Food Safety News – India this week – May 7 -2017


FSSAI proposes blueprint for ‘food smart cities’

Regulator FSSAI has proposed widening the ambit of smart cities by incorporating food management system into it to ensure safe and nutritious food consumed by citizens. 
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Urban Development Ministry on May 2 organised a workshop on ‘Food Smart Cities’ to discuss its framework and methodology for rollout.
Senior representatives from Smart Cities including Ludhiana, Ajmer, Jaipur, Gurgaon and Bhubaneswar participated in the meeting. 
FSSAI CEO Pawan Agarwal said that food has been largely ignored in city planning, despite it being the central piece around which life revolves. 
“There is now a golden opportunity to integrate food systems management into the smart city guidelines,” he said in a statement. 
The Food Smart Cities would have end-to-end solutions for food systems in urban areas. 
Stating that rapid urbanisation has raised concerns about food quality, FSSAI said: “One of the ways to address this is to integrate sustainable food safety and nutrition systems within the smart city design and create Food Smart Cities”. 
FSSAI has proposed a four-pillar approach that cities could undertake at the local level to ensure safety and hygiene across the supply chain. 
“The workshop concluded with a decision that a framework for food smart cities would be further refined and circulated to cities around the country, aspiring to be Food Smart Cities,” FSSAI said.

Not just Maggi: Here’s the shameful truth about food safety inspection in India

New Delhi: Even as Nestlé India continues to firefight its gravest crisis ever in its nearly three-decade old history of selling Maggi noodles in the country, the most vital question now doing the rounds, including the social media, is how could a multinational company (MNC) carry out business for so long… selling a product with potential health hazards to millions of consumers?
The presence of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and lead above permissible limits in Maggi samples cannot be an overnight phenomenon. Besides, there could be many more products by other MNCs as well that could potentially harm the health of Indians.
Who has allowed these MNCs to sell “sub-standard” product all these years? Can the government be absolved of its responsibility and accountability for allowing domestic and foreign food manufacturing companies to have a free run?
“Both, the Centre and state governments usually avoid taking stringent action against MNCs or big Indian manufacturers, despite being aware of violations. However, this time Delhi government has been prompt in taking action on Maggi issue,” a retired senior official from Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Civil Supplies told Firstpost on condition of anonymity.
Ashim Sanyal, COO of the voluntary action group Consumer Voice said, “Who knows what people have been consuming for the last 20 years? There’s laxity on part of both the state governments and the central regulatory body FSSAI. Both never bothered to exercise their powers to have a regular check on food products, whether Maggi or any other ready-to-eat items all these years.”
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was established as an independent statutory authority under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which consolidates various acts & orders that have hitherto handled food related issues in various ministries and government departments. The agency has been created for laying down standards for food articles and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.
The 2006 Act aims to establish a single reference point for all matters relating to food safety and standards.
“If it’s so, why did FSSAI take so much time to act despite the fact that Maggi controversy broke some time back?” questioned Sanyal.
Grey areas
Consumer policy experts and activists have identified several grey areas that help food operators to supply sub-standard products to consumers and yet remain ‘untouched’. It’s ultimately the consumer, who gets the wrong end of the stick.
– Central regulator doesn’t conduct regular inspections and testing of products, to ensure that only the right quality product is sold in the market.
– There is laxity on part of state governments’ food safety departments as well.
– There is lack of proper coordination between the Centre and states, as the latter don’t report to the Centre in this regard.
– Barring a few laboratories accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing & Calibration Laboratories (NABL), several testing laboratories in states fail to conform to standards. The equipment used by these labs is often not upgraded and not properly calibrated. It leads to variation in results.
– Despite having immense power, the food safety commissioners and officers in states don’t exercise it on a regular basis to keep a check on all ready-to-eat products on shelves.
– Often the field inspectors fail to get permission from higher authorities to conduct a raid and check products.
– Lack of proper training facilities of inspection staff, and modernization.
– Unlike abroad, the implementation of law and regulations is weak in India. So, is the penalty.
– Both the regulator at the Centre and food safety departments in the states suffer from staff crunch. The state units lack funds.
– Corruption is another area of concern.
– A Five-year action plan chalked out jointly by the Centre and states in 2009-10 is yet to be implemented.
Bejon Kumar Misra, an international consumer policy expert, said, “First, the industries exercise a strong influence on policy makers and it’s easy for them to get through. Second, instead of sitting jointly and finding a solution, there’s a blame-game between the Centre and states. Even when any plan has been made, it finally fails to get implemented on ground. Nobody wants to bell the cat.”
Unlike India, legal procedures and penalty system are so stringent abroad that no one dares to violate them. The system of recalling sub-standard products in India is voluntary and not mandatory like in other countries.
Sanyal added, “The Supreme Court had pointed out the issue of penalty in the case of contaminated milk. No legal action is taken and one gets away by paying a small penalty. There’s a need to evolve laws according to changing times. We hardly get to hear sub-standard products being recalled by a company.”
“Some years back, a Jamshedpur court had prosecuted Nestlé, after MSG was found in Maggi noodles. But, what happened after that nobody knows. This is the sorry state-of-affairs of our system and no one is afraid of law. But, it’s for the first time since the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 came into existence, the government has registered a case against Maggi noodles with the National Consumer Grievance Redressal Commission, claiming compensation for the consumers,” Misra pointed out.


Respond to petition on poor food on trains: HC to Centre

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gital Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra issued a notice to the Railway Ministry, asking it to ensure that Food Safety and Standards Act regulations were met.
It said the quality of food served on trains and at railway platforms had to be monitored.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by Sardar Jagjit Singh, a retired food inspector with the Railways, who said urgent measures were required to guarantee safe food in restaurants, food plazas, staff canteens and other cooking units run by the railways.
The petitioners counsel K C Mittal, while submitting that 23 million people travelled by train in the country every day, focused on the sale and supply of adulterated food in the Indian Railways.
The lawyer had earlier submitted to the court a CD containing a news report from a television channel on the subject.
“The worst is the insensitivity and the failure on the part of the respondents to take adequate steps to ensure sale and supply of unadulterated, wholesome and hygienic food to 23 million passengers who travel everyday by train (24X7) in different parts of the country,” it said.
The petition said food quality should be monitored on passenger and goods trains, pantry cars, other food outlets in railway areas operated by private contractors, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) and food plazas, including unauthorised vendors and canteens run by the railways.
The bench has now fixed May 16 for a hearing on the matter.

Raid Conducted in Grain Market by Department of Food Safety

Artificial ripening of fruits like mango, papaya with calcium carbide is common practice adopted by various Food Business Operators during summer season. The use of Calcium Carbide is prohibited for ripening of fruits under the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011. The ripened fruits with the above said chemical cause serious health problems.
Looking into the seriousness of the matter the officials of Department of Food Safety, U.T.of Chandigarh under the supervision of Dr. Tapasya Raghav, IAS, SDM, Chandigarh Administration conducted a massive raid in the area of Grain Market, Sector 26, Chandigarh today. Many warehouses and shops where the fruits like mango and papaya were stored were inspected and it was found that the Food Business Operators were using Calcium Carbide for its ripening. Approx. 2.5 tons of papaya was seized and
destroyed in the dumping ground of Chandigarh through the vehicles of Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh.
The traders dealing in sale, storage and distribution of fruits are advised not to use any type of hazardous chemical for the ripening of fruits. If anybody is found violating the provisions of Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006 and the Rules & Regulations, 2011 framed there under, action will be initiated against such violators.

Govt bans gutka, pan masala in State

PANJIM: The State Government on Thursday issued an order prohibiting manufacture, storage, sale or distribution of food products containing tobacco or nicotine like gutkha and pan masala in the State for one year.
The ban also applies to processed, flavoured, scented, chewing tobacco, whether packaged or unpackaged or sold as one or separate products.
Commissioner of Food Safety, B R Singh, said that in the interest of public health, the government prohibits manufacture, storage, sale or distribution of gutkha and pan masala, by whatever name it is called, which contains tobacco or nicotine as an ingredient. “The ban has been imposed for a period of one year,” he said.
The decision appears to have been taken in view of the Supreme Court order wherein it observed that to circumvent the ban of sale of gutkha, manufacturers were selling pan masala (without tobacco) with flavoured chewing tobacco in separate sachets.
The notification has been issued under Food Safety and Standards Act (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations 2011 and Act 2006.

Food and drugs raid on Suraj Sweet mart at Chaudi

CANACONA: Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) officials on Thursday raided a sweet mart along NH 17, in the market area in Chaudi-Canacona, and sealed drinking water bottles and sweets. The samples have been sent for tests.

Local resident Jisto Gracias, who is a frequent customer of this shop, purchased two 20-litre canisters of packaged water, but noticed some leakage in the canisters. He questioned the owner, Narayan Vaishnav, who washed his hands off the problem, arguing that it was the company that packed it.

Gracias then visited Vaishnav’s residence, which is just 50 metres away from the shop, and found some women filling tap water in the canisters. He clicked some pictures and forwarded the same to the NGO Aami Goenkar, which filed a complaint with the FDA.
A huge crowd gathered outside the shop while it was raided by the FDA officials. The agitated locals demanded that the sweet mart be shut until directed by the FDA to operate again. Vaishnav, a native of Rajasthan, refused to speak to reporters.
Local resident Sham Kenkre said, “People don’t drink tap water because it’s dirty, and prefer mineral water. Strict action should be taken against the vendors for playing with our lives”.

Goa tightens ban on gutka, pan masala

The ban on consumption of tobacco products such as gutka and pan masala has been tightened in Goa with the State Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) banning the products under the Food Safety Standards Act (FSSA), 2006. The Act came into force in 2011.
Salim Veljee, Goa Director of FDA, said the gutka lobby was trying to exploit loopholes in the ban under Public Health Act by separating Ghutka from pan masala using packaging gimmicks. “By banning the products under the FSSA, the loophole has been fixed. This ban makes everything consumed orally associated with tobacco as food.”
As per Food and Safety Standards Authority of India, under the Act, gutka and pan masala consumed in any form and used in any type of containers for production, sale, consumption and storage will be banned for one year.


DK DC orders inspection of food and water units

Mangaluru : Chairing a meeting of the district-level committee for the implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Act. on May 3, Wednesday, DK DC Dr K G Jagadeesh directed officials to carry out inspections at food processing and water units to ensure the quality of food, as a part of the effective implementation of Food Safety and Standards Act.
The DC said that there are 16 drinking water packaging units. “As per the Act, such units have to be ISI-certified. No licence could be issued to the units that do not meet ISI standards. 
Units operating without licence should be sealed. A circular will be issued to all panchayats and urban local bodies,” he said. Expressing his discontentment on the poor performance of food safety officials in inspecting the food and water units, he directed the officials to test the quality of food and water in laboratories.
Adulteration : “It is also found that the food sold in street stalls and fast-food centres gets adulterated with non-permitted chemicals. The items sold in bakeries also carry non-permitted colours which adversely affect the health. Awareness should be created among the public,”DK DC Dr Jagadeesha said, and warned, “Stern action will also be initiated against vendors who use chemicals to ripen and colour fruits. The lorries carrying fruits should be subjected to inspection and if use of chemicals on fruits is found, such lorries should be seized.”
Zilla Panchayat chief executive officer Dr M R Ravi said that as water-borne diseases have been spreading faster, the quality of water cannot be ignored. The public may submit their complaints to food safety officials if they find adulteration in food served in hotels. Senior food safety officer H T Raju said that the taluk health officer will be the food safety officer for the taluk. The implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Act will be monitored by the senior food safety officer in Mangaluru City Corporation and Puttur taluk.
Additional DC Kumar, district health and family welfare Officer Dr Ramakrishna Rao and district surveillance officer Dr Rajesh were present during the meeting.

Keep strict tabs on bottled water manufacturing units, DC tells officials

MANGALURU: Deputy Commissioner K G Jagadeesha on Wednesday directed officials concerned to ensure continuous inspection of food preparation units across Dakshina Kannada district for effective implementation of Food Safety and Standards Act. The food safety inspectors must specifically pay due attention to bottled water manufacturing units, collect samples periodically, get is tested in the laboratories and ensure that it is fit for human use, DC said.
Chairing a meeting of district level committee under the act, DC said there are 16 bottled water manufacturing units in Dakshina Kannada. Each such units must mandatorily obtain a permission from Indian Standard Institute (ISI) to carry out their activities. Urban local bodies or panchayathi raj bodies are not entitled to issue license to such units in their jurisdiction if they do not ISI license and such licenses must be revoked forthwith if they have issued one.
A detailed note will be issue to all urban local bodies and gram panchayats in this regard shortly, DC said while directing officials to crack down on all illegal water bottling units functioning in the district. Expressing displeasure that periodic inspection of such water bottling units is not happening on a regular basis, Jagadeesha directed the nodal officer under the Act to carry out the same and provide inspection reports to his office in proof of compliance.
Observing there are complaints of chemical adulteration of food sold on roadside eateries, fast food hotels, DC directed the officials to keep a watch out on such food joints as well. He advised people not to use foods served in such joints that are rich in colour for they could be adulterated. Likewise, the authorities concerned must run public awareness campaigns to educate people about the ill-effects of consuming such adulterated food on their health, he noted.
Averring that there are complaints about artificial ripening of fruits using chemicals, he directed the officials to inspect wholesale fruit godowns and wholesale fruit merchants for such instances. Action should be initiated against anyone found guilty of use of chemicals on fruits for pecuniary gains, he said while advising officials to also inspect lorries that bring fruits from outside the state and ensure that there is no chemical adulteration of fruits at source.

Nine packaged drinking water units shut down in Mysuru

Four other units that were in the process of getting licences were asked to stop production and sale till they obtained certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards. 
As many as nine packaged drinking water units which were functioning without possessing mandatory ISI certification in Mysuru district have been closed down. Four other units, which had applied for ISI certification and were in the process of getting them, were asked to stop production and sale of their products until they obtained certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
S. Chidambar, designated officer for Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and district vector-borne diseases officer, and other officials conducted an enforcement search a few days ago and found that nine units were functioning without the ISI certification.
Licences mandatory
Disclosing this to The Hindu, Dr. Chidambar said that apart from functioning illegally, the units were not following prescribed procedure in preparing good quality packaged drinking water.
The owners of the units were asked to close down their units and were warned of dire consequences if they attempted to re-open the same in the future, he said. He cautioned that action would be initiated against the units under Section 33 of Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986, if they were found indulging in carrying out their businesses illegally.
Licences from BIS and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) are prerequisites to run a packaged drinking water plant, he said.
Laboratory tests
Dr. Chidambar said that apart from having treatment machinery like reverse osmosis units, carbon filters and sand filters, the plants must have also laboratories that are extremely important to check the potability of water after processing. The owners of the plant should conduct tests of each batch of processed water in their laboratories and in other laboratories too at regular intervals, he said.
Health hazard
A spurt in the demand for processed drinking water has resulted in proliferation of packaged drinking water plants. The plants were set up by individuals to make easy money. Substandard quality of water manufactured by such units may pose a grave threat to people’s health, Dr. Chidambar said.
Dr. Chidambar said that borewell water is the only water that should be used for manufacturing packaged drinking water, and river water, open well water or water supplied by civic bodies should not be used for this purpose. He also appealed to the people not to buy packaged drinking water unless they find the ISI certification and FSSAI number.
He instructed hotels, bakeries, bars and restaurants not to sell packaged drinking water without ISI certifications and FSSAI numbers. There are other 32 manufacturing units functioning in Mysuru district with certification from BIS, he said.

300 eateries running in Gurugram without licence

GURUGRAM: The department of food safety has decided to launch an extensive drive to crack down on restaurants, hotels and shops selling edibles without any licence in the city.
A rough estimate suggests that there are at least 300 eateries — mainly bakeries, sweet shops, street vendors, tea stalls and such other small outlets that common people visit frequently — across Gurgaon are running without licence.
During the crackdown, which is likely to kick off later this month, officials will inspect all shops and restaurants to check the quality of food or beverages served. Also, officials will check if outlets have registered themselves with the department and whether they have validity licences. Shops found without a valid licence will be sealed and a case will be registered against their owners.
“We will carry out random inspections of shops and collect food samples. Also, we will check their registration and licence details. Owners will be prosecuted in case of any violation,” said Dr KK Sharma, the food safety officer, Gurgaon.
In 2014, the department had directed owners of all hotels, restaurants and shops selling eatables to registered themselves under the Food and Safety Act 2006 and obtain licences from the authorities. The department has extended the deadlines to apply for the licence six times in the past three years, yet many eatery owners failed to abide by the order.

Food Safety Officials Seize Tobacco And Expired Products

The Imphal West District Police under the supervision of the Imphal West superintendent of police N Herojit along with the Food Safety & Standards Enforcement Wing, Manipur today seized tobacco products worth around Rs 10 lakhs and expired eatable items.
The tobacco product were seized from three different shops located at Prajatantra Gali, Thangal Bazar, Imphal and the three shops were owned by Ganesh Kumar(25) s/o Hiralal Shah of Bihar presently staying at Tillipati, Anil Kumar Gupta (25) s/o Kapil Manishah of Bihar presently staying at RIMS Road and Guddy Shah (22) s/o Kedar Shah of Bihar presently staying at Tillipati.
The expired eatable items (mostly consumed by kids) were seized from a godown located at Kakhulong Khul, Paona Bazar, Imphal owned by Mukesh Kumar Sah (47) s/o Jokhi Lal Sah of Bihar presently staying at Masjid Road, Paona Bazar.
Speaking to media persons, Imphal West additional SP (law and order) Priyadarshini Laishram said that the state government has already banned selling of tobacco products from the year 2013.
So the team has conducted the raid and was able to seized a huge amount of tobacco items from three different shops, he added.
They has been intensifying such drive mostly tobacco products in view of high prevalence of cancer in the state as uses of tobacco products leads to cancer, said Priyadarshini.
She said that necessary action and case will be taken up against the three shop owners after obtaining the sampling nicotine report of the seized product from the laboratory by the Food Safety department.
She added that keeping of expired product is also an illegal action so they have seized the eatable items from godown and found that most of the seized items are items mostly consumed by the kids.
Priyadarshini said, “It is most likely that the owner kept the items with an ulterior motive such as to convert into a brand new by changing covers or tag.”
So proper action will be taken up against the owner of the godown after finishing the procedure of testing the items by the Food Safety department, she continued.


Food and Drugs Administration keeps a check on ice quality for summer heat

NASHIK: Water samples have been collected from various ice factories in the district by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) to check the quality of water being used..

The food inspectors have sent the samples to the government laboratory for further inspection.

Assistant commissioner of FDA, Nashik, Y K Bendkule said, “We have collected 10 ice samples from across the district. The samples were not only collected from ice factories but also cane juice stalls which are set up during the summer. The samples have been sent to the state public health laboratory in Pune for the investigation.”

The drive is mainly being conducted during the summer as huge amounts of ice is consumed by citizens at juice centres and ice candy outlets. The objective is to ensure that the water used for preparing the ice should not have bacterial contamination, which will lead to health hazards.
Currently, 10 samples have been collected by the department, which will continue to raid other ice factories and juice centres.
Apart from inspection of ice, the FDA also collected samples of mangoes from various parts of the city to check if calcium carbide was used to ripen them. The deadly chemical is known to be used by traders to ripen mangoes artificially.
FDA destroys 5000 kgs artificially ripened Mango
Another team of FSOs led by Vinod Dhawad raided M/s Mohd Irfan Rain and seized 2,998kg mangoes costing about Rs 1.20 lakh.
Another team of FSOs led by Vinod Dhawad raided M/s Mohd Irfan Rain and seized 2,998kg mangoes costing about Rs 1.20 lakh
NAGPUR: The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) Nagpur division seized 5,000kg of mangoes that were artificially ripened using calcium carbide from the Kalamana wholesale market and destroyed the same. The mangoes were valued at about Rs 1.70 lakh.

FDA joint commissioner (Food) Shashkant Kekare told TOI that the seized material being biologically degradable was destroyed in the Bhandewadi dumping yard in the city’s outskirts.FDA food safety officers (FSOs) raided the Agriculture Produce Marketing Corporation (APMC) in Kalamana, the wholesale market of grains, fruits etc and seized the artificially ripened mangoes 

The FSOs team included Manoj Tiwari, Akhilesh Raut that raided the site of M/s Raju Katariya and seized 240 kg mangoes costing Rs 3,607. FSOs Pravin Umap and Bhaskar Nandanwar raided M/s Jitendra Ganesh Mankar and seized 2,278kg mangoes costing Rs 45,560. 

Another team of FSOs led by Vinod Dhawad raided M/s Mohd Irfan Rain and seized 2,998kg mangoes costing about Rs 1.20 lakh. 

FDA raids APMC, destroys mangoes laced with carbide

Nagpur: In a major overhaul, the Food Drug Administration (FDA) officials raided several mango shops , siezed and destroyed mangoes which were injected with the Calcium carbide at the market yard of Kalamna.
The raid was conducted at the Agriculture Produce Market Commodity (APMC) Kalamna market, where mangoes collectively weighing 5,516 kilograms were seized from different shops. The total value of mangoes is estimated at Rs 1.70 Lakh. The operation was carried under the supervision of FDA Joint Commissioner Shashikant Kekre and executed by Assistant Commissioners Milind Deshpande and Motiram Pawar. A team of food safety officials Manoj Tiwari and Akhilesh Raut raided the shop of Raju Kataria and found 240 kgs mangoes which were tested positive for carbide.
Later, Food safety officials Vinod Dhavad raided the shop of Mohammad Irfan Rais at the same location and found 2,998 kgs of mangoes positive with carbide and immediately confiscated the mangoes worth Rs 1.20 lakh.
Food safety officer Pravin Umap and FDA officer from Bhandara along with officials Bhaskar Nandanwar and other joint teams conducted a raid at office of one Jitendra Mankar at the market yard and seized mangoes weighing 2,278 kgs worth Rs 45,560. Then FDA officials raided the shops of Mohammad Isaq Haji, Mohd Javed and Shraddha Fruit Traders and seized and destroyed mangoes worth lakhs. The team officials were Kiran Gedam, Sheetal Deshpande and Anand Mahajan.
Calcium carbide is also used in some countries for artificially ripening fruit. When calcium carbide comes in contact with moisture, it produces acetylene gas, which is quite similar in reaction to the natural ripening agent ethylene.
Acetylene acts like ethylene and accelerates the ripening process.

Food safety enforcement wing conducted drive

Imphal, : Food safety enforcement wing conducted a surprise drive at various shops in Masjid Road and Thangal Bazar area, today.
Th Sunilkumar, Designated officer of Food Safety and Administration who took part in the drive said that despite the edible items which may cause throat diseases to the children were ban earlier were found to be still available in today’s drive.
The ban items have been seized today.
Th Sunilkumar also said actions will be taken up under the food safety and standard act 2006, if shopkeepers are found violating the rules.
In the past the drive could not be held regularly due to the lack of manpower in the department but now the department has the adequate manpower and the drive will be conducted regularly in all valley districts.
Sunilkumar appeals to the public and CSO’s to extend all possible support to stop the people running shops without the FSSAI license.
The drive was conducted by a combine team of enforcement wing of Imphal East and West, Thoubal and Bishnupur District under the supervision of food safety Commissioner, P.K Singh.
During the drive edible items being sold without license were seize and some of the shopkeepers pulls their shutter down on hearing the news of the surprise drive.
The shops have been seal by the enforcement wing.
Most of the shopkeepers were found selling of edible items without the norms of food safety and standard authority of India (FSSAI) license.
The combine team also found many imported items from Myanmar without expiry date stickers, stickers with Myanmar language and twice printed stickers with manufacturing date.

Three charged with trade of dead chicken

The Food Safety and Drug Administration department officials on Thursday charged three persons with collecting dead chicken from farm and selling them for meat. About 50 kg of dead chicken found in their possession was seized and destroyed.
Food Safety Designated Officer K. Tamilselvan said Raju (37), who was found collecting chicken which were dead due to sunstroke and dehydration at the farms, was first caught.
Subsequently, Dhanapal (27) and Thangadurai (40), who were buying the dead chicken from Raju, were also caught. “We are initiating process to prosecute them for violations under Food Safety Act,” said Mr. Tamilselvan.

Cooking oil manufacturing units warned against adulteration

The officials of the Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department conducted surprise check in the cooking oil manufacturing units in the city and warned the firms against indulging in adulteration.
On receipt of complaints that adulteration is rampant in cooking oil manufacturing units, a team led by T. Anuradha, Designated Officer of the Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department, conducted surprise check in a few oil manufacturing companies functioning at Sivathapuram, Arisipalayam, and Saminathapuram in the city on Thursday.
The officials noticed that stickers of the companies functioning in the neighbouring states were being displayed in the cans and tins packed here. Moreover, the tins were washed using chemicals and used again for packing the oil, in violation of norms. The team also noticed the unhygienic conditions prevailing in the units.



Food safety officers seek clarifications on ITC’s Yippee noodles

After Nestle’s Maggi, there seem to be question in store for ITC’s Yippee noodles.
According to a report in The Times of India, the Uttarakhand food safety office has sought clarifications from the company about the claims it has made on the label of this popular brand. The company has been asked to respond in 15 days about the nutritional claims it makes on the packet. The notice was issued on Friday, according to the report.
The food safety officials had tested samples of Yippee Magic Masala and Classic Masala from a store in Kaliyar in Haridwar, the report says.
The food safety office has asked the company to provide the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India-approved lab reports about the shelf-life of the both the versions. The aim is to check whether the claim that it is best before nine months from the date of manufacture is correct or not.
ITC, in a clarification sent to Firstpost, had this to say: “The picking up of food samples and seeking of information by Food Safety Officers is a routine occurrence and part of the duties of the Food Safety Officer under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 and is not an out of ordinary event requiring any cause for concern to the public. ITC’s Yippee! Noodles are in full compliance with food safety laws, and are backed with ITC’s world-class internal laboratories as well as at FSSAI-approved, NABL-accredited external laboratories confirmation.
“The information sought by the Food Safety Officer pertains to statutory declarations required by the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, that appear on the label, and ITC is fully cooperating with the Food Safety Officer in providing the information required by him. It is pertinent to mention that ITC has obtained adequate scientific analysis substantiating all information before making such declarations on the pack.”
Interestingly, the move by the food safety officers comes days after the company removed the ‘no added MSG’ disclaimer from the packs. The move followed recent directions by the FSSAI, said a PTI report.
Announcing its decision, the company had said earlier in a statement that under the Food Safety Standards Act, if a manufacturer adds MSG (monosodium glutamate) in its product, then only the quantum of MSG has to be declared.
Moreover, the FSSAI, in connection with noodles of “another brand” (read Nestle’s Maggi), had held that such statement of having no MSG was “inappropriate”, ITC said.
“Therefore, ITC is voluntarily taking steps to remove the phrase ‘no added MSG’ from its labels in its new batches of packaging and consumers should ignore this on the current packaging. ITC would like to once again assure consumers that MSG is not added to Sunfeast YiPPee! Noodles,” ITC said.
Unfortunately for ITC, the food safety authorities’ action comes at a time when the company is pushing the Yippee brand to make the most of the Maggi debacle.
According to a report in the Business Standard on on 13 June, the company is distributing leaflets among retailers, explaining how it has conducted stringent tests on its products.
“In all these tests, our food products have consistently been found to comply with all regulatory standards,” the report cited the leaflet as saying. The retailers are being told to show it to Maggi’s loyal customers in a bid to woo them to Yippee.
However, the FSSAI move is in line with the expectations of many an analyst who had predicted the Maggi incident to have a cascading impact on other brands too.
Reliance Securities, for one, had said in a report on Nestle it sees the ignominy extending to all brands in the category in general and not just dent one particular brand as FSSAI pushes to strictly implement the new norms on food safety across all packaged food products.
“This would force all the companies in the segment, like Dabur (in Honey), ITC (Sunfeast, Yipee, Kitchens of India), Britannia, Parle, Pepsico and HUL (Knorr, Kissan, Magnum), to declare in detail the ingredients used in their packaged products,” the brokerage had said.
Interestingly, much before the FSSAI crackdown on Nestle began and gave rise to a debate on food safety issues in India, Consumer Education & Research Society (CERS) had found that many popular instant noodles brands are deceiving consumers on nutrition claims they make on the labels.
According to a report in Moneylife published in 2012, in-house laboratory tests conducted by CERS found that 15 brands made fake health claims and have nutritional levels way below their claims.
The brands included Maggi, Top Ramen, Knorr, Ching’s Secret, Sunfeast Yippee!, Foodles, Tasty Treat and Wai Wai X-press.
“Some of the common findings for most of the samples tested included high level of sodium salts, significantly low fibre content, high amount of fats and several other shocking factors. The brands that claimed ‘Healthy’, ‘wholesome’, ‘enriched with proteins and iron’ and ‘full of fibre’, were refuted by the test findings as going way above the safe limit of several harmful elements,” the report quoted CERS as saying in a release.
Clearly, it is high time the FSSAI started testing all the brands in this category.

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