In a drive to ensure that Nigerians enjoy a safe and healthy festive season, the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Moji Adeyeye, has unveiled easy-to-follow tips for identifying fake beverages or products. This comes on the heels of a recent crackdown in Aba, Abia State, where NAFDAC destroyed over 1,500 cartons of counterfeit products and consumables estimated at a staggering N750,000,000.
Encouraging more vigilance among consumers, Adeyeye urged Nigerians to scrutinise branded drinks and beverages, distinguishing them from counterfeits, before consumption. The DG emphasised the importance of buying only NAFDAC registered drinks from reputable and licensed retailers, bars, and supermarkets during the yuletide season. In addition to the appeal for public awareness, NAFDAC has provided practical tips to help consumers identify fake products:
1. Watch out for unrealistic prices: If a product is sold well below its normal price or lacks the usual taxes on liquors, it is likely fake.
2. Check packaging quality: Look for poor quality packaging, spelling mistakes, and unusually shaped bottles or faded labels. Ensure the manufacturer’s contact information and address are present; their absence may indicate a fake product.
3. Inspect seals: A broken or damaged seal on the bottle suggests the contents may have been tampered with and are unsafe to consume.
4. Verify bar codes: Use a mobile app to scan bar codes. If it doesn’t match the correct product, it’s likely a fake.
5. Trust your nose: If the drink has a strong smell resembling paint stripper or nail polish remover, it’s probably best to avoid.
6. Watch out for shelf dates: Check out the production date as well as the expiry dates to see if it had been tampered with or not even visible at all. This also can render a product fake.
Prof. Adeyeye concluded by urging the public to report any suspicious activities related to the production of adulterated food and agricultural products to the nearest NAFDAC office nationwide, emphasising collective efforts to combat the proliferation of fake goods in the market. Beyond the festive seasons, these tips serve as a practical guide for Nigerians to make informed choices and safeguard their well-being.