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You need to be more careful food fraud
Food Fraud You need to be more careful; fake food is showing up everywhere
Reports of plastic rice and oil mixed with an industrial chemical, Sudan IV are pointing to a
Last year, Nigerians were left shocked when videos warning of plastic rice sold as the real thing surfaced on social media.
It is now becoming clear that we may need to exercise more care regarding what we consume.
Fake food and what is known as food fraud is exploding on a global level, with companies deliberately misleading consumers and retailers using harmful additives to increase their profits.
Quartz Africa reports that, in February, Nahima and Yahaya, two 14-year-olds, died after eating biscuits at a classmate’s party, on the outskirts of Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.
Numerous other children were also hospitalised.
Food fraud is becoming a big global problem
There have been reports of processed foods that seem to decompose long before their expiry dates.
A former employee at one of Nigeria’s biggest food companies has reported seeing milk powder with no animal protein contained within.
After the plastic rice videos were released, many Nigerians made videos of their own showing how substances sold as rice combusted like industrial grade plastic when set ablaze.
WHile the authenticity of these claims have not been verified by any major authority, the incidence and spread of the reports suggests something is afoot.
The Chairman of Erisco Foods, a local food packaging company, has accused his peers of importing pastes of starch, drum and colouring from China as tomato paste.
Sudan IV, a lipid used in industrial chemistry, has been reportedly found, mixed in with corn powder, sold as chilli powder.
The United States’ Grocery Manufacturers Association claims that an estimated 10% of all commercially sold food products are subjects of food fraud, a practice that is said to cost the global food industry between 10 to 15 billion dollars.
However, this new global wave of food fraud is already at great magnitudes in countries like Tanzania, where a local union estimates that over 50% of all goods, including food, drugs and construction materials, imported into the country are fake.
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