The Lagos State Consumer Protection Agency (LASCOPA) has warned against unwholesome sale of powdered milk in the open market.
General Manager Mrs. Oluwakemi Olugbode, disclosed this at a sensitisation at Ojuwoye Market in Mushin, cautioning traders against unhygienic practices, especially in handling milk and other consumer products.
She said: “We learnt traders were selling powered milk the wrong way at Ojuwoye Market. Investigation confirmed this was true, so we met with the market executives, who then urged us to hold this sensitisation to educate them properly.
However, she said “We have told them that the big bag of powdered milk should not be retailed in smaller prices. It should not be repacked in N50, N100 or even N200 worth. The big bag is made for industrial use so that business owners who can’t afford to buy the bag at once can buy in smaller quantities. It should be sold to caterers, yoghurt makers, and the likes.
“Beside, milk is susceptible to external smell and so should be handled with care. The bag should not be opened anyhow and anytime to prevent air and other invisible bacteria from penetrating because once that happens, it is already contaminated and no longer fit for consumption.
Still speaking, she said “after this sensitisation, we will enforce the law against defaulters. The market has a task force which we intend to work with so defaulters will be arrested and prosecuted. This sensitisation is the first in the series; we intend to go round markets to enlighten the traders on the proper handling of not just milk, but other products as well.”
Iyaloja of Ojuwoye Market Mrs. Mufuliat Adebunmi thanked LASCOPA for the sensitisation.
She said traders before now had been buying the big pack of milk and then retail in cheaper prices of N10, N20, N50 because they didn’t know the implication.
“LASCOPA has told us this is wrong and unhealthy, and that the government does not want it. We have warned the traders, and told them the decision of LASCOPA, that whoever is caught repackaging in small prices will be arrested and prosecuted. We do our best to keep the market well managed and we will continue on that path. We will do our best to support the government and ensure that whoever flouts the order faces the law.”
A trader, Adekunle Plumpter, urged the government to hold more of such sensitisation ‘because it will keep us abreast of government’s plans and policies for us’.
“With such sensitisation, we will be able to table our grievances to the producers. We now know better that exposing milk can cause contamination of the product and then cause illness for consumers. Not just for milk, but for other products as well, to ensure consumers eat and live healthy,” he said.
Babaloja of Ojuwoye Market Mr. Samshudeen Adebowale promised the traders would abide by the instructions and stop unwholesome sale of powdered milk.
He said traders engaged in the act because they didn’t know it was meant for industrial use.
In final remarks,Babaloja of Ojuwoye Market said“We are grateful for this sensitisation, and now that we know, we promise to abide by the rules”.