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HC directs pvt milk firms to test products every 3 months

The judge was hearing an application filed by the Hatsun Agro Product Ltd, Dodla Dairy Ltd and Vijay Dairy and Farm Products Pvt Ltd.
The Madras High Court today ordered three private milk manufacturers to get their products tested in a certified lab every three months and submit the report before it, pending disposal of their suits claiming damages from a Tamil Nadu minister over his allegations about their quality.
Justice C V Karthikeyan said his July 10 interim order restraining Dairy Development Minister K T Rajendra Balaji from making allegations on quality of the products of the manufacturers without any proof would continue till the disposal of the suits.
The judge was hearing an application filed by the Hatsun Agro Product LtdDodla Dairy Ltd and Vijay Dairy and Farm Products Pvt Ltd.
In the application, they had sought an interim order directing the minister not to make general allegations.
The judge directed the companies to test samples of their products in certified labs every three months and submit the lab reports in the court till the suits were adjudicated.
In their suits, the companies had each claimed Rs one crore damages from the minister over his allegations that they had indulged in adulteration of their products.
On July 26, Balaji had moved the court, seeking dismissal of the suits saying it “is a blackmail action (by the companies)”.
He had said even the Supreme Court had directed the central and state governments to take steps to implement the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, effectively.
Balaji had claimed he had material to prove that the firms had indulged in milk adulteration.
Besides seeking the damages, the firms had submitted that the minister’s remarks were meant to create a “sense of fear and panic” among consumers and a sense of “disgust and revulsion” on milk and milk products manufactured by private dairies as a whole and their product in particular.
 

Consumer alert – Monginis – Flies found in Cake

Food Business Operator : Monginis , Pashan Pune Store

Image result for Monginis, Pune

Place : Pune, Maharashtra

Product : Vanilla White Chocolate

Issue : Flies found in cake

Consumer complaint as filed by Mehak Mahajan on Oct 22nd in Indian Consumer Complaints Forum with photos

We bought vanilla white chocolate half kg cake from Pashan Pune store n it contains many small flies. Also the cake has a sour taste n smell. We have reported the same at the store but the person was very harsh n did not even bother to entertain our complaint. Also the store was such a mess n not cleaned or maintained properly, it was completely unhygienic. Such stuff can never be expected from Monginis. We are regular customers but have never faced this before but this time the cake very bad.

flies found in cakeflies found in cake
PESPRO Comments
The issue can be brought to the notice of District Designated Officer (Food Safety) of your area to prevent food poisoning to others.

 

Food Safety Enforcement News – India updates – Oct 22-2017 – 2

Food Safety Enforcement News – Tamilnadu updates – Oct – 22-2017

Food Safety Enforcement News – India updates – Oct 22

GENERAL

Railways to partner FSSAI to improve food safety in trains

Third party safety audit on the cards, says CEO of food safety body
NEW DELHI : 
The Railways and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) will work together to ensure improved safety standards of the food being served in trains. The food regulator said it will also get a third party safety audit done soon.
“Our role will be to partner with the Railways and bring in systemic changes and improvements. Therefore, we will be getting a third party food safety audit done soon. This is not going to be an accounts or a performance audit, but a food safety audit which will help us understand the gaps within their systems in terms food safety,” Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI, told BusinessLine.
The Railways was in the news recently when an incident in the high-profile Tejas Express was reported wherein 24-26 people were hospitalised after “food poisoning”. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), however, denied any food quality issues in its preliminary probe report. Incidentally, CAG in its report, earlier had also termed the food served in trains as “unfit” for human consumption.
In the new catering policy, IRCTC has called for zones of the Indian Railways or IRCTC to ensure good quality and hygienic food to passengers.
However, ensuring quality processes across the supply chain for food served is a huge challenge, given that Railways has over 7,000 stations and moves over 2.2 crore passengers every day.
IRCTC serves about four-five lakh meals a day in about 350 trains where it has pantry cars. It will be modernising its base kitchens at 12 locations — where the proposed meal production is is expected to be 5.7 lakh a day.
Third party audit of mobile units and base kitchen is to be undertaken by zonal railway periodically, by hiring an independent agency in accordance with Catering Policy 2017.
As regards the premium Tejas Express, which runs between Mumbai and Goa, catering services are optional for passengers and are factored in the fare. However, if a passenger asks for catering services at a later stage, an extra ₹50 per cent per service is levied, in addition to the cost of catering charges.
To spruce up its catering quality, IRCTC plans to set up new kitchens and upgrade the existing ones, which will be owned, operated and managed by it, and it shall be fully accountable for all issues pertaining to the base kitchens and quality of food.
All four base kitchens under departmental operation of Zonal Railways (Nagpur, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Mumbai Central and Balharshah) and all kitchen units — refreshment rooms at A1 and A category stations, Jan Ahaar, Cell Kitchens shall be handed over to IRCTC on ‘as is where is basis’.
It also plans to introduce station based e-catering, pre-cooked food (‘ready to eat’ meals) , operation of centralised Catering Service Monitoring Cell for prompt redressal of passenger grievances relating to catering.
Huge challenge
However, carrying out a third party safety audit, though desirable, remains a huge challenge with the Railways managing a wide network of catering services spread over 131 base kitchens, 7,957 static catering units, 358 mobile catering units, 164 departmental refreshment rooms, 86 food plazas and 69 fast food units.

BIHAR

Health department raids Jamshedpur sweets shops ahead of Diwali

Seizes suspected adulterated food items
Jamshedpur  : With Diwali a few hours away, the district health department has embarked on a special drive to check the quality of sweets sold at various stalls across the city.
State health department’s food and safety wing on Tuesday conducted raids at four sweet shops and workshop at Sakchi and Jugsalai, keeping in view supplying of adulterated sweet meats during the festival of Diwali.
The shops which were raided at Sakchi include Gokul Sweat Shop on Medicine Line and a `khowa’ wholesale shop on Tank Road. The team of food and safety wing raided at the workshop of Gangaur Sweets and ChhappanBhog in Jugsalai.
Revealing about the raids, Dr GulabLakra, food safety officer who led a two member team said that they had first gone over to the Tin Shed on Tank Road at Sakchi where there were four wholesale Khowa suppliers.
“We have been receiving complaints of food adulteration from theseunits and have collected samples which would be sent to food testinglaboratory at Ranchi today evening,” he said.
Lakra further added: “We had to conduct raid and take samples of Khowa from all these four shops, but as we started taking samples of the khowa and completing at one the shop, the owners of remaining three shops fled, having downed their shutters.”
“At the Gokul Sweat Shop we collected the samples of KajuBarfi, and BesanLadoo. At Jugsalai also we took the samples of KajuBarfi, BesanLadoo and Chhana-based sweets from the workshops of Gangaur Sweets and ChhapanBhog,” said the food safety officer.
The officer added that samples were being collected mainly to checkadulteration and use of non-permitted colours. “Samples will be sentto the laboratory and based on its report action will be taken,” they added.
Use of harmful synthetic colours, including dyes were not permitted.But small manufacturers use the banned items just to give more colourto the sweets so as to make it attractive, officials said.
Most of the sweets manufactured in the district were from theunorganised sector — houses or group of people joining together tomake a fast buck.
Actions against the sweet manufacturer, after lab report would beinitiated as per Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 (revised in 2012

Food safety wing seizes 570kg adulterated ghee, cream

PATNA: The food safety wing of state health department on Tuesday seized 570kg of substandard ghee and cream kept in 38 containers at a Masaurhi dairy, which supplies milk products to many sweetshops in Patna.
“We also found 20kg ‘khoya’ that was not fit for consumption,” said Mukesh Kashyap, who led the three-member team, which raided different sweet shops in Masaurhi, Nadma and Punpun areas of Patna district.
The raids are conducted on the eve of Diwali ever year to check the market for adulterated sweetmeats. The team had also raided one shop each at Ramnagri and Machhuatoli and four in Kadamkuan locality on Monday and three shops near Saguna Mor on Sunday.
The officials found a layer of aluminium, and not silver, foil over many sweets. They said silver foil is good for health, but many traders use aluminium foil as it costs less. “Some traders are also using non-food colours instead of food colours,” added Kashyap.
Dr Himanshu Kumar from Patna Medical College and Hospital’s medicine department, said adulteration can cause serious gastric problems and may also affect kidney and liver. “Consumption of aluminium foil and non-food colours, that are often toxic, may lead to encephalitis and can affect muscles and also cause Alzheimer’s,” he said.
Dr Diwakar Tejaswi said artificial sweeteners and non-approved food colours may also cause rashes and insomnia. “If someone experiences abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting or loose motion, they should consult a doctor,” he said and added that consumption of adulterated food may also lead to insomnia and intestinal disorder. Prolonged consumption may also cause changes in the gene which may lead to cancer.
Doctors, meanwhile, recommend the use of homemade sweets that are not only delicious but nutritious as well.

GOA

FDA confiscates 100kg of sweets at Ponda

Panaji: Continuing with its ongoing drive, the Food and Drugs (FDA) administration on Tuesday raided a premises at St Cruz near ID Hospital, Ponda which was found to be operating under unhygienic conditions. The sweet and snack manufacturing unit was operated by Ramdev Modi.
“He was found operating the unit without any licence,” said FDA director, Salim Veljee. The utensils used for preparing the sweets were rusted, while water was stored in an open area.
“The food business operator was directed to stop the illegal activities immediately, and the premises has been sealed,” he said.
The officials confiscated about 100 kgs of sweets such as kaju burfi and bundi laadoo and mava of 55 kgs which were found stored in rusted tins. All the food items have been confiscated.
The raiding team consisted of senior food safety officer (FSO), Rajiv Korde, FSO Atul Dessai and staff Uday Arsekar and Rama Gaonkar.
MAHARASHTRA

Kamothe sweetmaking unit raided

Navi Mumbai: Ahead of Diwali, a joint raid was conducted by PCMC health department and FDA that sealed a sweet manufacturing unit at Kamothe node and seized around 66kg of sweets (Barfi and Khawa) worth Rs 15,500 for not complying to food safety and standard rules as the manufacturing premises was found to be extremely unhygienic and unhealthy. FDA officials will soon revoke the licence of the unit. The raid was carried out on Monday.
Acting on a tip, the PCMC health department reached the spot and summoned FDA officials for further proceeding which took hours to seize the products and seal the unit. “We found the unit in a shoddy condition. We took samples of the sweets to be sent to laboratory for a test,” said Balaji Shinde, food safety inspector.
The FDA officials slapped a stop-activity notice on the unit called Shreeji Sweets and Nilkanth Bhatti. “We received a few complaints from the locals,” said a PCMC official.

Board begins quality tests for Nepal tea

Domino effect:The Darjeeling tea industry shutdown due to political agitations may have led to rising imports.AFP  

Demand for import variety surges

Amid reports of rising imports of teas from Nepal, the Tea Board of India has unveiled an exercise to test the teas.

Samples of these teas are being tested at the regulator’s Quality Control Laboratory in Siliguri in North Bengal, itself a major tea-trading centre. The testing is being done to check whether the teas conform to the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India norms, sources said.

This facility was created mainly to cater to the needs of the Darjeeling tea industry, almost 80% of which is exported. The laboratory has facilities for testing for the presence of pesticide residue, of heavy metals and to analyse microflora and other toxins. The presence of these elements not only compromises the quality of tea, but also impacts consumer acceptance of the beverage in domestic and global markets.

Cheaper option

For the past few years, rising imports of Nepal teas have been a source of concern to the Darjeeling tea industry.

Import of teas from Nepal to India stood at 11.4 million kg in 2015, rising to 12.2 million kg in 2016. Between January to July of 2017, about 4.3 million kg was imported according to official statistics. India imports these teas under the India Nepal Free-Trade agreement and the teas are substantially cheaper than the Darjeeling brew.

There are now fears that the recent Gorkha Janmukti agitation, which led to a prolonged shutdown of the Darjeeling tea industry, has paved the way for increased imports of tea from Nepal, which is similar to Darjeeling teas.

This development comes at a time when the Darjeeling tea industry is limping back to normalcy after the 104-day strike.

A meeting of the Area Scientific Committee of the Tea Research Association took place in Kurseong, where planters and scientists got together to hammer out a strategy to overcome the crisis situation, discussing the practices to be adopted for plucking.

“The need to ready the gardens for the first flush plucking beginning in March, and the possibility of salvaging some leaves for now was discussed,” according to official sources.

Participants discussed issues such as clearing and weeding the gardens and managing the overgrown tea bushes and pests.