The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has disclosed that tomato paste imported and sold everywhere in Nigeria falls far below National Food Safety Standards. This was contained in a news article published by Sahara Reporters.
The news outlet reported that this information was contained in a 2015 internal memo given to them by Nigeria’s Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FSAN) office of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
Imported Tomato Paste Sold In Nigeria Far Below Food Safety Standards
This is not even about an article we wrote on the unhealthy side of Tomato paste and purees as they are produced and sold. This is even worse at it has standards as the bone of contention. When it comes to this topic, everyone has to be very careful.
If you recall, this is not the first time we have seen safety and standard issues when it comes to foods widely consumed in Nigeria. In 2015, we got a warning from NAFDAC about the dangers associated with consumption of imported frozen chicken and turkey. Also, a 2012 study found that certain chocolates and candies imported in Nigeria contained dangerously high levels of metals.
In this new development, FSAN conducted a study in which 314 packets of tomato paste purchased in Lagos. The tomato paste samples were subjected to analysis in a laboratory to determine whether they had a tomato content of at least 28 percent. This 28% is the minimum requirement specified by the Codex Alimentarius Standards and Nigerian Industrial Standards.
The results of the study revealed that 91.1 percent of the samples examined, had tomato contents that are below the standard 28 percent recommended as minimum.
The findings of the study, indicate that tomato paste product companies are conspiring with Chinese tomato paste manufacturers to distribute substandard products to unsuspecting Nigerian consumers. It also recommends that retailers refrain from selling tomato paste imported from China until further notice.
The agency also recommends issuing a nationwide recall of all tomato paste brands imported from China, saying “Imported Tomato Paste brands in retail packs (tins or sachets) from China (High Risk Countries) should be suspended until further notice.”
In the light of these findings, we at FoodsNG are also advising consumers of tomato paste (be it in sachet or can) to check the pack of any tomato paste they want to buy. You may want to check if it was manufactured in China. If that is the case, you may want to refrain from purchasing it.