The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC) has banned the importation of Indomie noodles into the country.
The Director General of the Agency, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, stated this in an interview with journalists, on Monday.
The Nigerian regulatory body took the action amid investigation by Taiwan and Malaysia authorities which reportedly discovered ethylene oxide, a cancer causing agent, in the product.
According to the NAFDAC boss, the compound of interest was ethylene oxide said already the Director of Food Lab Services Directorate has been engaged and has started working on the methodology for the analysis.
“Indomie noodles have been banned from being imported into the country for many years. It is one of the foods on the government prohibition list. It is not allowed in Nigeria, and therefore not registered by NAFDAC.”
“What we are doing is an extra caution to ensure that the product is not smuggled in, and if so, our post marketing surveillance would detect it. We also want to be sure that the spices used for the Indomie and other noodles in Nigeria are tested.
“That is what NAFDAC Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FSAN) and Post Marketing Surveillance (PMS) are doing this week at the production facilities and in the market, respectively,” she said.
She, however, promised that Nigerians will be duly updated with the outcome of the investigation.
The agency said it will begin random sampling of indomie noodles including the seasoning from the production facilities from Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the makers of Indomie noodles, Indofod, defended the safety of its products, saying all instant noodles produced by the ICBP in Indonesia were processed in compliance with the food safety standards from the Codex Standard for Instant Noodles and standards set by the Indonesian National Agency for Drug and Food Control.
“ICBP has exported instant noodles to various countries around the world for more than 30 years. The company continuously ensures that all of its products are in compliance with the applicable food safety regulations and guidelines in Indonesia as well as other countries where the ICBP’s instant noodles are marketed,” a press statement by Indofood read in part.