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Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It - Health - Nairaland

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Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by Islie: 8:08pm On Jan 13
Fresh concerns have been raised by health experts on Nigerians’ increasing use of paracetamol, a drug meant for pain relief, to cook meat for household and commercial consumption.

LEADERSHIP investigation revealed that hundreds of households, restaurants and bars, especially those owned by small operators, have continued to use paracetamol to tenderise meat to save cost as the prices of firewood, kerosene and cooking gas hit the rooftop.

Some food vendors admitted that they use the drug to cook meat because it helps them to 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. They added that the drug is also accessible and affordable as one sachet of 12 tablets is sold for only N50.

This claim was buttressed by a bar attendant in Mararaba, Nasarawa State, who told LEADERSHIP that when some tablets of paracetamol are used to cook cow leg and skin popularly known as “ponmo”, they get softened and ready for eating within a few minutes.

He said: „It is really helpful because now we don‘t spend so much money on charcoal since our pepper soup (local delicacy) doesn‘t take long to cook anymore.“

But medical experts have warned that paracetamol, when cooked, loses its pain-killer property and becomes highly acidic and dangerous for human consumption.

The president, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN), Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, described the use of paracetamol for cooking as a “wicked act”. The renowned pharmacist said that paracetamol is paraspecific acid of aminophenol and also a chemical substance.

He said that every such substance has both chemical and physical effects, adding that they can help in softening tender materials.

Ohuabunwa expressed worry that the consumers of meat cooked with the drug would only end up consuming something they don‘t need or deserve thereby creating problems for them.

He said: “I don‘t know why people should involve themselves in this kind of wicked act against themselves and consumers of their products. Paracetamol is a medicine and it is paraspecific acid of aminophenol and it is a chemical.

“Every chemical can have some chemical, physical effects and then can help in softening, tender materials but the critical thing is that you are therefore giving people along with the meat, something they don‘t deserve and what they are not in need of, and you are loading up their body with the chemical they don’t need. You are creating problem for them because you are overloading the liver because the liver has to metabolise the chemical and take it out through the kidney,” he said.

This, Ohuabunwa said could lead to liver necrosis because the organ is the chemical factory. He, therefore, urged Nigerians to desist from the act.
He also called for adequate enlightenment because it is assumed that those who indulge in the practice do not understand what they are doing.

He said that anyone found engaging in the illicit act should face the law, lamenting that “it is an act of poisoning people.“

The chairman of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr. Ekpe Phillips, warned that paracetamol is not a drug that should be abused. He said that the primary area where it is being metabolised is the liver and could, therefore, expose consumers to liver problems.

Philips, who is also the chief medical director (CMD) of Nyanya General Hospital, said that the “normal amount of paracetamol that an individual is supposed to take is two tablets three times a day and it cannot be taken for more than three to four days, maximum of five days if you must.

“If you are using it to cook food, you are going to consume the quantity that you don‘t even know. So, there is no place for paracetamol in the cooking of meat. It is extremely dangerous. Apart from the fact that they are cooking it, they are consuming more of it and the primary effect is in the liver.

“You know that liver problem is on the increase, with that, we don‘t even know if people have been practicing this for a very long time for us to be having this increase in liver diseases; some unexplained liver failure, liver cancer are emanating. Some of these things and unorthodox use of orthodox medications may be the cause.

“Also, you don‘t use paracetamol alongside alcohol because alcohol also is being metabolised in the liver,” he stated.
On the way out, Philips said that national health education should be carried out by both practitioners and other relevant stakeholders.

According to him, „the National Orientation Agency (NOA) should get this information across so that we will have a good health-seeking culture. The government should seriously educate the people on the issue. I don‘t know why the Nigerian governments are allowing things to happen haphazardly. So, the National Orientation Agency (NOA) should take lead.“

While also decrying the practice, the immediate past president of the Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria (AMLSN), Dr. Godswill Okara, said that paracetamol is not a drug to be taken on a regular basis.

He said that research had shown that when humans take paracetamol, the breakdown period stays long in the tissue and builds up over time, which means it is not completely excreted from the body.

Okara said that to that extent, “it is really dangerous, which means the medicine is not to be taken anyhow.

“Certainly, it has health implications because even the use of paracetamol is normally controlled because it can cause liver failure if taken in an excessive dose.

“I wonder how people came about using it to cook meat because the chemical and pharmacological content of paracetamol is not what one should be consumed on a regularly basis,“ Okara warned.

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) had on December 31, 2019, issued a public alert on the dangerous and unapproved Use of paracetamol tablets in food preparation.

The agency asked Nigerians to use genuine NAFDAC registered table salt (in moderation) to tenderise meat by soaking it in salted water for about 30 minutes prior to cooking to prevent serious health consequences that may result from dangerous and illegal use of paracetamol tablets in food preparation.

Other established and safe methods for tenderising meat, according to NAFDAC, are cooking with a pressure cooker, marinating (soaking) with vinegar, citrus juices or wine before cooking.

In its reaction, the Federal Ministry of Health said that NAFDAC is the agency responsible for food and drug advocacy, noting that it had done so by issuing a public alert on the use of paracetamol.

The ministry‘s director of Food and Drug Services, Mosud Lawal, however said that the ministry had a food safety programme through which it communicates with the state ministries to ensure that there is adequate education at the grassroots.

“We do advocacy as issues emerge. Definitely, this issue (paracetamol) will be included,“ he said.


EHORECON Challenges Academia On Toxic Paracetamol

Relatedly, the Environmental Health Officers’ Registration Council of Nigeria (EHORECON) has challenged the academia to embark on research to certify the correlation between the toxic chemical in paracetamol that damages the liver.

In an interview with LEADERSHIP, the director of Education and Training of EHORECON, Dr. Yakubu Mohammed Baba, lamented that food vendors use paracetamol to cook meat to cut the cost of burning firewood, kerosene, and gas.

Baba said: “Paracetamol is an analgesic and when you take it ordinarily, it will go through the normal process of digestion and kill the pains in the body. But when it gets heated by using any fire mechanism, it will hydrolyse and produce four-aminophenol which can cause kidney failure and it also affects the liver.”

Baba said that there have been reported cases in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State where eateries cook meat with paracetamol, adding that the council was yet to receive any formal report in Abuja that food vendors or eateries cook meat with paracetamol.

He posited that the skyrocketing cases of kidney and liver diseases might be related with the eating habits of Nigeria, especially in public places, adding that the issue of food safety was part of the cardinal principles of the council.

Baba maintained that the council had a series of Mandatory Professional Development Programmes (MPDPs) to enhance and build the capacity of its members on health and environmental issues, noting that the practitioners were ready and well-equipped to address the issue.

The EHORECON director stated that the council set standards and guidelines on food safety and hygiene, adding that it’s the responsibility of local governments to provide the logistics for the environmental health officers (EHOs) to do their jobs, especially in the areas of food safety and hygiene.

Also, the Nigerian Association of Nephrology (NAN) said that about 25million Nigerians have kidney failures, adding that hypertension was a major effect. It said that drugs such as paracetamol used for cooking meat may be a major contributor.

A staff of the department of environmental health and safety, Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB), said that his section only monitors the environmental sanitation of places where food is sold to the public.

He said that the department does not go into the technical aspects of monitoring the content of food sold to the public because it does not have the relevant instruments to conduct such test.

The official maintained that the responsibility of testing the content of food sold to the public lies with NAFDAC, which has all the equipment for testing food meant for public consumption.

https://leadership.ng/2020/01/13/concerns-as-more-nigerians-use-paracetamol-to-cook-meat/

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by madridguy(m): 8:27pm On Jan 13
LEADERSHIP investigation revealed that hundreds of households, restaurants and bars, especially those owned by small operators, have continued to use paracetamol to tenderise meat to save cost as the prices of firewood, kerosene and cooking gas hit the rooftop.

I hope this won't make paracetamol price goes to the roof same way they did to cough syrup.

Say No To Drug Abuse.

30 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by Evablizin(f): 9:58pm On Jan 13
embarassed

Wetin we do for this country,person no fit chop ponmo and meat without the fear of liver necrosis. Chai !!

125 Likes 7 Shares

Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by BroOptimist(m): 10:23pm On Jan 13
Evablizin:
embarassed

Wetin we do for this country,person no fit chop ponmo and meat without the fear of liver necrosis. Chai !!

Lol...

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by kay29000(m): 7:33am On Jan 14
Using Paracetamol to cook cow meat and ponmo to make it soft quicker. I've never heard this before. Na wa o. Eating out can really be risky. I stopped eating out for 3 weeks now, see as my face has freshened up.

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by GuestLog: 7:34am On Jan 14
This is only creating more awareness of this nonsense.

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by Kekereekun123: 7:34am On Jan 14
Big lies

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by maynation(f): 7:34am On Jan 14
This is strange to me fa.

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by fixedhollies(m): 7:34am On Jan 14
Make dem increase the price go #1000, they will think twice to use 1k buy paracetamol or buy more kerosene...

What of people who really want to use it for its purpos!

.... It's a sign of poverty in the land! We wan hasten meat,

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by Perfecttouchade: 7:35am On Jan 14
I wonder wetin we go do to handle these food vendors who risk the lives of lots of Nigerians who patronize them, it's crazy when you use your own money to buy wetin fit kill u unknowingly....make God help us, this country is scary everyday, paracetamol for cooking o ma wa gaa bayi o

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by greenguy: 7:35am On Jan 14
Whoever can do this must be very wicked and heartless.

Paracetamol, how?

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by englishmart(m): 7:35am On Jan 14
I Stan paracetamol, killing both human body pains and cooking pain (financial)
Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by Sarsy(f): 7:35am On Jan 14
No to dey fear to buy meat again.
Nafdac are very lazy, they've failed to identify what the disintegration of paracetamol by heat will give off..
Now, they're speculating like every other person, that it is dangerous to cook meet with paracetamol.
Make more information available, don't tell us what we already know..

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by magicminister: 7:35am On Jan 14
Interesting

Since there isn’t any solution, I’d recommend random audits of restaurants.

You can audit 50 restaurants a day and get multiple food sample after which it is tested for paracetamol. Should it test positive, the restaurant will be closed and the property handed over to the government. Awareness has been created and restaurants have been warned. This is not time to stand and look! Now it’s time to act as the nations regulatory body!

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by Simplebeauty: 7:35am On Jan 14
angry

iya kamoru jo have mercy on us. Please don't damage our liver

1 Like

Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by nairalee(m): 7:36am On Jan 14
It is with a sad heart that I announce that the stupid people are gradually taking over and may succeed in human extinction.

You don't need a phd degree to know that this is totally wrong. Please let's institute a course called "Common sense" in all levels of education: Nur, Primary, Secondary and Tertiary institutions as a compulsory subject...

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by Justdenis(m): 7:36am On Jan 14
Wetin man no go chop for restaurant....

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by soberdrunk(m): 7:36am On Jan 14
The problem of Nigeria has always been Nigerians!!! If you evacuate the USA and transfer all Nigerians there, I give it "2 years" max and the decay will be obvious..... angry

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by 2shure: 7:37am On Jan 14
Time to visit youtube on how to cook. My God. This 2020 na die

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by valdes00(m): 7:37am On Jan 14
cow leg and ponmo pepper soup on hold for me till further notice.... And me and my wife been wan go there tomorrow oo... make i go show am this post

3 Likes 1 Share

Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by vickydankal(f): 7:37am On Jan 14
Unfortunately this type of news are taken in reversal in Nigeria, many people will start to try it out and spread the good news first before taking caution . God help this country .

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by ashantitope: 7:37am On Jan 14
Have seen it several times and it always in party, those caterer most of them use it to make the meat soft, that why after the party the meat can't last two day by the following day the meat will have been melting

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by mach7(m): 7:37am On Jan 14
A major issue with Nigerians, is that we don't care about others as long as we are making money. What manner of wickedness will make food vendors even consider putting paracetamol inside food? undecided sad

Certainly, it is a devious medical practitioner that instituted this disingenuous idea. Nawa for us oo

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by adewumiopeyemi(m): 7:37am On Jan 14
Ok0
Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by DoubleEngine007: 7:38am On Jan 14
GuestLog:
This is only creating more awareness of this nonsense.
Many people that didn't know before,will start using it now.. That's how they made tramadol and its likes popular,to the extent that kids now know what tramadol is and its uses in Nigeria society..

11 Likes 1 Share

Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by Ginaz(f): 7:38am On Jan 14
No wonder!!! I ate a goat meat pepper soup last week and the meat was tender and soft which was unusual and I couldn’t enjoy the strong grip of the meat as before I could bite it, it would part in two.

Government needs to do something about this dangerous situation and I’ve banned eating of any meat outside as from today . It’s a pity cos I love goat meat pepper soup. embarassed

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by thundafire: 7:39am On Jan 14
Only evil invention we can think of Y
Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by Gten(m): 7:39am On Jan 14
Science students!

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by sweetonugbu: 7:39am On Jan 14
This is dangerous, I am suspecting one woman I used to eat in his restaurant, the cowhead is always tender and I wonder how she does it day in day out except on Sundays,cause before 12pm there will be no meat remaining.

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Re: Nigerians Use Paracetamol To Cook Meat: Concern As More People Use It by Administration1: 7:39am On Jan 14
Typical Nigerian Alarm

Why can't they breakdown the contents of Paracetamol and analyze the results when it is mixed with water and boiled?
Also the effects of paracetamol on human body, cooked or uncooked.
they only know how to generalize issues

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