In Ghana, the palm oil is laced with a food coloring called Sudan IV which is widely recognized as a carcinogen. In Uganda, formalin —an embalming agent—is used to keep meat and fish free from flies and seemingly fresh for days. Across Africa, there are incidences of plastic rice or nothing more than discarded rice chaff, packaged as high-grade rice, and corn powder dyed with Sudan IV, labeled as chili pepper.
Fake processed food is becoming an epidemic in African urban life
In late February, 14-year-old Nahima and Yayaya, died after eating tainted biscuits at a classmate’s birthday celebration in their school, located just outside Nigeria’s capital Abuja. Several other children in their class were hospitalized. Panic and threats from angry parents forced a temporary school closure, but to date, there have been no efforts to investigate the root causes nor track or shut down the responsible company.