Tiger nut drink, a beloved beverage for its sweet, nutty taste and nutritional benefits, has recently been linked to a cholera outbreak in Lagos State.

This outbreak has affected several local government areas, including Lagos Island, Eti-Osa, and Kosofe, with hospitals reporting the highest number of cases.

Cholera Outbreak: Possible Ways Tiger Nut Drink Can Be Contaminated


The Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Health, Kemi Ogunyemi, highlighted that the unregistered tiger nut drink was identified as the primary cause of the outbreak, particularly in Eti-Osa Local Government Area.

Cholera, a severe bacterial infection caused by Vibrio cholerae, spreads through contaminated water and food.

The risk arises when tiger nut drinks are prepared under unsanitary conditions, allowing the bacteria to contaminate the beverage.

Here’s how this contamination can occur:

1. Contaminated Water Sources

    • Water Used in Preparation: If the water used to soak or wash the tiger nuts is contaminated with Vibrio cholerae, the bacteria can easily transfer to the nuts and then to the drink during the blending or soaking process.
    • Storage and Handling: Improper storage practices or using unclean containers can further contribute to bacterial growth in the drink.
  1. Poor Hygiene During Preparation

    • Lack of Handwashing: Insufficient handwashing by those handling the tiger nuts and preparing the drink can introduce bacteria into the beverage.
    • Contaminated Equipment: Using dirty blenders, utensils, or processing equipment can also lead to bacterial contamination.
  2. Environmental Factors

    • Sanitation Issues: Preparation in unclean environments or exposure to flies and other pests can introduce bacteria to the tiger nut drink.
    • Temperature Control: Inadequate refrigeration or storing the drink at room temperature for extended periods can promote bacterial growth.
  3. Lack of Regulation and Oversight

    • Unregistered Products: Drinks that are not registered with regulatory authorities like the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) may not undergo proper safety checks and monitoring.

Also Read: WHO Reports Cholera Resurgence: 195,000 Cases, 1,900 Deaths In 24 Countries


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