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  30 March 2015

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Thirukkural – திருக்குறள்

அதிகாரம்/Chapter/Adhigaram: நாடு/The Land/Naatu 74
இயல்/ChapterGroup/Iyal: அரணியல்/The Essentials of a State/Araniyal 7
பால்/Section/Paal: பொருட்பால்/Wealth/Porutpaal 2
குறள் 735
பல்குழுவும் பாழ்செய்யும் உட்பகையும் வேந்தலைக்கும்
கொல்குறும்பும் இல்லது நாடு
சாலமன் பாப்பையா உரை:
சாதி, சமய, அரசியல், கருத்து முரண்பாடுகளால் வளரும் பல்வேறு குழுக்கள், கூட இருந்தே குழி பறிக்கும் சொந்தக் கட்சியினர், அரசை நெரக்கடிக்கு உள்ளாக்கும் சிறு கலகக்காரர்கள் (ரௌடிகள், தாதாக்கள், வட்டாரப் போக்கிரிகள்) ஆகியோர் இல்லாது இருப்பதே நாடு.
Couplet 735
From factions free, and desolating civil strife, and band
Of lurking murderers that king afflict, that is the ‘land’
Explanation
A kingdom is that which is without various (irregular) associations, destructive internal enemies, and murderous savages who (sometimes) harass the sovereign
Transliteration
Palkuzhuvum Paazhseyyum Utpakaiyum Vendhalaikkum
Kolkurumpum Illadhu Naatu
                  
 
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Posted by on April 19, 2013 in Pest Management Training

 

FSS Act – Packing regulations -Kolkatta HC – Imported choclates case -Sarad Kumar Bohra vs Union Of India on 21 August, 2014

                                    ORDER SHEET

                                 WP NO.472 OF 2014

                            IN THE HIGH COURT AT CALCUTTA

                            Constitutional Writ Jurisdiction

                                  ORIGINAL SIDE

                                SARAD KUMAR BOHRA
                                    Versus
               UNION OF INDIA, THROUGH CHIEF COMMISSIONER OF CUSTOMS & ORS.
                             ..................

BEFORE: The Hon’ble JUSTICE I. P. MUKERJI Date : 21st August, 2014.

Mr. R.K. Chowdhury…for petitioner.

Mr. S. Moitra, Mr. G. Purokayastha…for respon dent no.3. Mr. P.K. Roy, Mr. K.K. Maity…for respondent nos.1 & 2. The Court : The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has held up a sizeable quantity of sugar confectionery imported by the writ petitioner.

Their allegation is that the products and the packages containing them are violative of The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 read with The Food Safety and Standards [Packaging and Labelling] Regulations, 2011.

On the court application day, I permitted filing of affidavits. An affidavit has been affirmed and filed by one Mr. Khuntia, a senior Inspecting Officer “[under designate from my Deputy Director Sri Ais Kumar]”.

According to the report of food analysis appended thereto from pages 47 to 57 thereof, the samples were tested against their physical appearance and for presence of certain substances. According to the report the sample “conforms to the above parameters” as per clause 2.7.2, appendix A & 2.1 [metal contaminates] of Food Safety Standards Rules and Regulation, 2011.

Mr. Moitra, learned counsel appearing for the third respondent made very extensive submissions. He argued that the goods should be sent back to the country of origin. He showed me the relevant provisions of the Act, particularly those relating to misbranding, packaging, labelling, etc. provided in sections 23 to 26 thereof. He took me through the Label Regulation, being 2.2 particularly, 2.2.2[2]. He also placed Regulation 2.7 with regard to the items permitted in sweets and confectionery [2.7.1].

He argued on that basis that the label of the goods of the petitioner was defective. It mentioned that the product contained “seaweed” but failed to mention any particular type of seaweed that it product contained. Seaweed, of only particular types were safe for human consumption, others were not, it was said.

The type “Agar Agar” is permitted by the Regulations to be used as a jelly agent [see Appendix A Table 13 I[2] of the said Regulations], as shown to me by Mr. Chowdhury, learned advocate for the petitioner. But the contention of Mr. Moitra was that unless this particular seaweed was declared in the label, it contravened the provisions of the said Act and Regulations.

In my opinion, on going through the annexures to the affidavit in opposition, it appears that the products sought to be imported are safe for human consumption, in all other respects. There is only an element of doubt with regard to the presence of seaweed and the absence of a declaration in the label that the permitted type of seaweed “Agar Agar” is included in the product.

Mr. Chowdhury, learned advocate, throughout his argument maintained that the products were imported in packages from Taiwan and Malayasia. They were sold internationally. Only the safe type of seaweed “Agar Agar” had been used.

I also take note of his submission that earlier consignments of identical goods were released without objection.

In that view of the matter, one cannot stop importation of the said goods. But the imported goods can only be released in the market upon a label being permanently affixed by the importer to the effect that the product contains “Agar Agar”, a permitted seaweed and no other type of seaweed. This labelling has to be done on all the imported packages to the satisfaction of the Food Safety Department. The Food Safety Department will issue a ‘No Objection Certificate’ within 48 hours thereafter. The Customs Authorities will thereupon take steps for expeditious release of the goods.

The writ application is allowed to the above extent. Mr. Moitra prays for stay of operation of this order. Since the question of food safety is involved, the prayer for stay is considered. The respondents, at their option, may not comply with this order for a period of ten days from date.

Certified photocopy of this order, if applied for, be supplied to the parties subject to compliance with all requisite formalities.

(I. P. MUKERJI, J.) Pkd.

A.R.[C.R.]

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in Court cases

 

Consumer Disputes Redressal – Black worms in Sprite bottle – M/s Amritsar Crown Corps Pvt. Ltd. vs Dinesh Kumar Garg on 6 June, 2013

              STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION,
              PUNJAB, DAKSHIN MARG, SECTOR-37A, CHANDIGARH

               FIRST APPEAL NO. 1178 OF 2011

               Date of Institution: 04.08.2011
               Date of Decision: 06.06.2013

1.

M/s Amritsar Crown Corps Pvt. Ltd., Factory 14 km stone, Amritsar-Jalandhar GT Road, V&PO Nawan Kot near Jandala Guru, District Amritsar through its Area Manager.

…..Appellant/Opposite Party No.1 VERSUS

1. Dinesh Kumar Garg son of Vishwa Mittar C/o Suraj Bhan Vishwamittar, Commission Agents, Lehra Bazar, Rampura, Phul, District Bathinda.

…..Respondent/Complainant

2. Harish Variety Store, Prop. Sanjay Tanwar son of Chiman Lal, resident of near Railway Phatak, Bathinda-Barnala Road, Opposite Stelco Industry, Rampura.

                                 .....Respondent/Opposite Party No.2
                               First Appeal against the order
                               dated 19.5.2011 passed by the
                               District   Consumer      Disputes
                               Redressal Forum, Bathinda.
Quorum:
     Hon'ble Mr. Justice Gurdev Singh, President
     Sh. Baldev Singh Sekhon, Member

Present:
     For the appellant      : Sh.Achin Gupta, Advocate
     For respondents        : Ex-parte


BALDEV SINGH SEKHON, MEMBER

This appeal has been filed by the appellant/opposite party No.1, against the order dated 19.5.2011, passed by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Bathinda (in short “District Forum”), vide which the complaint of the respondent No.1/complainant was allowed.

2. Briefly stated, the facts are that the complainant purchased two Sprite bottles, 1.5 Ltr. each, manufactured by opposite party No.1, through opposite party No.2, on 23.10.2010 for Rs.110/- but no bill was issued to him by opposite party No.2. Out of these two bottles, one bottle was consumed by the complainant which caused unnecessary trouble in his abdomen and burning sensation. On checking of second bottle, it was found from outside that there was some foreign matter in the bottle i.e. web (Jalla), which was visible to the naked eye and the contents of the bottle were contaminated which could create health hazards. The contents of the bottle had become unhygienic. The complainant approached opposite party No.2 and showed him the bottle but he stated that he purchases the bottles from wholesale dealers only and sell it to the consumers or general public in the same condition in which it is purchased and, therefore, he was not responsible for the contents of the bottle, as the bottle was air tight and sealed as received from the wholesale dealer of the area. It was pleaded by the complainant that had the contents of the bottle been consumed without seeing the foreign material, it might have adversely affected his health. Therefore, he filed the complaint before the District Forum seeking directions to the opposite parties to pay a sum of Rs.1,00,000/- as compensation.

3. Upon notice, opposite party No.1 filed written reply in which it was pleaded that the product of opposite party No.1 was best for use for 3 months from the date of manufacturing. The said product was manufactured by them on 28.5.2010 vide batch No.PIBN480 and the same had already expired on 27.8.2010. In fact the same had been purchased by the complainant without checking the expiry date of the same. It was sold after 5 months from the date of manufacturingwhereas it was best for use upto 3 months. Therefore, opposite party No.1 was not responsible for the contents of the Sprite bottle. It was further pleaded that the complainant had never purchased two bottles of the Sprite from it nor it was selling the same in retail. It is preparing the lot containing thousands of the bottles at a time and there cannot be any chance of any alleged foreign matter in any of the bottle out of the total lot. They are using pet bottles and the bottles once used are never reused by it and rather each and every time fresh bottles are being used and the same are duly tested in the laboratory. The expired product of the opposite party is taken back by the replying opposite party from its authorized dealers and disposed of. In fact there is no packing of the Sprite in the bottle of 1.5 Ltrs.

4. Opposite party No.2 filed separate written reply admitting that he was a retailer/seller and not authorized stockist of opposite party No.1 and purchases the Sprite bottles in small quantity as per the demand and sell the same to the consumers. It was admitted that the complainant purchased two Sprite bottles from him against payment of Rs.110/- and the bill was not issued for the same as the bill was not given to him by the dealer of opposite party No.1. It was pleaded that he was not responsible in any manner because it sells the product in packed conditions as received from opposite party No.1. Since he is not the manufacturer or supplier but only a small shop keeper and has a small margin, so he cannot be fastened with any liability.

5. The parties led their evidence by way of affidavits and documents.

6. The learned District Forum, after going through the pleadings of the parties and evidence on record, accepted the complaint with cost of Rs.2,000/- against opposite party No.1 and directed it to pay Rs.10,000/- as compensation. The complaint was also accepted against opposite party No.2 with a cost of Rs.1,000/-

7. Aggrieved by this order, opposite party No.1 has come up in this appeal.

8. It was submitted by the learned counsel for opposite party No.1 that the learned District Forum has failed to appreciate the fact that the bottle was from batch No.PIBN480, the manufacturing date of which was 25.5.2010. It was mentioned on the bottle that the same was best for use for 3 months but the complainant purchased the same on 23.10.2010 after the expiry of that period. Opposite party No.1 is manufacturing the products which are required to be free from all types of hazards to life and safety but it is not responsible for the product which was purchased by the complainant after the expiry date. It was further submitted that the foreign substance in the bottle may be the result of non-following the instructions of the opposite party which are duly printed on the bottles i.e. to keep away from sunlight, to store in a cool and dry place etc.

9. We have thoroughly gone through the pleadings of the parties and have carefully perused the evidence on record and considered the submissions of the learned counsel for the opposite party No.1.

10. The bottle of Sprite in question was having batch No.PIBN480 and manufacturing date as 25.5.2010. It is mentioned on the bottle itself that it is best for use for 3 months i.e. upto 24.8.2010 whereas the same was purchased by the complainant on 23.10.2010 i.e. after almost two months of that date of expiry. Opposite party No.1 cannot be held responsible for the contaminated contents of the bottle after the date of expiry. This bottle should not have been sold by opposite party No.2 to the complainant. Even though the complainant was required to be vigilant and check the manufacturing date and expiry date before purchase but the failure to do so does not give any right to opposite party No.2 to sell an expired product. The expired product is never considered to be safe for human consumption. Hence opposite party No.2 is held responsible for selling expired and substandard product to the complainant.

11. The learned District Forum has held that the bottle was checked by it and found that same was fully tight and, therefore, no foreign material could enter into it even after expiry date. Hence opposite party No.1 was also held responsible for the existence of foreign material i.e. web (Jalla), which was visible with the naked eye. Worm of black colour was floating inside the bottle. This observation of the learned District Forum is patently incorrect. Any consumable product is good for human consumption for a specific period of time and after a specific period it is declared unsafe and due to this reason only, the date of expiry/best before date is mentioned on the product. The consumable products are declared unsafe because its ingredients get degenerated or decomposed after some time and the fungus (Jalla) may be generated even in the sealed container. Otherwise the same would be declared fit for all time to come.

12. In the instant case, the Sprite bottle purchased by the complainant was proved to be “Best before” upto 24.8.2010 but the same was sold by opposite party No.2 on 23.10.2010 almost after two months of the expiry of “Best before” date. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has notified Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations, 2011, in which the term “Best Before” has been defined as under:-

“”Best before” means the date which signifies the end of the period under any stated storage conditions during which the food shall remain fully marketable and shall retain any specific qualities for which tacit or express claims have been made and beyond that date, the food may still be perfectly safe to consume, though its quality may have diminished. However the food shall not be sold if at any stage the product becomes unsafe.”

13. Evidently the Sprite bottles were not marketable beyond 24.8.2010 but opposite party No.2 sold it to the complainant two months after the said date when Jalla (Web) was observed by the complainant in it. However, when same was inspected by the District Forum on 7.2.2011, worms of black colour were also found, which was probably because it was not kept in stated storage conditions. When the Jalla was visible with naked eye in the bottle on 23.10.2010, it should have been returned back to the manufacturer instead of selling the same to the complainant. The manufacturer of a product can, in no way, be held responsible for sale of defective product by a retailer after its marketable date.

14. In view of the above discussion and findings, the appeal of the appellant/opposite party No.1 is accepted and the complaint of the respondent No.1/complainant qua the opposite party No.1 is dismissed. However, the order of the learned District Forum qua the opposite party No.2 is affirmed and upheld. No order is made as to costs.

15. The appellant/opposite party No.1 deposited an amount of Rs.6,000/- with this Commission at the time of filing of the appeal. This amount, alongwith interest, which has accrued thereon, if any, be remitted by the registry to the appellant/opposite party No.1, by way of a crossed cheque/demand draft, after expiry of 45 days under intimation to the learned District Forum.

16. The arguments in the case were heard on 4.6.2013 and the order was reserved. Now, the order be communicated to the parties.

17. The appeal could not be decided within the statutory period because of the heavy pendency of the court cases.

(JUSTICE GURDEV SINGH) PRESIDENT (BALDEV SINGH SEKHON) MEMBER June 06, 2013 VINAY

 

Toxins and Aflatoxins

Toxins:

Toxins lurking in healthy plant foods

Toxins are the natural toxic substances present in some food materials, which may cause serious illness.

Aflatoxin:

 

 

Aflatoxin contamination is most common occurrence in the agricultural produce/food. Aflatoxin is one type of mycotoxins containing toxic substances, which are produced by moulds or fungi. Aflatoxins contamination may occur in pulses in the field itself, in farm storage and after processing, whenever environmental conditions i.e high moisture/humidity and temperature, are favourable for the growth of fungi. Aflatoxins are produced by fungi namely Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus ochraceus and Aspergillus parasiticus. The aflatoxigenic Aspergilli is generally regarded as storage fungi.

The ingestion of aflatoxin suppresses growth, productivity and immunity of human being. Aflatoxins are carcinogenic, mutagenic and causes liver damage etc.

Prevention and control of Aflatoxins:

♦ Store the Green gram after drying upto safe moisture level i.e. within the prescribed range.

  Prevent the growth of aflatoxin by proper drying of grains.

♦ Use proper and scientific storage.

♦ Prevent insect infestation by chemicals to avoid mould formation.

♦ Separate the infected grains from sound grains to avoid aflatoxin contamination

Agmark

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in Food Borne Pathogens

 

Barpeta food posioning follow up – Fungus found in adulterated prasad

Guwahati:

 Also read previous posts on this news  in this blog

Barpeta Food Poisoning: 528 admitted so far in BMCH -19.03.15

Food poisoning follow up : Barpeta bans sale of grams, moong – 20.03.15

Sample analysis of the adulterated prasad that claimed three lives in Barpeta district last week revealed the presence of fungal growth in the grams and moong beans used in the preparation.

Analysts and health experts, however, said the presence of fungal growth alone cannot be treated as a direct cause of death as forensic analysis of the viscera and organs of the deceased is yet to be undertaken.

Two kinds of samples were sent for analysis. One comprised grams and moong beans and the other, the traditional payakh or rice pudding. The Barpeta district administration received the report from the state public health laboratory on Thursday.

Over 500 people, including women and children, fell sick after consuming the adulterated prasad at a religious ceremony held early last week in Nasattra, a village in the district. The devotees complained of nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach ailments and dehydration.

“The payakh sample didn’t reveal any trace of fungus. There was no presence of pesticides either. Even the water sample was tested and found to be without any trace of fungal growth. The grams and the beans, which showed fungal growth, didn’t come from one particular source,” said Jayanta Das, food safety officer of Barpeta district.

An analyst at the public health laboratory, Anupam Gogoi, said the samples did not show any toxic or harmful content. “The samples were collected by the district administration from whatever was left of the prasad. The presence of fungus alone cannot be the cause of death. More forensic analysis is required. There has been a considerable gap between the time of preparation of the prasad and the time of testing of the samples,” he said.

The Barpeta district administration on March 19 prohibited the sale and distribution of different varieties of grams and moong beans across the district.

TOI-290315

Also read Toxins and Aflatoxins in this blog posted on 30.03.15

 
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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in Food poisoning

 

Food Safety News Updates – India (29.03.15)

KERALA

 

Test result of the Regional Analytical Laboratory in Kochi

THRISSUR:

After testing the samples of dry chillies supplied by the government undertaking Supplyco to BPL families during last Onam season, food safety assistant commissioner here has recommended for an adjudication process against officers concerned for supplying sub-standard grocery.

In the complaint filed by RTI activist P B Satheesh of Mannuthy, it was pointed out that the free Onam kits distributed at the Supplyco Unit at Mannuthy last year contained only stalk (njatti) of chillies along with dry leaves, pieces of stone and wood etc.

There were media reports over the issue then, he noted. The complainant had brought to the notice of the officials in Food Safety Department that it was very difficult to find a piece of dry red chilly in the 200g-pack given to BPL cardholders and strangely, the dry chilly found in the pack was yellow in colour.

Assistant Food Safety Commissioner in Thrissur B Jayachandran told ‘Express’ that the samples collected were tested at the Regional Analytical Laboratory in Kochi and was found to be sub-standard.

“The Food Safety Officer will submit all documents in connection with the complaint and test conducted before the Revenue Divisional Office (RDO) for adjudication and action will be taken against the Supplyco officials who had erred in their duties after the hearing,” he said.

Meanwhile, sources in the Supplyco said that the dry red chilly (‘Chillies Whole’) found as sub-standard after testing would not be of a great concern for the corporation and the Revenue

Divisional Office would at the most impose a small token as fine.

Manager of the Supplyco Unit at Mannuthy said that even though the packaging was done in his unit, the consignment came from Kochi. The quality controllers of the corporation had tested it before it reached the unit for packing. “We conducted an inquiry with the packing employees here and they told us that they have packed what they received after the inspection conducted by QC,” he said.

Meanwhile, Satheesh said the estimated cost of one free kit that included 2 kg of rice and 50 grams of tea dust along with the dry chilly was `70 and his organisation ‘Nerkazhcha’ had already filed a complaint with Vigilance to find out whether there was any financial misappropriation.

KARNATAKA

Mysuru DC sets up team to curb use of chemicals by mango merchants

Ahead of mango season, the district administration has set up a team of officials asking them to ensure that chemicals are not used to ripen the fruit. 

This follows complaints from the public and elected representatives. DC C Shikha asked the horticulture officials to visit the market and collect the samples. She has asked them to book criminal cases in case chemicals are used to ripen the mangoes. 

During a meeting of the officials from the food and civil supplies, horticulture and health departments, the DC expressed concern about food adulteration and set up the team. It is asked to deal with food adulteration, including use of chemicals by fruit merchants. Shikha asked the team to invoke provisions contained in Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and book criminal cases against adulterators. 

The officials said they have collected samples of watermelon and tested it for chemical use. However, there are no such case, they said. Shikha didn’t agree and pointed at large scale complaints and asked them to focus on mango season when use of chemicals to ripen the fruit early is rampant. 

She asked the officials to crack down on food adulterators, both retailers and wholesalers and raid them. District health officer Dr H T Puttaswamy and deputy director of food and civil supplies Ka Rameshwarappa attended the meeting.

TAMILNADU

Private tankers checked for chlorine content

Random checks of a few private city tankers transporting drinking water on Thursday revealed zero levels of chlorination.

The chlorine level should be a minimum of 0.2 parts per million (ppm/ml), while the 20 tankers that were tested by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had zero ppm.

The team of officials began checking near Padi and tested water samples for levels of chlorination. Private tankers source water mainly from Poonamallee, Cholavaram and Athipet in Tiruvallur district, and transport them to homes, shops and other commercial establishments.

FSSAI staff did not initiate punitive measures against the tanker owners, but educated them. “We briefed them on adding chlorine to water before supplying it to customers,” said an official.

The team also conducted similar checks on tankers run by Metrowater and noticed chlorine content of over 0.3.ppm/ml.

Four teams of FSSAI officials plan to fan out across the city and conduct more such checks in the days to come. There are also plans to lift water samples from the tankers and test for other parameters such as turbidity.

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2015 in Enforcement

 

FSS Act – Jharkhand HC – Lodoo sample fails – anticipatory bail dismissed to FBO -Gulam Kadir Alias Asgar Ali vs State Of Jharkhand And Anr on 1 September, 2014

                      IN THE HIGH COURT OF JHARKHAND AT RANCHI
                               A.B.A. No.190 of 2014

             Vijay Prasad Gupta                        .....   Petitioner
                                         Versus
             The State of Jharkhand                    ....      Opposite Party

             CORAM:         HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE H.C. MISHRA

             For the Petitioner       :     Mr. Anil Kumar
             For the State            :     A. P.P.
                                      -----
                                   3/01.9.2014

Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and learned A.P.P. for the Prosecution.

The petitioner is apprehending his arrest in connection with C.G. Case No.06 of 2013, for the alleged offences under Section 3 (zz)(iii),(viii) of the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006, Section 59(iii) read with Section 26 and 27 of the said Act.

From the offence report, it appears that the petitioner was running a hotel, from where a sample of lodoo was taken for analysis by the Food Analyst and it was found that the said lodoo was adultrated and unsafe, as it contained non-permitted synthetic colouring matter, which were harmful substance and detrimental to health.

Learned counsel for the petitioner has submitted that the petitioner has been falsely implicated in this case and has prayed for anticipatory bail.

Learned counsel for the State has opposed the prayer. In the facts and circumstances of the case and taking into consideration the allegation against the petitioner, I am not inclined to release the petitioner on anticipatory bail. Accordingly, prayer for bail anticipatory bail stand dismissed.

(H. C. Mishra, J) R.Kumar

 
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Posted by on March 29, 2015 in Court cases

 

Consumer Disputes Redressal – Dead insects in Dates – Manager, Lion Dates Impex Private … vs 1. K.S.Ganesan S/O. … on 19 December, 2013

          IN THE TAMILNADU STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL
                 COMMISSION, MADURAI BENCH.

Present:   Thiru.A.K. ANNAMALAI, M.A.M.L.,M.Phil., Presiding Judicial Member
           Thiru.S. SAMBANDAM, B.Sc,               Member

                              F.A.No.37/2013
     (Against the order in C.C.No. 44/2011 dated 01.02.2013 on the file of DCDRF,
                              Kanyakumari @ Nagarcoil )

                 THURSDAY, 19th DAY OF DECEMBER 2013.

MANAGER,
Lion Dates Impex Private Limited,
27/3, Cauvery Road,
Trichy-620 002.                                  Appellant/2nd opposite Party

               Vs

1. K.S.GANESAN
   S/o. K.Sankaranpillai,
   919/A4, Waterline Street,
   Aruguvilai, Krishnankoil,
   Nagarcoil-629 001.
   Kanyakumari District.                         1st Respondent/Complainant

2.   M.THOMAS
     President-The Kanyakumari Jilla
     Consumer Protection Centre,
     UGP Complex, 2nd Floor,
     14, Patal Vilai, Cape Road,
     Nagarcoil-629 001.
     Kanyakumari District.                        2nd Respondent/Complainant

3.   THE PROPRIETOR,
      Margin Free Market,
     No.5, Balamore Road,
     Vadasery, Nagarcoil-629 001.
     Kanyakumari District.                        3rd Respondent/1st Opposite Party.

Counsel for Appellant/Opposite Party         :    Mr. M.Vijayanath, Advocate.

Counsel for Respondents 1-3/Complainants:         Mr. Served Called Absent.
                                         2


         This appeal coming before us for final hearing on 27.11.2013 and on

hearing the arguments of appellant side and upon perusing the material records

this Commission made the following:

                                   ORDER

THIRU. A.K.ANNAMALAI, PRESIDING JUDICIAL MEMBER.

1. The 2nd opposite party is the appellant.

2. The 1st respondent/complainant purchased Lion brand dates from the 1st opposite party who is the dealer for the 2nd opposite party/appellant’s products and on using the Lion dates the 1st complainant found some living as well as dead insects in those dates which caused stomach pain to his wife and as well as mental agony and other troubles to the complainants which forced him to file a consumer complaint after giving notice through the 2nd complainant to the 2nd opposite party claiming refund of the purchase amount of Rs.128/- and Rs.50,000/- as compensation for mental agony and for costs.

3. The District Forum on the basis of the both sides materials and after an enquiry allowed the complaint directing the opposite parties to pay a sum of Rs.5000/- each as compensation and costs payable to the 1st complainant by accepting the contentions of the complainants.

4. Aggrieved by the impugned order, the 2nd opposite party alone has come forward with the appeal by contending that the District Forum has erroneously allowed the complaint without taking into considerations of the facts of the case since the purchase Exhibited as M.O.1 and M.O.2 was sent to the chemical analysis after their shelf life that is after the expiry of consumable period and thereby there was infirmity in the lab report and the actual date of packing of M.O.1 and M.O.2 was on March 2011 which are having expiry date as September 2011 purchased on 13.04.2011 and 15.04.2011 and those were received by the lab only on 29.11.2011 and report was given on 19.12.2012 and thereby the consumable items were examined after the expiry period and there cannot be no use of accepting the laboratory report under Ex.C1 and thereby the complaint is devoid of merits which is to be dismissed.

5. Per contra the complainants/Respondents have contented that the 1st purchase was made on 13.04.2011 in which the dead insects were found only at the time of use by the 1st complainant’s wife and thereafter once again at the 2nd purchase was made on 15.04.2011 even in the container when seeing the container with naked eye some living insects were found in the dates and thereafter the complainant had taken steps for analysis which itself would prove the products are having foreign objects caused mental agony while using the same. As far as the contentions of the appellant are concerned, it is not in dispute that the 1st complainant purchased the items M.O.1 and M.O.2 from the 1st opposite party being the seller of the products of the 2nd opposite party/appellant being the producer and manufacturer of the lion dates eventhough contending that they are only receiving imported dates as natural products which is repacked and sold sending for marketing the same as it is and there are certain conditions like keeping the products in an acceptable weather conditions and packed manner itself to be used within the expiry of consumable period as mentioned on the products packages. In our case, it is not in dispute that the complainant had purchased those lion dates during the month of April 2011 having consumable period up to September 2011, but as soon as the complainant found dead as well as living insects in the products, he rushed to the Consumer Forum in the month of August 2011 itself after giving legal notice in the month of May 2011 and before an expiry period of product to be consumable the complainant used the same and found with defects of having some living and dead insects which is confirmed by the analysis report under Ex.C1 in which it is stated that it contains live and dead insects on visual examination and the total plate count is more than the permissible limit and the blemished/damaged units are more than the prescribed limit for Dates under Regulations 2.3.47(4) of Food Safety and Standards ( Food Products Standards & Food Additives) Regulation, 2011.

6. Though the appellant counsel contented that the lab report was obtained only after the expiry of the product to be consumable, it is pertinent to note that because it was consumed even before the expiry of the period in September 2011 that is in April 2011 itself nearly 5 months prior to the date of expiry itself and as soon as the complainant came to know about the presence of such foreign materials in the eatable Dates fruits approached the Consumer Forum after giving legal notice and thereby the contentions that the products were examined after expiry date cannot be accepted and the products was examined only to confirm the contentions of the complainant to ascertain the visualized nature of presence of foreign materials in the product/lion dates and there by these contentions cannot be accepted one. Regarding this, the learned counsel relied upon a ruling reported in Baskar Vembu Vs The State of Tamil Nadu, decided on 19th August, 2008 by the Hon’ble High Court, Madras in which it is held that the sample of the product was sent to the analysis belatedly and prosecution was initiated after 17 months of the analysis report and thereby based on this finding, in this case also the appellants prays to set aside the District Forum order. On perusal of the rulings, relied upon by the appellant, the case was decided in the Criminal OP matter before the Hon’ble High Court under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act which is criminal proceedings in nature and there are strict and stringent rules are to be followed in filing complaint under that Act, the complainant being the State Government and the defendant/accused being the dealer, manufacturer of the food items and these procedures are all not applicable under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 in which the complainant is entitled to seek remedy under relevant procedures to be followed and there will be no applicability of provisions of Cr.P.C or C.P.C. except for limited purpose as envisaged in the Act. As far as our case is concerned, it is obviously proved by the complainant that the purchase made by the 1st complainant from the 1st opposite party that is the lion dates for which the 2nd opposite party being the manufacturer/supplier having responsibility in selling the product and with naked eyes the foreign objects were found in the eatables if it is taken or consumed certainly it would cause health hazard and also thereby the purchaser/consumer would be put into mental agony and unnecessary troubles and thereby in this case, we find no infirmity or error on the findings of the District Forum in this regard and there is no need for interfering with the well-considered order passed by the District Forum. In those circumstances, we are of the view that there is no merit in this appeal which is liable to be dismissed of devoid of merits.

9. In the result, the appeal is dismissed by confirming the order of the District Forum, Kanyakumari @ Nagarcoil passed in C.C.No.44/2011, dated 01.02.2013. No order as to costs in the appeal.

S.SAMBANDAM,                                            A.K.A. ANNAMALAI,
MEMBER.                                           PRESIDING JUDICIAL MEMBER.

 
 
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