Food Safety News – India updates – Dec -5-2016

GENERAL

FSSAI extends deadline for use of pre-printed packaging by six months
 
 
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), in an order, has extended the deadline for the use of pre-printed packaging material containing the old name, address or licence number of the food business operator (FBO) by six months at a nominal fee on receipt of a formal request.
“Since it is a common practice to print bulk packaging material, any change on the label in respect of change of name, address and licence number of the FBO would require destruction of pre-printed packaging material, which would incur a huge cost to the company,” the order added.
A source from FSSAI stated that big food companies have been requesting the apex regulator to extend the timeline for the use of pre-printed packaging materials to avoid waste.
Varun Tipnis, assistant manager, sales, Bossar Packaging Pvt Ltd, said, “Since December last year, we have been getting orders to reprint the labels and packaging of the products from small players in the market, but the big players placed their orders in the months of January and February for new packaging.”
“The big players in the industry are most affected, because they have to reprint the packaging of the product, which is usually manufactured in bulk. Smaller players are not affected as adversely, as they have a small manufacturing capacity. Thus, it is easy for them to replace their products from their restricted area of operation,” he added.
Narpinder Singh, former president, headquarters, Association of Food Scientists and Technologists of India [AFST(I)], said, “I welcome this decision of  FSSAI to extend the timeline of using pre-printed packaging, which will be a breather for big entities. Also, the idea of paid extension is good, as only those FBOs can take advantage of this scheme if they are getting affected.”
Further, FSSAI also stated that the fees would be charged double for any further extensions as follows:

Fees Central licence State licence
First extension (Six months) Rs 7,500 Rs 3,000
Second extension (For next six months) Rs 15,000 Rs 6,000

Meanwhile, according to Regulation 2.2.2 of the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, the labels on pre-packaged foods are required to mandatorily contain the FSSAI licence number and the name and address of the manufacturer.
The timeline for the same was extended in December 2015. But the current move by FSSAI will ensure the appropriate usage of it.

DELHI

Khan Market shops under scanner

Food Department says shops are selling sub-standard food products as food samples fail tests
Delhi’s luxury shopping hub Khan Market is under the scanner from the Food Department. Officials from the department say that end of October they had collected six food samples of cheese and ketchup from both Khan Market and INA market, out of which three have failed the quality test and found to be of sub-standard quality. They add that these samples also failed the labeling test.
Dr Mrinalini Darswal, commissioner, Department of Food Safety, Delhi government said that strict action would be taken against the offenders, which so far the department has refused to name. “We are sending a strict message to all the importers from where the products are used. We have issued them notices as the samples were found to be of sub-standard quality. These three samples flouted labelling guidelines and the information on these products was also misleading,” she said.
While the brands of these cheese and ketchup products — under the scanner — are not known, officials did confirm that all the food samples are from imported brands.
However, Sanjay Mehta, president, Khan Market Traders’ Association denied that there was any problem and said,“We have six such shops that sell imported food products. But all of them follow the required guidelines.”
The government’s food and drug department is responsible for ensuring that food policy complies with the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. Officials say that on average they receive 125 food samples a month for testing.
They add that they keep vigil that labelling and other norms are followed by way of surprise inspections and raids on food establishments.
Ask about the process that will be followed against the allegedly offending companies, AK Singh, designated officer, New Delhi district, Department of Food and Safety, said,“We have given a month’s time to the companies to respond to our notice. Once we have received the reply, we will go ahead with the process. If the companies will object to our results, the samples will be sent for testing again.”
As per the official process, the department receives a complaint about an adulterated food item after which a report is made. This report is then marked to the designated district officer, after which the officer, along with another safety officer, collects samples. The samples are then sent for testing where the food analyst supervises the work and sends the reports back to the concerned department.
 

MAHARASHTRA

Wardha CJM awards six-month jail to man for selling adulterated milk

 
NAGPUR: Wardha chief judicial magistrate (CJM) Saroj Mane Gadekar has sentencedRajendra Awathale, vendor and proprietor of M/S Rajendra Dhoodh Dairy, to six-month imprisonment for selling adulterated milk.
The accused has to pay a fine of Rs 1000. In case of failing to pay the fine, he faces one more month of imprisonment.
S R Kekare, assistant commissioner food and drugs administration (FDA), Nagpur told TOI that the punishment has been ordered under the Prevention of Food and Adulteration Act 1954.
Raviraj Dhabarde and L P Soyam, food safety officers, were following the case from the beginning. S D Sthool was the public prosecutor in the case.
S P Nandanwar, the then food inspector, FDA Wardha had drawn the adulterated milk sample and filed a case on May 19, 2010.
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