Food Safety News – India updates – Nov 23

GENERAL

Lead, heavy metals have been found in soft drinks: Govt

 
NEW DELHI: Lead and other heavy metals like Cadmium and Chromium have been found in the samples of five different soft drinks manufactured by two major multinational companies in India, Rajya Sabha was informed today.
“Samples of five different cold drinks–Sprite, Mountain Dew, 7UP, Pepsi and Coca Cola–were selected by the stratified sampling method and the samples were submitted to National Test House (in Kolkata) for testing,” Minister of State for Health Faggan Singh Kulaste said in a written reply.
Apart from lead, other heavy metals like Cadmium and Chromium were also found in the samples (due to leaching of toxins from the bottles in which they were packaged), he said replying to a question on whether the Government commissioned study by the Drug Technical Advisory Board had found five different toxins in aerated drinks produced by two major multinational companies in India.
Giving details of the study conducted by Kolkata-based All India Institute of Hygine and Public Health (AIIH&PH), Kulaste said that the AIIH&PH had entered into a pact with the National Test House (NTH) for testing and estimation.

J&K

Govt wakes up to unsafe, substandard food products

Appoints appellate authority for food safety tribunals after 9 months
After Food Safety Appellate Tribunals (FSAT) remained defunct for nine months, government has finally appointed Presiding Officers for Kashmir and Jammu divisions to look at the cases related to food safety matters.
As per the official order, government has appointed Muhammad Yousuf Akhoon, District and Sessions Judge, presently Principal Secretary to Chief Justice, J&K High Court and Maharaj Krishan Hanjura, Member, Company Law Board, Delhi as the Presiding Officers for Food Safety Appellate Tribunal, Kashmir and Food Safety Appellate Tribunal, Jammu respectively.
“The Presiding Officers shall assume the charge of the respective Tribunals within a period of 21 days from the date of issuance of this notification. The term
of Presiding Officers shall be five years from the date of joining the assignment or until they attain the age of 65 years, whichever is earlier,” the order issued by Commissioner/Secretary, Health and Medical Education, MK Bhandari said.
In February this year, the government established the two Appellate Tribunals to hear appeals for the decisions of the Adjudicating Officers under Food Safety and Standard Act (FSSA) 2006.
However, authorities had failed to appoint the officers till today which had taken a huge toll on the health of consumers of food products in JK.
“The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has been in the process of constituting Appellate Tribunals in a number of states for the last couple of years. However, J&K was lagging behind due to delay in the appointment of Presiding Officers by the State government,” said an official, wishing anonymity.
Official sources told Kashmir Post that a large number of cases related to unsafe, substandard and misbranded food products and items were pending with the District Magistrate and in civil courts.
“The appointments will fast-track the process of litigation in cases like substandard and misbranding of food items among others,” they said.
The Jammu and Kashmir is one of the few places that would have the tribunals in place. Appellate tribunals have already been set up in Delhi, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Chattisgarh, apart from the union territories of Andaman.
& Nicobar and Chandigarh.
UTTARKHAND

ADULTERATION IN MILK: SAMPLES COLLECTED

 
On the directive of the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI), the district health department collected samples of milk from different localities of State capital on Monday. The move is aimed at checking the level of adulteration in the milk across the country. The FSSAI has chosen 100 cities of the country from where samples of milk were collected simultaneously for National Milk Survey-2016. In Uttarakhand this drive was undertaken in Dehradun and Haridwar districts.
The District Food safety officer, Anoj Thapliyal said that the eleven samples of milk were collected from four different categories. He said that these categories are organised sector where milk is sold in poly bags, dairy farms, shops selling open milk and mobile street vendors. Thapliyal said that the laboratory of Anchal dairy located at Raipur road was selected as nodal lab for the survey. The samples would be checked for fat content, SNP, presence of non milk adulterants like detergent, hydrogen per oxide, boric acid, urea, starch and ammonium sulphate.
The officials of health department collected eight samples from Haridwar district. The National Milk Survey is important as numerous complaints of adulteration ranging from water to urea are received. The Supreme Court has also taken cognisance of these complaints and ordered the authorities to undertake stern action on these adulterators.
MADHYA PRADESH

Since Diwali, 6 food sample reports out

Indore: The delay in issuing food sample reports is acting as a morale booster for food adulterators in city.
However, this delay by the food and drug administration has given sub-standard drug manufacturers a free-run to push their products.
Of the 100 food samples taken by food safety officers during a 50-day long drive to curb food adulteration during the festival season, a report of over 90 samples is pending with the food laboratory in the state capital.
A fortnight after the Diwali festival, the sample report of only six samples has been released so far.
The six samples passed the mandatory laboratory test. According to data from the Food and Drug Administration, nearly 700 samples were taken between January and October this year.
Sources said that by the time test reports come, shop owners would have already sold off their products.
According to food safety officers, one sample takes nearly three hours to test. Nearly 10 samples can be tested in a day.
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