The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), has sealed a supermarket in Karu, a suburb of the nation’s capital, Abuja, for operating an unregistered bakery.
The supermakert, Fort Mark Supermaket, is one of the largest supermarkets in the suburb.
The supermarket, the agency said, was found to be operating an unregistered bakery within its premises and was also found to be selling industrial salt “which is injurious to human health.”
NAFDAC team, headed by its FCT Coordinator, Mrs Clementina Anyakora, also arrested the manager of the supermarket.
Anyakora, told journalists while sealing the premises that the “unholy practices” perpetrated by the operators of the supermarket was detected during a routine inspection by a team of inspectors from the agency.
She said the agency had earlier sealed the supermarket premises and expressed regret that the operators forcefully reopend it and continued the production of the bread, Fort Mart Loaf which, according to her, did not go through the process of registration and licensing by the agency.
“We came on our routine inspection and discovered they have unregistered product. We invited them to the office and they did not come. We repeated a visit early January and saw them still baking and reported to the office, and they gave us the directive to place the bakery on hold; which we did. But they removed the hold label and continued to bake and to sell fake bread.
“Two times we placed our ‘on hold’ label but they ignored and continued baking and selling unregistered product.
“To NAFDAC, we don’t know what this bread contains and we want to be sure that there are no harmful substances in the product,” Mrs Anyakor said.
She added: “Also, during our last visit, we found out that they have this big bag of industrial salt which they sell and also use in making popcorn which is not supposed to be sold here. The industrial salt is only meant for industrial use because of the ionisation.
“Yes, this is a serious offence punishable by law and there are several sanctions we give to people that violate the NAFDAC Act. We start first with warning-we give warning and then also we have what is called administrative charge. In this, there are certain fee you pay for violation.
“But wherein you refused to comply with all of the above we seal up the place as we are doing today. We are putting the bakery on hold and sealing the entire supermarket until further notice, when they must have complied with the requirement of the law. This is because what we are doing is in line with the law. We are closing the shop because the bakery belongs to the management of the supermarket. And since they have been recalcitrant, they have refused to come forward and do the right thing, we want to shut the whole place”
Anyakora warned bakers engaging in such act to eschew from doing so. According to her the process of registration of bread is less than one month and one would register products with NAFDAC and continue their normal business without molestation.
Also speaking, the FCT NAFDAC Regulatory Officer, Deputy Director Olubukola Olawale, warned all dealers of food and drug items to avoid any act that incur the wrath of NAFDAC and adhere strictly to the code of conduct, as according to her, one could register and still be sanctioned if found wanting during the agency’s routine inspection.
Her words: “After the registration, the agency is always on routine inspection to check for good manufacturing practice, good hygienic practice and good storage practice. And, if these qualities are not met, then comes sanction”