Thursday 4 May 2023

Indomie Noodles Nigeria Is Produced Locally And Is Safe For Consumption – NAFDAC DG

Nigerian consumers should be aware that Indomie Instant Noodles is produced locally in Nigeria and not imported, neither is the variant with ethylene oxide produced in Nigeria. Since Instant Noodles are among the import-banned items in Nigeria, consumers are urged to buy and consume only locally-made noodles.

There seems to be a recurrence of panic mode by Nigerians every time there is an issue with instant noodles across the world. The mention of noodles is subconsciously and synonymously taken to mean Indomie.

This could be a result of the brand being the global market leader in the noodles sector. A position that comes with enormous responsibility that includes maintaining a high-quality product service delivery.

In 2022, there was an online publication by the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) in Egypt warning Egyptian citizens avoid the consumption of certain batches of Indomie Instant Noodles due to alleged contamination. Like the Arab Spring, the fear spread to neighbouring countries bordering Egypt.

In Nigeria, the media was agog with publications localizing the Egyptian challenge and creating panic leading to the regulator, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), going to work to certify that the contaminated noodles did not find their way into the country through smugglers.

At the end of the investigation, it was discovered that there was no border breach with the foreign noodles and our marketplace was safe.

The current detection of ethylene oxide, a cancer-causing substance found in Indomie’s “special chicken” flavour in Taiwan and Malaysia by health officials in both countries has once again sparked speculation and mild panic in Nigeria. The media is awash with sensational and misleading headlines with the body of the stories giving contradictory messages.

Indofood produces Indomie in Taiwan and Malaysia but somehow Dufil Prima Food Plc in Nigeria which produces its Indomie Instant Noodles locally is once again undergoing scrutiny for an external challenge.

Some of the screaming headlines gave the impression that the ban on imported noodles was fresh and a result of the current controversy but the reality is the regulator banned the importation of instant noodles into Nigeria many years ago to protect local industry and encourage backward integration.

While speaking to journalists on the issue, Director-General, NAFDAC, Mojisola Adeyeye, said, “Instant noodles is on the importation prohibition list of the Federal Government. This particular variant or flavour is not even registered by NAFDAC and it is not produced here in Nigeria. The importation of noodles into Nigeria has been banned many years ago.”

NAFDAC’s Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Directorate has commenced a random sample assessment of Indomie noodles including the seasoning from the production facilities and the markets to ascertain if the foreign-made noodles were smuggled into the country.

According to 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. NAFDAC did not ban Indomie,” she said.

Group Corporate Communications and Event Manager, Dufil Prima Foods Plc, Tope Ashiwaju, he had this to say when contacted, “We would like to assure our valued customers in Nigeria that all packs of Indomie Instant Noodles consumed in Nigeria are produced locally under strict international best manufacturing procedures with ISO certified standards. Our commitment to international best manufacturing processes is unwavering and the quality in every pack of instant noodles produced in all our factories in Nigeria is non-negotiable.”

“We adhere strictly to the standard procedures set by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) in all our manufacturing processes. We use only the finest ingredients, sourced from reputable suppliers, and our production facilities are regularly inspected and audited to ensure that they meet the highest standards.”

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