th December 2016 present the full Laboratory report as follows:

1. Floating – Negative

2. Sedimentation – Positive

3. Cooking. – Normal

4. Odour. – Normal

5. Colour. – Off-white grains

6. Moisture. – 13% (within specification)

7. Pre-ashing. – Normal

8. Ash. – 0.6% (within specification)

9. Lead and Cadmium – Not detected

10. Aerobic mesophillic count – 2.8×105 cfu (above maximum limits)

11. Mould – 5.1×103 cfu – (within specification)

12. Coli form – 7.5×103 cfu (above maximum limits)

13. E-coli. – <3cfu (within specification)

14. Packaging. – Does not conform to NAFDAC pre- packaging Food labeling regulations 2005.

Based on the above laboratory result, the product is not plastic but rice contaminated with microorganisms above permissible limit, hence the seized rice consignment is UNSATISFACTORY and therefore unwholesome for human consumption.

I wish to thank the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service and his men for the timely interception of this unwholesome rice.

NAFDAC in collaboration with Nigerian Customs Service will continue to intensify vigilance and surveillance activities at all entry ports and boarders.

May I use this medium to appeal to the General Public to report any suspicious case(s) about all NAFDAC regulated products to any of the NAFDAC offices across the Nation for prompt regulatory action.

I appeal for continued support and cooperation of all Nigerian to team up with NAFDAC in our concerted effort to deliver on our mandate of safeguarding the health of the Nation.

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