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FSSAI Issues Order Related To Testing of Herbicide Gluphosate in Pulses

FSSAI Issues Order Related to Testing of Herbicide Glyphosate in Pulses

The FSSAI has issued an order dated 12 October 2018 which is related to testing of the herbicide Glyphosate in pulses. The FSSAI has stated that there is a possibility of higher levels of residues of the herbicide “Glyphosate” in pulses which could adversely affect the health of consumers. Therefore the FSSAI has directed the Authorised Officers to instruct laboratories to test for the presence of herbicide ‘Glyphosate” along with other parameters when the samples for pulses are forwarded for testing. The data collected by the Regional Offices regarding the presence of Glyphosate in pulses must be shared with FSSAI HQ New Delhi after every 15 days.

It may be noted that the MRL for Glyphosate in pulses has not been specified in the FSSAI regulations. So presently the FSSAI has given the following MRL for Glyphosate which is as specified in the Codex standards. This MRL will also be taken into consideration for the purpose of import clearance.

Sl. No Commodity MRL
1. Beans (dry) 2 mg/Kg
2. Lentil (dry) 5 mg/Kg
3. Peas (dry) 5 mg/Kg
4. Soya bean (dry) 20 mg/Kg

Further, The FSSAI has recommended that the Codex may be viewed from time to time for an upgrade in MRL of Glyphosate in Pulses.

About Glyphosate in Pulses

Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum herbicide that is also one of the largest selling herbicide in the world. Till 2015 the herbicide was considered to be safe but it was only in 2015 that the World Health Organisation’s IARC classified Glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen, In India, it seems that Glyphosate is being used as a pre-harvest desiccant in several crops resulting in high residues in food. Glyphosate is considered to be highly toxic and dangerous for human health. When ingested in larger quantities it can affect immunity to serious diseases and also absorption of mineral and vitamin nutrients.

India is one of the biggest producers of pulses but in recent years it has begun to import pulses from Canada, Australia, and Myanmar. According to Indian-born Canadian food security activist Santanu (Tony) Mitra, Australian moong dal and Canadian masoor dal contain high residues of Glyphosate. Mitra has been fighting legal battles with the Canadian Government for the release of safety document and testing of Glyphosate in all food items. Food safety and agricultural scientists are warning that the use of glyphosate may prove dangerous as in Sri Lanka, where many sugarcane farmers died due to renal failure after being overexposed to the herbicide. Mitra thinks that the Indian diet might have become overly contaminated from imported pulses. The pulses need to be tested for glyphosate residue at every entry point which is not being carried out presently. It is for all these reasons that the FSSAI has now ordered testing samples for Glyphosate residues along with other parameters. The same is applicable to imported pulses also.

(with inputs from agencies)

Formaldehyde issue puts FSSAI in a spot

Panaji:

Stating that permissible limits of naturally occurring formaldehyde were not available, the assistant director of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), told the high court of Bombay at Goa that a scientific panel would examine the issue of “setting permissible limits of naturally occurring formaldehyde in fish and fish products”. 
The authority, in its affidavit responding to three petitions over the formalin in fish issue, put the onus on the state government by stating that enforcement of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, and Food Safety and Standards Regulations 2011, primarily lay with the state.
The advocate representing the FSSAI told the court that the authority had already given all states a guidance note on formalin. The FSSAI further stated that it has been issuing advisories and directions to all states from time to time for effective and rigorous enforcement. It maintained that it was up to officials of the food safety department of each state to check compliance of standards laid down under the prevalent acts and regulations.
Justice N M Jamdar told the advocate representing the FSSAI that the court had sought the authority’s say in the matter considering that it was an expert body. Stating that the court had expected the FSSAI to apply its mind in the matter, Jamdar said it “cannot simply reproduce the act” (in its affidavit). He added that while the state may be the implementing authority, the central authority is “still the apex body”. 
The issue saw yet another citizen, Sanjeev Raiturcar, file a petition in the formalin in fish issue. Raiturcar has prayed for directions to close down the wholesale fish market at Madel, Margao, and reopen it only once the municipality provided all the necessary infrastructure of drainage, toilets etc. and after consent from the relevant authorities including the Goa State Pollution Control Board was obtained.
The petitioner has also prayed for directions to stop sewage and drainage of toxic water into the Sal and adjoining fields

Govt launches awareness for safe food

 

New Delhi, Oct 16 (
The government Tuesday launched a national campaign ‘Swasth Bharat Yatra’ on the World Food Day under which a pan-India cycle rally is being organised to sensitise people about eating safe food and be healthy, FSSAI chief executive Pawan Kumar Agarwal said.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is leading this campaign where about 7,500 cyclists are expected to participate in over 18,000 km relay cycle rally travelling across six tracks through almost every state and UT over 100 days to propagate a powerful message ‘Eat Right India’. The cyclathon will culminate in the national capital on January 27.
“We are not mindful of wheat we are eating. What we eat is important. Therefore, we want consumers to demand safe and healthy food which will force food businesses to manufacture only those products,” Agarwal told reporters here.
He said the campaign has been launched by the central government, in association with states, from October 16 on occasion of the World Food Day. The FSSAI is leading this campaign to create consumer awareness about eating safe and nutritious food for becoming healthy.
The ‘Swasth Bharat Yatra’ was launched simultaneously at Leh (in Jammu & Kashmir), Panaji (Goa), Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala), Puducherry, Ranchi ( Jharkhand) and Agarthala (Tripura).
From October 16 to January 27, 2019, on every single day, 150 volunteer cyclists and a convoy including the ‘Eat Right Mobile Unit’ and ‘Mobile Food Testing Unit’ would travel across the country to build awareness around food safety, combating food adulteration and healthy diets.
“In all, over 7,500 volunteer cyclists would stop at 2,000+ locations and conduct in-city and en-route activities and ‘Prabhat Pheris’ to propagate the message of Eat Right India,” the food safety regulator said.
Agarwal said there is sufficient availability of food in the country and barring few crops India is self sufficient. The government is also making available foods at a cheaper rates to people through a public distribution system and other welfare schemes with an annual subsidy of about Rs 2 lakh crore.
“We do not have any issue with availability and affordability of food. But there is an issue with quality and safety of food that we eat,” he said, adding that the regulator has taken a number of initiatives in the last few years to nudge consumers as well as food businesses towards addressing this matter.
Elaborating on the campaign, Agarwal said this would not only mobilise the masses but also create a large pool of local community to sustain this movement.Asked about India’s 103rd rank in ‘Global Hunger Index’ out of 119 countries, Agarwal said there is a need to analyse the parameters on which the countries have been ranked in this study.

Food Safety Club Must In Schools : Kerala Commission

KOCHI:

The Kerala State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has issued an order to set up food safety clubs in all aided and unaided schools in the state. The commission directed to start the club in this academic year itself. The commission issued the order based on the rule in the child right act 2005.

The commission’s directive came in reply to a petition filed by a Kochi based media research foundation against the consumption of junk food by students. Adding further to the directive, the Commission also instructed awareness campaigns to be carried out at the school level. The Commission also directed that an inspection drive should be carried out by the food safety officer in all the junk food manufacturing and distribution centres to ensure quality.

Consumer alert – Cockroach in Sweets

Consumer complaint as posted by Brites in Indian Consumer Complaints Forum on Oct-15-2018

Image result for keshavareddy sweets, banjara hills

 

Photo : Google Images

I bought a sweet samosa box from Keshav Reddy Sweets, Banjara Hills branch through Swiggy and found live cockroach when i opened the box. I had to throw away the box and had to get refund from Swiggy. I dont have photos of the cockroach since it skittered away as soon as I opened the box. Please look into the cooking conditions or storage conditions at the said Keshav Reddy Sweets branch.

Consumer alert : Worms in Lions Date pack

Divya Lakshmi Iyer s complaint posted in Indian Consumer Complaints Forum on Oct 15th -2018

Image result for lion dates

Hi,
I bought lion dates recently, and there was a worm inside the pack i had one piece of dates and when i took the next piece a worm came out. I have taken a video of the same. It was really a bad experience from such trustworthy company. I always go for lion dates instead of local brands, this time i was disappointed. I returned the pack to the shop and got a new one. But the questions now is.. Can i trust this brand.??

Food Safety Enforcement News – India updates – Oct -14 -2018

GENERAL

Food safety authority issues draft standards for cereal products

The food regulator, which released the draft standards on Wednesday, has called for comments within 30 days
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has sought stakeholders’ comments on the draft notification related to cereals and cereals products, including instant noodles, fortified atta, maida, and rice; durum wheat maida, quinoa, tapioca, palm sago and pearl millet flour.
The food regulator, which released the draft standards on Wednesday, has called for comments within 30 days.
The draft defines instant noodles as a product prepared from wheat flour and/or rice flour and/or flour of any other cereals, millets and legumes covered under food additives regulations and water as the main ingredient with or without the addition of spices by kneading the dough and extending it.
“Starches, dried fruits and vegetables, nuts, edible protein and egg powder may be added, if required,” it said.
The draft rules added that instant noodles are characterised by the use of pregelatinisation process and dehydration either by frying or other methods.
Pregelatinisation is a process which is used to modify starch properties. These starches are cold-water-soluble and useful for making pasta and noodles.
According to the draft standards, the product should be presented as fried noodles or non-fried noodles.
“The product shall be of good characteristic colour, appearance, texture, aroma and taste and shall be free from added colour, undesirable taste, dirt, insects’ larvae and impurities or any other extraneous matter,” it said.
The draft rules standards state that noodles and the seasoning will separately comply with the safety regulations and the seasoning accompanying the instant noodles should be labeled distinctly on the package.
Nestle’s popular brand of instant noodles, Maggi, was banned last year when lead presence was reported in its samples. The Bombay High Court lifted the ban in August 2015, asking for fresh rounds of tests to ascertain whether it was safe for consumption.

AP / TELENGANA

Vijaywada: Ghee-making unit ‘using stale butter’ raided

VIJAYAWADA: Food safety officials along with a vigilance and enforcement team raided a ghee-making unit on Friday, which is allegedly using stale butter to manufacture ghee. The unit is located at Nunna in the city outskirts. 
The officials seized about 40 tonnes of stale butter and 20 tonnes of processed ghee from the premises of Durga Agencies.
The officials also found that the premises of Durga Agencies was in unhygienic condition with cockroaches all over the place. The butter being used to make ghee was stale and stinking. Food safety assistant controller, N Purnachandar Rao, told TOI that the butter used in preparation of ghee was stale and past the expiry date.
Durga Agencies has a license to run the industry. It is marketing ghee under ‘Durga’ and ‘Kamadhenu’ brnad names. The industry is owned by P Krishna, who has two pending cases of similar nature against him, added Purnachandar Rao.
The officials collected two samples each of butter and ghee for laboratory test. Durga Agencies also makes curd sold in sachets of various sizes. They also collected samples of the curd.
Rao said they have served notices on the industry, seized the stocks and sealed the premises. Criminal proceedings will be initiated against the industry based on the lab findings.

GOA

Goa to hire foreign agency to test fish for chemicals: Vishwajit Rane

PANAJI: The Goa government will hire an international agency to check fish and ensure that hazardous chemicals like formalin are not used as preservatives, state Food and Drugs Administration Minister Vishwajit Rane said Monday.
A high level committee comprising Goa Town and Country Planning Minister Vijai Sardesai, Fisheries Minister Vinod Palyekar, besides Rane, met in Margao on Monday to discuss the issue.
“There are fears being raised about use of formalin in fish. We have decided to address it by hiring an international agency which will test the fish that is imported in Goa from other states,” Rane told reporters after the culmination of the meeting.
He informed that the state government would finalise the name of the international agency within 24 hours and it would be invited to work along with the state’s FDA in this regard.
He said that the decision to invite the international agency was taken after consulting Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
The FSSAI, a Central body, is responsible for making regulations and setting standards, import of food, notifying labs and ensuring cooperation with the states.
The issue of formalin or formaldehyde, a potential cancer-inducing chemical, as a preservative in fish has rocked Goa for several months now.
Rane said that unlicensed fish traders will not be allowed to operate in Goa after October 15.
Goa Town and Country Planning minister Vijai Sardesai said Monday’s meeting discussed measures to ensure highest standards are adopted so as to make fish safe for consumption.
Sardesai alleged that the opposition Congress was creating doubt in the minds of the people about fish being consumed in Goa and added that chief minister Manohar Parrikar had been apprised of the issue.
GUJARAT

95 kg stale food, farsan destroyed at garba venues

Vadodara: Health officials of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) conducted surprise checking at four different garba venues in the city. The teams checked over 160 food stalls during the drive.
VMC teams have been on a drive to check food vendors since about a week. After checking sweet and savoury shops, the teams focussed on garba venues in the city since Friday night.
On Friday, food safety officers checked 166 stalls in the city and destroyed 95kg food items there. The items that were disposed of included ‘batata vada’, chutney, momos, rice, samosas and cut fruit

Civic body begins food safety drive

VADODARA: Food safety officers of the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) conducted extensive drives to check sweet and savoury shops in wake of the festive season. 
Stress is also being laid on ensuring that ‘fafda-jalebis’ are prepared in a hygienic manner for Dussehra.
VMC officials had begun the drive on Tuesday and this will continue till Dussehra. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the officials checked shops in the ST Depot, Rajmahal Road, Waghodiya-Dabhoi Ring Road, Sussen-Tarsali Road, Fatehpura, Akota, Sayajipark, Ajwa Road, New VIP Road, Harni, Sangam Char Rasta, Market, Kadak Bazar, Manjalpur, Somatalav, Makarpura, Parivar Crossroads and others.
On Thursday, officials checked shops in Sayajigunj, Waghodiya Road, Makarpura, Karelibaug and Warasiya Ring Road areas. In all, the food safety officers have collected 61 samples so far. The samples include those of raw materials as well as prepared food items.

J & K

Food Safety comes on four wheels

BARAMULLA: Deputy Commissioner Baramulla – Nasir Ahmad Naqash Thursday launched mobile testing laboratory here as part of the 10 days long drive being launched by the department of Food Safety.
With an aim to ensure qualitative food items besides generating awareness among the masses, the mobile lab is equipped with the necessary technical expertise shall visit across the district to collect food samples that will be subsequently tested for human consumption, the statement said.
Nodal Officer Hamidullah Dar, it reads, highlighted the significance of the initiative and said that the move will help in containing food adulteration. He said that food adulteration had serious effects on the health of people which is the cause of some fatal diseases. He said that the team boarding mobile lab will educate people about the impact of substandard commoditie

Food safety awareness program organized for vendors

JAMMU, Oct 9: To create awareness amongst food vendors and shopkeepers outside Bawe Wali Mata temple, a camp was organized today by a Food Safety team of Drug and Food Control Organization.
A large number of food vendors and shopkeepers, particularly sweet sellers of the area participated in the awareness camp, which was organized under the overall supervision of Commissioner, Food Safety, in view of the holy Navratras.
Stating that food safety is closely linked with health, Dr Parvesh Kumar, Assistant Commissioner, Food Safety, instructed the vendors and shopkeepers to keep their premises and surroundings clean as ‘Practicing good hygiene and maintaining cleanliness’ are the mantras for making safe food.
Food Safety team also demonstrated steps to make street food safe. The food vendors showed tremendous enthusiasm in learning good practices of making safe food. They were asked not to use inferior and adulterated raw material for making food and always cook food in clean utensils
The team also asked the vendors not to use old newspapers and polythene for packing and selling the food items like sweets and instead use brown paper. They also asked them to keep dustbins in their premises to avoid littering of garbage and avoid throwing filthy water in front of their establishments and on path to the temple premises.
Food Safety officers Ajay Khajuria and Dileep Singh were also present on the occasion.
MADHYA PRADESH

Juice seller sentenced to rigorous imprisonment after food inspector seizes poor-quality pineapple from shop

Preetam Singh, 43, was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of one year along with a penalty of Rs 5,000 for selling juice made out of inferior-quality fruits in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.
Juice seller sentenced to rigorous imprisonment in MP | Photo Credit: Thinkstock
Bhopal:
In Madhya Pradesh’s capital city of Bhopal, a juice seller was sentenced to a year-long rigorous imprisonment by a special court for using poor quality pineapple at his establishment. The court, instituted for the trial of cases pertaining to food adulteration also slapped a penalty of Rs 5,000 on the vendor and also confiscated sub-standard fruits from his shop situated near Habibganj Crossing.
The shop was known as Khalsa Juice Centre and was raided about 10 years ago by the then-food inspector Bhojraj Singh Dhakad. A charge-sheet was lodged against the accused 43-year-old juice shop owner Preetam Singh under relevant sections of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.
A news report published by the Times of India said that Prakash Kumar Uike, Judicial Magistrate First Class held Singh guilty after observing that poor quality fruit juice was being served to customers, thereby cheating them. The court further observed that the substandard-quality juice may have had an adverse impact on the health of the customers. Maintaining the same, Singh was sentenced to one year of rigorous imprisonment.
This should most definitely come as a reminder to those in the catering business and food industry to comply with guidelines laid down by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, FSSAI, especially those who disregard the health and safety of their customers and go on to deceive them by providing goods and services processed out of low-grade raw material.

MAHARASHTRA

Food safety officials seize food products in Kohima

Food safety officials conducting inspection at a food establishment in Kohima on October 11.
KOHIMA, OCTOBER 12 (MExN): Food safety officials along with Kohima Municipal Council officials carried out a joint inspection of food establishments in Kohima on October 11.
During the inspection, some food products which had exceeded best before date was seized by the team from M/S Best Bakery located at PR Hill, Kohima, informed a press note from the Kohima Chief Medical Officer (CMO).
It further notified on the appeal made by food safety regulators of the district for consumers to participate and report to the CMO’s office about any food complaints. “Colony Panchayats/Youth Organisations can also write to the undersigned if joint inspection needs to be done in regard to food items in your colonies,” it informed.
CMO directs food business operators
The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Kohima meanwhile informed that no Food Business Operators (FBO) shall manufacture, store, sell or distribute any article of food except under a Licence or Registration under Food Safety & Standards (Licensing & Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011.
Another press release from the CMO informed all FBOs in Kohima to get registered or licenced under the stated regulations, 2011. Defaulters are liable to be penalized as per the Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006, it cautioned.
To ensure consumer safety, the CMO directed FBOs dealing with fresh fish products to first of all test the fish and to offer them for sale, only when it’s free of Formalin. CMO also requested customers to inquire from the FBO whether the fresh fish were tested and to show the test report as well

TAMILNADU

Food safety dept to identify ‘clean street food hubs’

Trichy: Wondering where to buy or eat clean and safe street food in the city? The general public may get a better idea in the near future if the district food safety department’s efforts to identify “clean street food hubs” in Trichy become a reality.
Officials from the food safety department said they will start identifying the zones which have 50 or more street food stalls within Trichy that serve popular local or regional cuisine and assess them based on certain benchmarks. If the street food hubs/ clusters meet 80% of the benchmarks specified, they would be declared as “clean street food hubs” and also given awards, plaque and certification. The programme to be launched this month is being taken up as part of a national campaign.
Street food is something very popular among many people, but often there is lot of scepticism or criticism regarding the quality of preparation or hygiene at the stalls and kiosks. As a result, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had earlier launched a massive campaign called “clean street food hub” programme to identify and officially certify popular street food hubs in the country. In September, FSSAI had declared a lake area called Kankaria in Ahmedabad as the country’s first clean street food hub.
Speaking on how the department would zero in on potential hubs in the city, designated officer (DO) of district food safety department, Trichy, Dr R Chitra said that they would initially focus on conducting awareness drives. Two such awareness drives – where the roadside stall owners and vendors from across the city would be invited – are to be organised at Gandhi market and Thiruverumbur this month. “During these events, it will be explained to the owners how a street food stall should be maintained, the dos and don’ts etc. We will give them time to improve their stalls,” the DO said. She added that inspections at the identified zones would be made after that and if a particular hub/ cluster was found to satisfy the prescribed benchmarks, it would be certified officially.
According to sources in the food safety department, there were about 350 to 400 registered street food shops within the city limits and close to 600 which were yet to get registered. However, sources said that absence of street food hubs in Trichy and lack of cooperation in maintaining hygiene among the stall owners could possibly prove to be obstacles for certification. “Street food hubs are found primarily in central bus stand area, Chathiram bus stand, Big Bazaar street, NSB road etc., but only the central bus stand area looks to be a potential cluster,” a source from the department told TOI. The central bus stand cluster which had around 70 street food stalls was more cooperative with the food safety department, 
PUNJAB

Navratri Alert: FSDA starts drive against adulterated food items

Meerut: To ensure that no adulterated food items are sold at shops in Meerut during the nineday long holy period of Navratri, the Food Safety and Drugs Administration has started a drive against adulterated food items here. With at least five teams in place, an eye is being kept on kuttuatta, chaulai, milk products, cooking oil and others.

“As many as five teams with four members each have been made to check at sweet shops and grocery shops to ensure that they do not sell any adulterated items. Our special focus remains on food items sold specially for fast, including kuttuatta, singharekaatta, sabudanna, namkeen, cooking oil and others,” said ArchanaDheeran, Meerut designated officer, FSDA.

As many as 14 samples have been taken in the drive so far, which started on Tuesday. While on day one, two samples were taken, it was followed by five samples and then seven on Tuesday. The samples include kuttuatta, singharekaatta, flavored milk and others.

“We are taking samples of suspected food items and sending them to the laboratory in Lucknow so that no tampering occurs. Once the report is here, we will take action on those who are found to be selling adulterated food,” said Dheeran.

WEST BENGAL

Kolkata: KMC conducts special drive to check quality of food in restaurants

KOLKATA: A Kolkata Municipal Corporation health department team conducted a two-day special drive to check quality of food at some central Kolkata restaurants, food joints at a mall and a couple of reputable star hotels located off Eastern Metropolitan. The drive that was launched on Tuesday was part of a food safety exercise before pujas.
According to sources in the KMC health department though the civic food inspectors did not find adulteration in food collected from the star hotels, three food joints at the mall located off EM Bypass were asked to upgrade their bakery products and the quality of cooked food being sold there.
The civic team on Tuesday warned owner of a restaurant on Park Street against upkeep of its kitchen. “We found the kitchen of the restaurant on Park Street to be unclean and unhygienic. We have asked the owner to upgrade the kitchen with immediate effect or else we may have to take punitive steps,” said a KMC health department official.
The KMC team of food inspectors are also readying for a drive against food stalls and sellers of soft drinks in front of city’s major puja pandals. “We will undertake a special drive against quality of food to be served from the food stalls and soft drinks in front of city’s major puja pandals. We will arrange for a speedy test of these food to be collected and take steps against adulteration in food and soft drinks,” a KMC health department official said.
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