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Why you should not cook moi-moi and other food in nylon (plastic bags)

John Tehinse, a dietician, has warned people against cooking moi-moi and other foods in nylons or cellophane bags as it produces dioxins, a toxic substance that causes cancer.



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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It is best to cook your moi-moi in plant laves.

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.


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Key Facts about Dioxins according to the WHO website

– Dioxins are a group of chemically-related compounds that are persistent environmental pollutants (POPs).- Dioxins are found throughout the world in the environment and they accumulate in the food chain, mainly in the fatty tissue of animals.- Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.- Due to the omnipresence of dioxins, all people have background exposure, which is not expected to affect human health. However, due to the highly toxic potential, efforts need to be undertaken to reduce current background exposure.

– Prevention or reduction of human exposure is best done via source-directed measures, i.e. strict control of industrial processes to reduce the formation of dioxins.



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