Food Safety News – India updates – Nov -25

GENERAL

You could be drinking lead in the soda bottle – Govt.study

A recent government study has found traces of heavy metal, which includes lead, chromium and cadmium, in samples of PET bottles used for packaging aerated drinks and pharmaceutical products.

The study, commissioned by the health ministry’s drugs technical advisory board, tested samples of Sprite, Mountain Dew, 7UP, Pepsi and Coca-Cola and found leaching of toxins from the PET bottles, minister of state for health Faggan Singh Kulaste told Rajya Sabha recently. “The samples were submitted to National Test House (in Kolkata) for testing,” Kulaste said in a written reply.

Giving details of the study conducted by Kolkata-based All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kulaste said the institute had entered into a pact with the national test house for further

The study, commissioned by the health ministry’s drugs technical advisory board, tested samples of Sprite, Mountain Dew, 7UP, Pepsi and Coca-Cola and found leaching of toxins from the PET bottles, minister of state for health Faggan Singh Kulaste told Rajya Sabha recently. “The samples were submitted to National Test House (in Kolkata) for testing,” Kulaste said in a written reply.

Giving details of the study conducted by Kolkata-based All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kulaste said the institute had entered into a pact with the national test house for further testing.

Tests have shown the oozing increased with room temperature. For example, at normal room temperature, the tests found 0.004 mgL and 0.007 mgL of lead in 7Up and Sprite, respectively. However, when it was kept at 40 degrees Celsius for 10 days, the lead increased to 0.006 mgL and 0.009 mgL, respectively.

“These reports are completely unsubstantiated. Having said that, we would like to emphatically reiterate that our products comply with the permissible limits for heavy metals as laid down by the food safety and standards regulations in India,” a spokesperson for PepsiCo India said.

“We have not received any communication from the government so far on this issue. This was reported earlier too in the media and the levels mentioned are 1100th times the permissible limits. Our products are tested by the best international labs and absolutely no problems have been found in PET packaging here or anywhere else,” Coca-Cola India spokesperson said.

PET bottles are also used for packaging alcohol, juices and other beverages. WHO considers lead and cadmium among the top ten chemicals of “major public health concern”. Children are particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of lead.

ODISHA
Orissa orders testing of soft drinks

Bhubaneswar : The Odisha government has asked district health officials to collect samples of soft drinks in the state after heavy metals were found in different soft drinks in other parts of the country, said an official on Thursday.

The State Food Safety Commissioner has asked the additional district medical officers and city health officers to collect samples for tests and analysis.

“You are requested to direct your food safety officers for collection of samples for test and analysis and factual report on collection of soft drink samples should be given to this office immediately,” said a letter from the state food safety commissioner.

A health official said they have already collected three samples from Bhubaneswar and sent them to the State Public Health Laboratory for testing.

Union Minister of State for Health, Faggan Singh Kulaste on Wednesday informed the Rajya Sabha that 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.

Samples of five different cold drinks — Sprite, Mountain Dew, 7UP, Pepsi and Coca Cola — were submitted to National Test House (in Kolkata) for testing.

KERALA

No single fish seller in Kozhikode possesses FSSAI license
The process of registration takes three to four working days, and a vendor cannot afford to shut business and visit offices.

No fish vendor has FSSAI license despite liberalising of procedures. <!–

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 No fish vendor has FSSAI license despite liberalising of procedures.

Kozhikode: Not even a single fish vendor in Kozhikode possesses a license approved by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

The food safety officials, who inspected them, will send notices to each fish vendor in the major markets including those who sell fish on motorcycles or bicycles.

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“We came to know that no single fisherman in Kozhikode possesses a license of FSSAI in spite of liberalising procedures,” said Sankaran Unni, assistant commissioner. The department had already held an awareness session for people dealing with food items highlighting the need for FSSAI license.

“The inspection has also revealed the grave state of fishes sold in these markets. We have collected nearly 25 samples and sent to the regional analytical laboratory at Malaparamba,” he said.

“Once we got the reports, we will start taking action against these sellers and the fish vendors. They face a penalty of up to Rs 5 lakh and six months in jail.”

Keeping the place clean is a problem. “There are only two taps for 200 sellers here,” said Zulfiqar Ali, a fish vendor at Central Market Kozhikode.

“For the past three months we were not getting water from the tap. Hence the place has turned dirty, and waste is strewn around, emitting a foul smell.”

Rajendran NP, a wholesaler here, said, many of them were unaware of the rules, “let alone how the procedure works.”

“In spite of missing registration deadlines earlier, the department failed to address constraints and make the process less cumbersome. The process of registration takes three to four working days, and a vendor cannot afford to shut business and visit banks and government offices.”

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