- NAFDAC has cautioned Nigerians against using paracetamol as a tenderiser
- They previously shared a public alert on their official website over the same matter
- NAFDAC says the use of paracetamol for cooking can lead to liver or kidney failure.
The National Agency For Food And Drug Administration Control has warned against the use of paracetamol in cooking.
NAFDAC previously issued a public alert on their official website on 30 December 2019, warning against cooking with paracetamol.
In the same vein, the agency’s coordinator, Mrs Roseline Ajayi, has reiterated those claims. She stated that paracetamol in tenderizing meat and other foods come with grievous and unprecedented health implications.
The Guardian quoted her as stating this on Thursday in Ilorin during sensitisation programme for fast food operators and food vendors.
According to her, “Foods are not drugs and it’s a necessity for life, while the drug is indicated for or against ailment.”
Moreover, she warned that the use of paracetamol in tenderizing meat and other foods can cause kidney and liver failure.
According to her, the drug belongs to a class of drugs referred to as analgesic and antipyretics, 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. However, with grievous and unprecedented health implications involved, it is needless to say no longer a safe option.
She continued saying, “When a 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 emerging food safety issues, which is capable of consuming the health of several unsuspecting and innocent victims and citizens,” the coordinator added.
What options then?
According to NAFDAC, the following are healthier alternatives to cooking with paracetamol:
- Using a pressure pot to cook your food.
- Soaking with vinegar, citrus juices or wine before cooking.
- Marinating with enzymes like pineapple, kiwi, ginger, Asian pear and pawpaw can help soften meat faster.
- Slow-cooking the meat. In other words, use low heat and cook for a longer period of time.
- Make use of commercial meat tenderizers moderately. Meat tenderizers come in powdered or liquid form.