Tehinse gave the warning on Tuesday in Ilorin at an awareness campaign on food safety organised by the Food Safety Awareness Campaign Initiatives, funded by the European Union. Moi-moi is a Nigerian steamed bean pudding made from a mixture of washed and peeled black-eyed peas, onions and fresh ground peppers. It is a protein-rich, staple food in Nigeria and has its origin in West Africa.
In his lecture entitled, “Food Safety Control System in Nigeria“, Tehinse explained that cooking moi-moi in nylons (plastic bags) had become widespread while people were unaware of the dangers. The food safety expert said nylons or cellophane bags produced dioxins when heated. “Dioxins are are a group of chemically-related compounds that are persistent environmental pollutants (POPs)”, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
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Tehinse further warned that dioxins were highly toxic and could cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage to the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer. He advised people to use the traditional leaves to cook the food.
The dietician also called for good food practices in Nigeria and urged restaurant owners to look at the business as public service. “Food business is not only to make money but a calling to protect public health and ensure what they offer to consumers is safe,” he said.
Key Facts about Dioxins according to the WHO website