Dangote Salt highlights food fraud in Nigeria

NASCON complains about industrial salt pack sizes. Picture: NASCON.

Dangote Salt, part of the National Salt Company of Nigeria (NASCON) has partnered with the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to clamp down on food fraud in Nigeria.

Paul Ferrer, MD, NASCON Allied Industries praised NAFDAC efforts to ‘sanitize the food market’ by getting rid of fake and substandard products but claimed there had been an infringement on the directives of the Agency on the packaging of industrial salts.

Industrial salt

He alleged, contrary to the directives of NAFDAC where industrial salt should only be packaged in 50kg, he had seen it being sold in small sizes as 5kg, 10kg, 15kg, and 20kg.

He said he had reason to believe a supplier had been repackaging the 50kg size to smaller sizes and then reselling them, which was a ‘dangerous development’.

Unsuspecting consumers might not know the difference between iodized table salt and industrial salt which is dangerous and misleading as table salt comes in smaller sizes,” said Ferrer.

Both NASCON and NAFDAC have now agreed to work closely together to monitor the quality of products that are delivered to market after ascertaining the right quality of products are taken out of the factory.

Random sampling

Yetunde Oni, director-general, NAFDAC, said it was aware of the infringement and continued to carry out random sampling to ensure people have access to quality products.

She advised companies in the food sector to have an on-site Post-Market Surveillance (PMS) unit for self-regulation and to make enforcement easier for NAFDAC.

Oni claimed it had dealt with cases in Nigeria where the right quality products were taken out of the factory for distribution but before getting to the market, some products were ‘diluted and repackaged’ suggesting there was a discrepancy in the supply chain.

The Agency will not accept situations where criminals clandestinely dilute genuine brands. This amounts to counterfeiting and will be dealt with accordingly, highlighting a need for primary self-regulation by companies through a PMS unit,” she said.

The PMS unit will collate intelligence and hand it over to NAFDAC for enforcement.”

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