BHUBANESWAR: The East Coast Railway (ECoR) will conduct random checks at all stations and take samples of soft drinks for testing in the wake of recent reports that chemical elements beyond the permissible limits were found in some soft drinks.
Official sources said soft drink stocks at all catering stall establishments under the ECoR will now be subjected to sample checks by health inspectors. These checks would cover IRCTC establishments, pantry cars, Jan Ahar outlets and private stalls at railway stations and trains running across the railway zone.
“We don’t want to take any risk. The health of rail users and all stakeholders is important for us. We are going to make random and surprise checks of all varieties of soft drinks. Instructions have been issued to all health inspectors and food safety officials,” said ECoR’s chief medical director Dr S K Mohanty.
He said they normally conduct checks at different places under the ECoR zone after getting complaints from the customers about the poor quality of the food products being sold on station platforms or trains. “Checking the quality of soft drinks will be a special drive,” he added.
After collecting the samples of soft drinks from the shops, the ECoR will send them for chemical analysis to laboratories in Bhubaneswar or Visakhapatnam. These would be tested under the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), ECoR sources said.
In a written reply, minister of state for health Faggan Singh Kulaste told Rajya Sabha on November 22 that lead and other heavy metals like cadmium and chromium have been found in the samples of five different soft drinks available in Indian market.
Supplements can no longer be sold as medicines
MUMBAI: To check the sale of health supplements under the medicines tag and to make them safer for consumption, the Food Safety Standards Authority of India has come up with regulations.
Regulations that were released on Thursday for eight categories of products, including supplements, will be implemented with immediate effect.
Sandip Gupta, spokesperson for the industry that manufactures dietary supplements, said that the cloud of uncertainty over such products has now been cleared.
“Authenticity of products like soya protein, fish oils, amino acids, probiotics cannot be doubted henceforth. Earlier, they lacked standard licensing,” he said. Gupta added that in the absence of any regulations for health supplements, consumers in India had been denied their use as manufacturers and importers could not make or import them.
“Now, with the operationalization of regulations for health supplements, consumers and the industry wil be benefitted,” he said.
The regulator will now issue licences to companies and approve products that comply with new standards, The new regulations will facilitate the state food authorities and their teams of inspectors to supervise the food businesses. Food business operators can now use only those additives and colours which are permitted.