BHOPAL: There has been no food sample collection in Bhopal for over two weeks after the legality of district food safety officer was challenged in a court.
Simply put, if the government does not come out with a notification, any adulteratedfood sample this Diwali may not be legally tenable and the offender could walk free.
A manufacturer in Shivpuri district against whom the Food and Drugs administration (FDA) had moved for prosecution got relief from the court over a technicality. The state government has nominated a food safety officer (FSO) in each district. But the notification for five years lapsed on August 4 and is yet to be renewed.
Which means, any sample taken by government food inspectors cannot lead to prosecution in court, since the legality of the chief medical and health officer (CMHO), who is the designated FSO, has been challenged. “The situation will be resolved soon. As for the offenders going free we will ask for legal opinion and apply the law retrospectively,” said an FDA official.
POLICE AND FSOs ON TOES AS DEEPAWALI NEARS
Deepawali festival approaching near, police and food safety officials are on their toes to stop adulterated milk and other food items, especially sweets, from being supplied to Uttarakhand from western Uttar Pradesh, something that happens almost every year around the time of Deepawali festivities.
Dehradun food safety officer Anoj Kumar Thapliyal said that teams-each consisting of four officials-are alert. They had raided around 30 different shops and manufacturing units of sweets and collected 15 samples of food items – eatable oil, milk items and sweets-from within the city and its fringes over the past four days, he said, adding that some were found wanting after being tested preliminarily. “They were sent to Food and Drug Testing Laboratory (FDTL) based in Rudrapur to have their purity thoroughly checked,” he said.
Thapliyal said that despite the department facing acute staff crunch with the start of festive season from October, team members have been deployed at Rishikesh, Dharampur, Rispana, Kaulagarh and some other places of Dehradun city aside from Ajabpur, Rajpur, and others located along Chakrata Road.
During the raids, they are monitoring the preparation techniques and also keeping a tab over hygiene and precautions being maintained by the manufacturers while preparing the sweets. Such drive would continue in the district in the coming days, he added.
He further said that last year, they had sent around 60 samples of food items to Food and Drug Testing Laboratory (FDTL), Rudrapur. “15 of them were found negative as per the report. The manufacturers adulterated colour and starch in the sweet items. Cases were consequently filed in the additional DM Court which is under process,” he said.
Dehradun SP City Ajay Singh said that as per statistics, adulterated food items are supplied to Dehradun from some parts of UP during the time of Deepawali.
“Police are being put on alert. Maximum cases of such food adulteration come up a week ahead of the festival. We would put policemen alert to stop such malpractice. Station police officers would also put on alert. The policemen deputed at check posts would be asked to be alert too. Moreover, police station officers would launch vehicle checking drives in their jurisdictional limits. Vehicles carrying food items would be thoroughly checked at the check points,” he added.