Printing ink contains cancerous chemicals, says Food Safety and Drug Administration dept.
Hotels, tea shops and bakeries should no longer pack food in newspapers as it poses serious health concerns, according to the Food Safety and Drug Administration Department, Vellore.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India had recently banned the use of newspapers for wrapping food items.
Use of newspapers for packing cooked food posed the risk of causing cancer, liver and neurological problems and intestinal disorders as the ink contained chemicals such as cadmium, a press release said.
It was a common practice for hotels, tea shops and bakeries to wrap food in newspapers. Instead, they can use naturally-available and easily degradable materials such as plantain leaf, areca nut leaf and teak leaf.
In addition, the department officials said cooked food and beverages such as tea, milk, sambar and rasam should not be packed in polythene covers.
This too posed the danger of causing cancer.
Action would be taken as per the Food Safety and Standards Act if anyone was found using newspaper and polythene bags to wrap and pack food items.
An official said they had launched efforts to create awareness among people in the district to avoid the use of newspapers and polythene bags to pack food. “There is an increase in awareness level but we will continue to create awareness to achieve 100 per cent coverage in the next two to three months,” he said