Nigerians have been warned by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) against the practise of tenderizing meat and beans with paracetamol.
Some food vendors admitted that they use the drug to cook meat because it helps them spend less on kerosene, cooking gas, firewood or charcoal. According to them, no matter the quantity, paracetamol softens meat within a few minutes of being placed on fire, reports claim.
Speaking at a sensitisation programme for fast food operators and food vendors on dangers of using the drug to cook, NAFDAC’s coordinator in Kwara State Mrs Roseline Ajayi stated that use of paracetamol in tenderizing meat and other foods can cause kidney and liver failure.
Ajayi said the drug which belongs to a class of drugs referred to as analgesic and anti-pyretics, is only used to treat pain and fever.
“The use of paracetamol to tenderise meat and beans while cooking may be considered as a way to cut cost, but with grevious and unprecedented health implications, which include liver and kidney failure.
Foods are not drugs and it’s a necessity for life, while drug is indicated for or against ailment.
When drug is used for cooking, it is hydrolyzed or broken down into components, which include 4-aminophenol, a highly toxic chemical to the kidney and liver.
NAFDAC is compelled to respond to the emerging food safely issues, which is capable of consuming the health of several unsuspecting and innocent victims and citizens.”