Food Safety Enforcement News – India Updates this week –

ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS

Surprise raid by Commissioner Food Safety, huge contraband products recovered

Port Blair : The enforcement officials of Food Safety under the direct supervision of Commissioner Food Safety conducted surprise raids at various places in South Andaman District and recovered huge quantities of contraband tobacco products from shopkeepers as well as general public.
On 05.03.2017, one Shri. Sanjay Kumar was caught with 2.5 kg of tobacco products. On 14.03.2017, one Shri. M. Mukund Rao R/o Hut Bay had been caught with 9 packets of zarda.
In another incident on 15.03.2017, PS, Hut Bay seized 40 packets (each ½ kg) from Shri. Aftab Alam R/o Ongi Tikrey. On an information passed through CCS, Port Blair a parcel was recovered from Head Post Office, Port Blair belonging to Shri.B.S.Rao with 150 gms and 200 gms of tobacco products. Again on 18.03.2017, Shri. Alauddin Sekh and Shri. Manurul Gazi R/o Junglighat caught red handed with 40 kg of tobacco leafs at VSI Airport on arrival from Kolkata. Further, on 20/03/2017 as per an information received on the arrival of tobacco products, food safety officials and police personnel, CCS, Port Blair approached the courier agency M/s Andaman Express, Goalghar. The packages were inspected and confirmed the arrival of 3 packages of clothes basically saris including 608 pouches of zarda as the items were not claimed by anyone. On the same day the FSO, Hut Bay had caught a fisherwomen Smt. Narasamma for selling prepared panand seized 22 prepared from her possession and also from Shri. Raja Kumar in possession of 40 Nos. prepared pan. Similarly, on 29/03/2017 PS, Chatham handed over 21 tins and 200 pouches of zarda from one Shri.B.Suryanarayana, R/o Dairyfarm.
In all the above seizures, the department is taking appropriate action under Food Safety & Standards Act’2006. During the month of March’2017 17 accused were imposed penalty for selling contraband tobacco products and a sum of Rs. 2,27,000/- was recovered as fine.
Further, the general public as well as business communities are requested not to involve in the trade of contraband tobacco products and if any information is available with them may be communicated to Mobile No. 9434280018 of Commissioner Food Safety or telephone No. 03192-231024(Food Safety Section) or 1070 (Toll Free).
GUJARAT

‘No quality control on meat in Gujarat’

Ahmedabad: At a time when beef ban provkes bitter debates, CAG has blamed the state government for not bothering to control the quality of meat being sold in the state for the last five years.
In its report, CAG has highlighted that though the state has sizeable non-vegetarian population (39.05%), the Food & Drug Control Administration (FDCA) had not taken any measures to bring slaughterhouses and meat shops under the Food Safety Standard (FSS) Act.
The audit report has revealed that there are only nine slaughterhouses situated under the municipal corporation/municipality area but all of them are functioning without license under FSS Act.
The audit report has rebuked the authorities because out of thousands of meat shops in the state, only 55 had been registered when the FSS Act mandates compulsory registration/license to carry on any food business.

HARYANA

After clampdown, meat sellers apply for licences

 
Noida: The meat sellers in the city, who are in a panic mode following a sudden clampdown by Noida Authority in the wake of state government orders, are now applying with the district administration for registration certificates.
TOI reported on Sunday that according to Noida Authority’s department of public health, no licence had been granted to any meat shop under its jurisdiction. They had issued licence to only one slaughterhouse and one meat processing unit in Greater Noida, suggesting that over a thousand shops and outlets are illegal. Interestingly, several meat shop owners were found to have a registration certificate from the district department following a reality check.
However, the administration is now allowing these shopkeepers to get a certificate by applying under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
After the Authority carried out demolitions in Sector 62 and removed meat shops in several parts of the city including Sector 5 and Sector 44 in last few days, meat sellers are running from pillar to post to understand the process of registration. “I have been running the shop for almost a year now. I never faced such a hassle before. However, on Friday, some police officers asked me if I had a license to run my shop. When I told them that I did not know about the requirement of any such certificate, they directed me to apply for one,” said Laqeef Ahmed, a chicken biryani shop owner in Sector 44.
Another meat shop owner in Sector 46 said, “Several cops visited the Som Bazar on Wednesday and ordered shut down of the meat shops. Most of us are now in a fix..”
JHARKHAND
Slaughter of cow and buffalo banned in Jharkhand

RANCHI: Days after the Aditya Nath Yogi government’s crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses in Uttar Pradesh, another BJP-ruled state, Jharkhand, decided to ban all illegal slaughterhouses in the state on Monday. The slaughterhouses were given 72 hours to shut their illegal businesses if they failed to obtain licence from relevant authorities.
SKG Rahate, principal secretary, home, issued an order to all deputy commissioners and SPs along with authorities of municipal corporations, municipalities and notified area committees to ensure that the closure was effected immediately. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, that has issued licences to 62 abattoirs across the country, has not issued the same to even one unit in the state.
None of the country’s 75 approved abattoirs-cum-meat processing plants or 34 approved meat processing units have permission from the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority to operate. The Ranchi Municipal Corporation has, however, issued licenses to some slaughterhouses.
“Keeping in view safety and health of the general public, steps may immediately be taken for closure of illegal slaughterhouses. The principal secretary said that proper rules and regulations are already in place, issued by the department of animal husbandry, municipal bodies and health department,” the order stated.
With the issuance of the order, people engaged in the sale of goat meat or chicken will have to obtain licences from municipal bodies while those involved in slaughter of cows and buffaloes would have to close their “illegal” business. In 2004-05, the Jharkhand government had banned slaughter of cow and buffalo, violation of which invited imprisonment up to 10 years and a fine of Rs 10,000.
Ranchi Municipal Corporation deputy mayor Sanjeev Vijayvargiya said most abattoirs didn’t have a valid licence, and killing, selling or possessing cow meat was done in violation of the law.
MEGHALAYA

SHILLONG: Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said processing and packaging of food should conform to stringent food safety requirements and brand building should revolve around high-end products, which should be exclusive and unique to the State.

Attending the valedictory function of the two-day state-level workshop on business opportunities in food processing, packaging and tourism under National Mission on Food Processing here on Tuesday, the chief minister urged the entrepreneurs to look at the options available in agriculture, horticulture, tourism and industries and become successful entrepreneurs with dedication, hard work, sincerity and innovation.
Sangma said the workshop is important and relevant for Meghalaya and for the youth who are looking at entrepreneurship.
A.L Hek, chairman of Meghalaya Industrial Development Corporation, said the State is home to a number of temperate and sub-tropical fruits and vegetables that have potential in food processing and will also generate employment in rural areas.
He said the unemployed youth in the State needs handholding and urged the Department of Commerce and Industry to help them explore the potentials in food industry and tourism.
Promotional schemes and policies for horticultural products, management of food processing enterprises, bamboo as source of health food and nutrition, food safety standards authority of Indian Act, exploring the nature and traditional knowledge for business with focus on Meghalaya, flexible packaging materials, promotional schemes and policies for development of tourism and convergence of schemes by various resource persons were the topics discussed during the two-day workshop that was attended by entrepreneurs from all over the State.
Call for hygienic food
The A’chik Youth Council has written to Health and Family Welfare Minister Roshan Warjri through the deputy commissioner of West Garo Hills urging her to send samples of fish, fruits and vegetables brought from outside the State to the laboratory to ensure safety.
The youth council also sought ban on use of newspapers for wrapping food items in the unorganised food sector as per the guidelines of the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India.
TAMILNADU

Five tonnes of artificially ripened mangoes seized

O.L.S. Vijay (second left), designated officer of FSSAI in Coimbatore, during a raid in a fruit market in the city on Monday

They were ripened using calcium carbide and ethylene powder

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) officials, on Monday, seized five tonnes of artificially ripened mangoes and 500 kg of sapodilla (sapota) from wholesale and retail traders in the city.
The fruits were ripened using calcium carbide and ethylene powder. FSSAI designated officer O.L.S. Vijay led the raid.
FSSAI officials said that the artificially ripened mangoes and sapodilla were seized from 15 retailers and two wholesale dealers at Karuppa Gounder street and Ukkadam fruit market.
While three tonnes of mangoes were seized from two warehouses at Karuppa Gounder street, two tonnes were seized from fruit market in Ukkadam. The value of the seized fruits will come to the tune of Rs. 5 lakh. Officials also seized 10kg calcium carbide from one of the warehouses.
The seized mangoes were of most sought-after varieties like Alphonso, Malgova , and Banganappalli. They were being sold for prices between Rs. 100 and Rs. 150 per kg, said officials.
“Usually raids for artificially ripened mangoes are carried out in April and May. This year the raids were advanced following specific information,” said food safety officer K. Chandran.
The seized fruits were handed over to persons in charge at the biogas plant functioning inside Vellalore dumpyard.
UTTAR PRADESH
Nearly 152 shops have been closed for want of licences, indulging in open slaughtering and not maintaining hygiene conditions.
The district administration has decided to start issuance of licences from Wednesday. However, the food safety department said all licences issued henceforth will adhere to guidelines laid down under the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Business), Regulations of 2011.
For the purpose, retailers will now be categorised as those having an annual turnover below Rs 12 lakh and those having an annual turnover above Rs 12 lakh. The officials said all details will have to be filled online on the website of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and submit documents, in hard copy, within 15 days to the local administration.
“For the purpose of submission of documents, we will set up a single window at the municipal corporation and nagar palikas where nodal officers for the respective departments will be available. After submission, proper checks will be carried out and thereafter the licences will be issued by the food safety department. Further, all the listed guidelines will have to be followed by the license holders,” said Nidhi Kesarwani, district magistrate (DM).
After the submission of documents, different departments such as the municipal corporation, food safety department, the police and the veterinary department will carry out checks before issuance of licences.
“The applicants will also have to disclose the source of procurement. There will be no open slaughtering permitted. The nearest procurement can be done from Ghazipur Market in Delhi or from the four units (export oriented) operational in Ghaziabad. The four units have consented to provide facility to cater to local demand,” DM added.
Nearly 152 shops have been closed for want of licences, indulging in open slaughtering and not maintaining hygiene conditions. The meat shop owners continued their second day of strike against the decision. The situation has also affected the business in Ghazipur poultry and fish market.
“Nearly 30-35% business has been affected since the crackdown began. We expect a major decline in sales due to Navratra, which has started,” said Mohammad Irfan Qureshi, a supplier from Ghazipur market in Delhi.

Fresh guidelines issued for operating meat shops in Agra

AGRA: The district administration on Friday issued new guidelines for operating meat shops in the city. Meat vendors have been directed to stay away from 50-meter-radius and 100 meter from the main gate of religious places. They cannot slaughter any animal or poultry bird inside the shop, besides they have to use curtains/tinted glass and ensure that meat is not visible to public. All persons working in such shop will have to obtain health certificate rom government doctors.
For obtaining licences in urban area, applicants will have to first obtain no objection certificate from the respective circle officer and the municipal corporation. Following that they will apply for NOC from food safety and drug administration (FSDA).
In rural areas, meat vendors will have to get NOC from gram panchayat, besides circle officer and FSDA. In case such shop owners are found flouting norms of Food safety and Standards Act, their licences could be suspended any time.
Meat vendors have also been directed not to slaughter any ill, milch or pregnant animal. They have also been asked to get their premises whitewashed every six months. All the knives and blades used in shops should be made of steel. They will also have to ensure proper record of met items procured from slaughter house and. Proper disposal of waste is another mandatory rule. Meat shops will have to keep refrigerator with transparent doors and also required to have geyser facility. Only veterinary doctor certified meat could be sold from such places. They will have to transport meat in insulated freeze vehicles from slaughter houses.
Moreover, they will have to stay away from places where vegetables are sold.

WEST BENGAL

‘Plastic’ eggs sold in Kolkata market

Kolkata :  The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has ordered an investigation into the alleged sale of “artificial eggs” made of “plastic” in the city’s markets, the KMC mayor said on Thursday.

Acting on a police complaint by Anita Kumar, who discovered “artificial eggs” once she cracked a couple open, the civic body has asked police and municipal officials to check all municipal markets.

“These eggs are being sold in the Tiljala market. As soon as I got to know about the complaint, I let the police know so that we can carry out checks of all municipal markets. I have also received some documentary evidence,” KMC Mayor Sovan Chatterjee said.

According to Anita Kumar, the “fake egg” had a strange “plastic-like quality” when it was spread out on a pan.

“I tested my suspicion by putting a match to it and it caught fire. The shell also looked plastic. I was sure that this was not natural and, being a mother, I felt I should alert the public,” Anita said.

Plastic Eggs seized from the market

Kolkata: The Kolkata Police today arrested an egg-seller in the city for allegedly selling artificial plastic eggs.

Mohammed Shamin Ansari, who was detained yesterday by the Kolkata Police Enforcement Branch for allegedly selling plastic eggs, was arrested this morning after questioning, a senior officer of the police said.
Meanwhile, a team from the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, led by Mayor-in-Council (Health) Atin Ghosh, and Kolkata Police Enforcement Branch officials raided various markets in the city today and seized eggs which were later sent to the laboratory for testing.
The KMC team visited the seller in the Muchipara area from whom Ansari had bought eggs.
“One crate of eggs has been seized from the wholesaler who sold the eggs to Ansari. We will also collect samples from other shops in the market and send them to the laboratory for testing,” Ghosh said.
Ansari, the police said, had bought eggs worth Rs 1.15 lakh from the wholesaler.
“As per the Food Safety and Standards Act, food adulteration is a punishable offence. If these eggs are found to be life-threatening, the offenders may face punishment like life imprisonment and a huge fine,” Ghosh said.
Ansari, who was booked on the charges of fraud and criminal conspiracy by the police, was remanded to police custody for four days when produced at a city court.
Complaints of artificial plastic eggs being sold were also received from Canning in South 24-Parganas district following which an enquiry was started, the state police said.
 
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