Food Safety News – India updates – Feb 7-2017

GENERAL

Fast food chain agrees to carry caffeine warning on cups

Fast food retailers had said FDA was targeting McDonald’s when a number of multiplexes, restaurants, food-stalls and fast food chains sell caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee in paper glasses, without warnings.
Beverage containers at sold at outlets of McDonald’s, a fast food chain, in western and southern India will carry the ‘contains caffeine’ warning. The company agreed to carry the warning after the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) issued a notification asking food and beverage outlets to put the warning on cups or lose licenses.
HT had reported, on January 10, about FDA’s campaign at shopping malls, multiplexes, cinema halls, restaurants and bars and fast food chains that sell caffeinated products without a warning on the containers.
“All the other outlets, using paper glasses have pre-printed warnings unlike the ones McDonald’s was selling. However, they are abiding by the norms and our only intention is to inform the customer about the contents of the drink and not target a company,” said Harshdeep Kamble, FDA commissioner.
Fast food retailers had said FDA was targeting one company when a number of multiplexes, restaurants, food-stalls and fast food chains sell caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee in paper glasses, without warnings. “First of all, there are no specific guidelines on the containers or glasses that are used to dispense the caffeinated beverages. FDA targeting McDonald’s is not nearly practical because all the restaurants, fast food chains, or even smaller hotels who sell caffeinated drinks like tea and coffee in paper glasses, don’t have any warnings,” an official from the fast food industry said. FDA officials argued that they haven’t found violations at any other outlet.
The issue of beverages being sold at a number of outlets without the warning came to light after a Kolhapur-based franchise of McDonald’s India was pulled up by local food and safety officer. However, as the franchise went into an appeal against the action, the issue was heard by FDA Maharashtra commissioner after which the state-wide notification was released.
“Following the directive, Hardcastle Restaurants, a franchise of McDonald’s, has adhered to all statutory requirements, and is in compliance with all applicable laws pertaining to mandatory food labelling. McDonald’s restaurants have implemented the advisory on its packaging. At McDonald’s India, the health, safety and well-being of our customers are paramount. We have always conformed to the highest quality and food safety standards and will continue to do so at all times.” said spokesperson, McDonald’s India – west & south India.
Caffeine is a stimulant found in beverages such as coffee, tea and carbonated drinks. It can treat and prevent premature infant breathing disorders and is on WHO Model list of medicines, but other studies have established that its high doses can cause restlessness, tension, insomnia, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal disturbance and irregular heartbeat
 

ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS

Banned tobacco products seized at Mayabunder Jetty

A team of Food Safety Officials headed by Mr KK Paul, Designated Officer, Mr Nagoor Meeran, Food Safety Officer and Mr Abdul Aziz, Food Safety Officer of North & Middle Andaman conducted extensive search operation from February 2-4 in the cargo vessel, 
ITTP Leopard at Mayabunder jetty. The team inspected general cargo containing in six containers and more than 800 packages were opened and checked thoroughly. During the search, six bottles of tobacco paste were recovered from one trunk owned by Mr Baidyanath Hazra of Billyground. 
The articles were seized by the Food Safety Officer, Mayabunder and penalty of Rs 10,000 was imposed. Later, the Food Safety officials destroyed the seized contraband products.

J & K 

D&FCO conducts market checks, asks food business operators to obtain due Licenses

Jammu : Drugs and Food Control Organization (D&FCO) today conducted surprise market checks and directed all the Food Business Operators to obtain License/Registration before starting their business as is mandatory under the provisions of Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006.
Official spokesperson said, “The directions were passed during an inspection conducted by a team of Food Safety Officers at Talab Tillo area to secure compliance of food vendors with provisions of food laws.”
‘The inspection was carried under the overall supervision of Designated Officer, Municipal Limits Jammu Sanjeev Kumar, he added.
During inspection the team directed a sweets shop to stop business activity as it was carrying out the business without mandatory food license as required under the provisions of Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006.
During the drive samples of food articles including ‘Continental Sauce and Urd Daal Powder’ were lifted from the market to check its quality.
The enforcement team also directed all the Food Business Operators to obtain License/Registration as is mandatory under the provisions of Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006 without any fail by applying Online through local Khidmat Centers to avoid action against them.
TAMILNADU

Pan masala, gutka sell like hot cakes

For Civic: A man chewing tobacco in Tiruchi.
The ban is being flouted due to lack of enforcement in the recent past
In spite of the ban on sale of pan masala and gutka, sales continue unabated in different parts of the city.
The ban came into effect in 2013. As per the State government order, no one should store, distribute and sale of gutka and pan masala. The officials of Food Safety and Drug Administration Department were empowered to take action against those manufacturing, storing and selling the banned items.
Though the Food Safety officials, along with the Tiruchi Corporation officials had conducted raids on shops selling banned items in the past, the sale is said to have reached all time high with the lack of enforcement in the recent past.
A wait of about half an hour by this correspondent at a petty shop near Central Bus stand revealed that the sale of gutka and pan masala was almost equivalent to the sale of cigarettes. At least 10 customers bought pan masala brands such as “hans”, Shanti strong, SNT-1 and others. All of them were different forms of chewable tobacco.
They were sold secretly to the customers, although they were available in plenty in the petty shop. They were sold between Rs.5 and Rs.15 per bag.
Each sachet was sold for at least ₹2 more than the actual price printed on it.
“Pan masala sale accounts for about 15 per cent of our daily transactions. Otherwise, we will loose our customers,” a petty shop owner at the Central Bus stand told The Hindu.
Another petty shop owner said that the sale of banned items was profitable than selling cigarettes as customers would not question the price of pan masala.
Enquiries revealed that most of the shop keepers, mainly petty shop owners, continued to sell the banned items in Tiruchi and neighbouring areas.
They were available in almost all petty shops in Cantonment, Central Bus Stand, Railway junction and other areas.
Enquiries further said there were many wholesale traders selling pan masala items on Big Bazaar Street, Peria Kammala Street and others.
The petty shop owners would visit them to buy pan masala items whenever they wanted.
“Pan masala chewing has become a habit to me. Even If I want to quit, it is not possible as pan masala is easily available,” said M. Vasanthan, a teenager of Ponnagar, who bought a sachet of pan masala for ₹15.
 
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