Food Safety Enforcement News – India updates

GENERAL

FSSAI, GFSP to work together on food safety in South Asia

Food regulator FSSAI today said it has joined hands with the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) to develop actions for raising investments to support food safety system in South Asia. 
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the GFSP held a high level discussion in the national capital on food safety.
The GFSP is an innovative, public-private initiative dedicated to supporting and promoting global cooperation for food safety capacity building. 
“As a part of this dialogue, nearly 100 participants came forward to indicate their intention to act in various areas including funding and investment, knowledge sharing, public/ private collaboration, and capacity building to manage and support the region’s food safety systems,” FSSAI said in a statement. 
GFSP’s CEO Lystra N Antoine said that a collaborative approach would contribute to enhance global food security. 
FSSAI Chairperson Ashish Bahuguna said the regulator wants to enhance its global outreach with a view to learn from experiences of other countries in food safety and build global trust in India’s food sector. 
“We strongly believe in co-creating a sustainable architecture for building strong food safety systems across Asia. We believe that globally there is a need for more informed and cohesive arrangement on capacity building and knowledge sharing on food safety and nutrition,” he added. 
This calls for support from public and private organisations, partners and other international bodies, Bahuguna said. 
FSSAI’s CEO Pawan Agarwal said that it has made a good progress in terms of food safety capacity building efforts through launch of FosTaC portal that necessitates to have one trained and certified food safety supervisor in Indian food businesses.
 

Chocolates put under food safety regulations

The manufacturers are also required to specify on the label that it contains vegetable fat in addition to cocoa butter. All varieties of chocolates are required to have not less than 25% of total weight. The standards prescribed in the regulations lay down the minimum percentage of cocoa solids, milk fat, milk solids and acid insoluble ash in different varieties of chocolates.
New Delhi : The Health Ministry has put all kinds of chocolates under the food safety and standards regulations, requiring all manufacturers to abide by them by January 1, 2018.
The regulations clamped on the recommendations of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, the national food regulator, were published on August inviting objections from the public.
They lay down the percentage of the ingredients, including cocoa and sugar, allowed in various kinds of chocolates.
For instance, the dark chocolate that is becoming popular from health point of view shall be required to contain not less than 35% of the cocoa solids, which includes not less than 18% of cocoa butter and not less than 14% fat free cocoa solids.
The chocolates covered under the regulations include milk chocolate, milk covering chocolate, plain chocolate, blended chocolate, white chocolate, filled chocolate, composite chocolate, couverture chocolate and praline.
In case of praline, the regulations lay down that the product shall be a single mouthful size having not less than 25% chocolate component in terms of weight and meet the criteria fixed for filled or a single or combination of chocolates.
Optional ingredients allowed in the chocolates are edible salts, spices or condiments, vitamins and minerals, permitted emulsifying and stabilising agents, and permitted sequestering and buffering agents.
The manufacturers are also required to specify on the label that it contains vegetable fat in addition to cocoa butter. All varieties of chocolates are required to have not less than 25% of total weight. The standards prescribed in the regulations lay down the minimum percentage of cocoa solids, milk fat, milk solids and acid insoluble ash in different varieties of chocolates.
GOA

1.5 tonnes of mangoes seized at Margao

 
Panaji: The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) on Friday confiscated 1.5 tonnes of artificially ripened Alphonso mangoes worth Rs 32,000 from the godown of one Habib Narangi, near the flyover bridge, at Margao.
After conducting a spot test, it was established that the plant growth regulator, Ethpon, was used to artificially ripen the mangoes. The seized stock was subsequently transported to the garbage dump at Sonsoddo, where it was destroyed.
The enforcement team also conducted inspections at 35 other premises where mangoes, papayas and bananas were being sold. The sites checked were located in the SGPDA market, near Minaxi Hotel and Cine Lata in Malbhat, and in the vicinity of the Rajagiri Victor Hospital. However, no artificial ripening activity was detected.
The team further confiscated gutka worth Rs 8,000, and foreign cigarettes worth Rs 4,000 that did not bear the mandatory pictorial warnings on their packs, from gaddas (kiosks) located in Margao.
The FDA team comprised food safety officers Abel Rodrigues and Amit Naik, assistant chemist Punalik Gawade, and support staff Pradip Parsekar, Sainath Mandrekar and Arjun Naik.

FDA wins national award for safe food project

PANJIM: The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has been honoured with the ‘Safe and Nutrition Food Ambassador’ Award by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for its contribution and early adopter of the project ‘serve safe and nutrition food’. FDA director Salim Veljiee accepted the award at a ceremony in New Delhi on May 16.
Under the ‘Project Serve Safe Food under the Safe and Nutrition Food & Street Food’, the State FDA had trained around 1400 street food vendors in association with CSR partner, Nestle India Limited and NASVI (National Association of Street Vendors of India). Street food vendors were imparted special skill development training in the good sanitary and hygienic practices. 
“The State FDA Goa was the first State food regulatory agency across the country which had adopted the FSSAI 10 & 10 initiative program of Project Serve Safe Food,” a statement issued by FDA states. 
Veljee said the award is a great achievement for the directorate and the government which show cases the continuous efforts in ensuring safe and nutritious food to consumers
CHANDIGARH

Food Safety act be enforced with iron hand : Brahm Mohindra

Complaints against adulteration and sale of sub-standard food be addressed immediately
Storage units and kitchens of schools for mid-day meal & Aganwadis be put under surveillance
Food/Canteens in government sector would also be screened
Chandigarh, May 19, 2017: The Health Department Punjab has issued strict instruction to the district health authorities to ensure the implementation of Food Safety & Standards Act with iron hand and to act against big food and beverages operators besides the small food shops and street vendors for the complaints of adulteration.
The instructions were issued by Minister for Health and Family Welfare Punjab Mr. Brahm Mohindra while chairing the State level review meeting of the Food and Drug administration officers. He said that it is the prime duty of the health department to ensure that health and hygiene of the citizen is maintained by the supply of nutritious and unadulterated food articles. He said that zero tolerance would be maintained against adulteration of food articles and all complaints of the citizens in this regard must be addressed within stipulated time. He exhorted the food safety officers not to confine their activities only to raid food shops instead they should concentrate on bringing positive results by acting against the miscreants who are playing with life of people.
The Health Minister instructed the officers to ensure the sampling of the basic eatables consumed by the citizens such as milk and dairy products paneer, khowa, ghee, seasonal fruits like mango, banana and chikoo. He said that the adulteration is a serious issue which directly linked with health and hygiene of the citizen. He asked the officers that henceforth food /canteens in government sector should also be taken into screening.
The Minister said that by ensuring the supply of unadulterated food articles we may curb many deadly and chronic diseases like cancer, hepatitis, stomach and gastric disorders. The Minister also directed the officers to sensitize the public through IEC activities for registering their complaints against adulteration over on-line portal of the department. The Minister also directed the Principal Secretary Mrs. Anjali Bhawara to arrange a special orientation training program for the food safety officers to educate them about the modernize sampling techniques and procedures. The Minister himself wished to be present in this training program.
Mrs. Anjali Bhanwra Principal Secretary Health asked to District Food officers to ensure the submission of status reports of mobile test labs to the Dr. Amritpal Warring, Nodal Officer within three days
She instructed the food safety officers to emphasize on generating more and more awareness regarding the various provisions of Food Safety Act and rights of the citizens in this regard, by using social networking mediums, workshops, seminars and other IEC activities.
Mr. Varun Roojam Commissioner Drug and Food Administration also directed the food safety officers to act with diligence and sincerity to ensure the proper implementation the food safety Act to guarantee the hygiene and infection protection.
KERALA

Lack of infrastructure hits food safety dept.

No food safety officers for Nadapuram, Beypore, Kuttiady
Soon after a four-year-old boy died of suspected food poisoning after eating jelly candy from a bakery about a month ago, the food safety officials and the health section of the Kozhikode City Corporation raided bakeries and shops selling sweetmeats in the city.
The next day, there was a report from Vadakara about a worm being found in an evening snack. The food safety officials had to discontinue their examination in the city. Reason: The department has only one vehicle and it had to be sent to Vadakara for inspection.
According to a senior official, the functioning of the Food Safety Department in the district has been hindered by lack of infrastructure such as these and staff shortage.
“The only vehicle we have is old too. As it breaks down frequently, we are forced to depend on private or other vehicles,” the official said.
Sources in the department said that the department has offices in all Assembly constituencies. However, instead of 13 food safety officers, there are only 10. Nadapuram, Beypore, and Kuttiady constituencies do not have food safety officers.
No permanent offices
Also, there are no permanent offices in Kuttiady, Nadapuram, Beypore, Thiruvambady, and Balussery circles.
The offices for Kunnamangalam and Elathur are functioning in the district office itself.
The Perambra circle office is operating from the same premises of the Koyilandy circle office.
 
TAMILNADU
UTTARKHAND

‘Silver foil on sweets replaced with toxic aluminium’ Shivani Azad

 
Dehradun: For many of us, one of the best bits of eating sweets is perhaps the silver foil that glitters on the top of these delicacies. But food safety officials here have come up with a shocking fact. Samples collected from a distributor did not have silver quoting, which are known as vark. These were instead replaced with similar-looking aluminium foils. While vark consists of silver and is known to be anti-bacterial in nature, the aluminium foils can cause severe damage to the brain and stomach if consumed in large quantities. The reason why this practice is rampant is because one sheet of aluminium comes at a much cheaper price than silver, said officials.
The samples collected by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) were “nowhere close” to the actual silver leaves, said officials. “It was alarming for us to read the findings of the report. The samples contained absolutely no traces of silver even though the sheets were sold as silver foils by the distributor,” said an official of FSSAI, Dehradun.
The district food safety unit has issued a notice to the manufacturers who are based out of Saharanpur and has a distributor based in Darshani Gate here. According to officials, the firm supplies foils to nearly 50 shops in the city and elsewhere as well. The testing of the samples was done at a laboratory in Rudrapur in Udham Singh Nagar.
Meanwhile, doctors said that if consumed in certain quantities, these aluminium foils can lead to severe damage to the nervous system. “Excess consumption of aluminium can lead to depression of various types as well diseases such as Alzheimer,” said gastro surgeon Dr Vipul Kandwal, assistant professor, Doon Medical College, Dehradun.
Officials also said that this was not the first instance when aluminium foils were found in sweets here. “Eighty per cent of the so-called silver quoted sweets in the city is often layered with aluminium. The tentacles of this business have spread so far that not only sweets but items such as biryani and mangoes are at times wrapped in it,” said Brij Mohan Sharma, secretary, Society of Pollution and Environmental Conservation Scientists (SPECS), Dehradun.
 
 
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