Food Safety Enforcement News – India this week – May -28-2017

GENERAL

ASSAM

Assam Govt to shut down stalls selling of fish, meat in the open

Guwahati :  The Assam government has decided to close all unhygienic stalls selling fish and meat openly on the footpath in Guwahati by Sunday.
As such practice has become poisonous and fatal to human life, the administration has decided to close all such unhygienic and open selling of fish and meat on the footpath in the city, a government release said here today.
The decision has been taken in an emergency meeting chaired by Additional Chief Secretary in charge of Guwahati Development M G K Bhanu here today, the release said.
Bhanu also ordered Deputy Commissioner Kamrup Metropolitan District comprising of Guwahati only, Commissioner of Police, Commissioner Guwahati Municipal Commissioner, CEO Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority and Chief Food Safety Commissioner to work jointly as a team in this regard.
Meanwhile, in view of the Prime Ministers forthcoming visit to Guwahati on May 26 the meeting also discussed the cleaning up and beautification of Guwahati city, the release added.
 

CHANDIGARH

The health minister Brahm Mohindra has issued strict instruction to district health authorities to ensure implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Act.

Local officials have been asked to act against large food and beverages operators besides smaller food shops and street vendors against whom there have been complaints of adulteration.

Mohindra chairing the state-level review meeting of food and drug administration (FDA) officers said it was the duty of the health department to ensure that health and hygiene of people are adhered to with supply of nutritious and unadulterated food articles.

He said there would be zero tolerance on adulteration of food articles and complaints of people in this matter must be addressed within a stipulated time. He exhorted the food safety officers not to confine their activities only to raid of food shops but instead they should try to bring positive results by acting against miscreants.

J & K 

Unsafe pulses sold in Valley

FSD asks dealers to stop sale, distribution of polished pulses
Srinagar:
The Food Safety Department (FSD) Wednesday declared polished pulses sold in Kashmir as unsafe and asked dealers to stop selling them in the market.
Assistant Commissioner Food Safety, Srinagar, Hilal Ahmad Mir told Rising Kashmir that the Department has detected polishing in pulses using soapstone and oil.
The Food Analyst Kashmir found Arhar and Channa Dal samples coated with hazardous soapstone and oily substances, which have been declared unsafe as per the Food Safety & Standards Act (FSSA), 2006.
“If consumed, they can cause a potentially harmful effect on human health,” Mir said.
He said from coloured stones to hazardous Kesari dal, adulterated pulses are being openly sold in the market.
“The cheap and low-quality Kesari dal was banned by the government in 1961,” he said.
According to doctors, most of the polished Dals contain diamino-pro-pionic acid, which could lead to paralysis of the lower body and numbness in limbs and spine.
Officials said traders start mixing Kesari dal with normal variety of pulses after rise in prices of Arhar dal due to a poor harvest.
Mir said he has directed the designated Food Safety Officers in the districts to strictly enforce the order immediately.
“I have also requested the Commissioner Food Safety to issue ban orders as per the Analyst Report,” Mir said. 
KARNATAKA

Newspaper for packaging food, banned:regulations

Mangaluru : Food retailers can legally no longer pack food in newspapers as it poses serious health hazards, stated a Food Safety Officer, in Mangaluru city.
Under the guidelines issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, the authorities have now agreed to implement the Food and Safety and Standards Act effectively in the district, the official said. He said that use of newspapers for packing cooked food poses a risk to health and thus the ban is essential.
A press release from the Food Safety Officer said that public should not purchase any food items especially fried eatables wrapped in newspapers. Even mineral water comes under food category. The release stated that can/bottle/containers of water should have BIS standard and ISI mark. It should mandatorily have the date of manufacture and the expiry date on the bottle.
“If the public come across packaged drinking water units that fail to have ISI mark and are being sold in the market, they can bring the same to the notice of the food safety officer,” he said.
“The use of calcium carbide for artificially ripening fruits like banana, chikoo, mango, mosambi is also banned. Artificial ripening of fruits is not good for health,” food safety and quality officer Dr Rajesh said.
Consumers should verify details on standard mark, nutrition values, importers details, weight of the produce, expiry date and manufacturing date while purchasing food products.
In case of any complaints of food safety and standards, public can contact: 
Dr Rajesh B V, Designated officer, Food Safety and Quality officer, Mangaluru (9449843255, 0824-2420466); 
H P Raju, senior food safety officer, MCC limits (7019181523/ 8453441763), 
Dr Naveen Chandra Kulal, taluk medical officer/food safety officer (9845228689), 
Dr K Kala Madhu Taluk medical officer/food safety officer, Belthangady (9845967576), 
Dr Subramanya M R, taluk medical officer/food safety officer, Sullia (9449662224), 
Dr Deepa Prabhu, taluk medical officer/food safety officer, Bantwal (9845838677), 
Sumanth, food safety officer, Puttur (9449505104).

KERALA

MAHARASHTRA

NAGALAND

Health department cautions food business operators

DIMAPUR : The Nagaland State Department of Health and Family Welfare (DoHFW) issued a notice today prohibiting the sale of all forms of packed food items, beyond their ‘best before’ and ‘expiry date’ timeframe. The prohibition is in effect across the state.
The notification stated that sale of food beyond ‘best before’ and after ‘expiry date’ may be considered as unsafe food and is prohibited under sub-clause (I) and (2) of the Section 26 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and sub-clause (a) clause (2) of Section 27 of the said Act.
Offenders are liable to a penalty not exceeding Rs 25,000 under Section 50 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and punishable with imprisonment for a term of six months to seven years with fine of Rs 1,00,000 to Rs 10,00,000 under clause (I) (II) (Ill) and (IV) of Section 59 of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
The department directed all food business operators in the state to comply with this notification, and cautioned that action shall be taken against defaulters under the appropriate provisions of the said Act.
All designated officers (CMOs) and Food Safety Officers (FSOs) have also been asked to carry out inspection/checking and sampling of food establishments under their jurisdiction and take necessary action against the defaulters.
Further, the department also asked the public to inform the Chief Medical Officers/Food Safety Officers of the districts or Directorate of Health & Family Welfare (Food Safety Cell) if anyone is found selling such food items.

TAMILNADU

Vendors caught selling water from unlabelled, soiled cans in Chennai

CHENNAI: In the second time in less than a month, food safety officers on Thursday caught vendors selling water unlabelled and soiled cans at two government hospitals in Egmore here.
Based on a tip-off, food safety officers landed at the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and found a vendor selling water on the campus at Rs 8 a bottle. Another man was caught selling water on the pavement just outside the Institute of Child Health from a container that had multiple labels. Around 40 cans were seized.
Food safety officer A Chandrasekaran, who inspected the hospitals along with two other officers, said four samples were collected and sent for testing. “Last time, the vendors were just let off with a warning. This time, if the samples are found to be non-potable, the department can take action,” he said.
During questioning, the vendors said they had bought the water cans from a dealer nearby for Rs 40. The water was then sold to patients and their attendants.
On May 11, food safety officers caught the same two vendors selling water from soiled cans in the hospitals.

Quality of water sold by tanker lorry operators remains unchecked

There is no mechanism to check the quality of potable water supplied in private water tankers.
Water shortage during the harsh summer has forced many to depend on private water suppliers. However, the quality of potable water sold by tanker lorry operators remains unchecked as there is no mechanism in place for the same.
While quality of packaged drinking water is often checked by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), potable water supplied by private operators in tankers is not checked by the government agency.
‘Not a packaged product’
According to FSSAI officials, potable water supplied in private tankers does not come under their ambit. “Examining the quality of water supplied in tanker lorries does not come under FSSAI as it is not a packaged product. FSSAI examines only packaged drinking water,” said O.L.S. Vijay, designated officer, FSSAI, Coimbatore.
As of now, private water tanker operators do not require any licence or permit to supply potable water or water for other purposes. They either draw water from their own water sources like bore wells and open wells or buy water from those who have the sources.
“The water supplied can be potable or for other purposes. Even if we check water in a tanker, the operator may not admit that it is for drinking purposes. It is difficult for us to prove the same,” said a food safety official.
The corporation has no role in checking the quality, according to officials as the local body is responsible to ensure quality of water supplied by it at times when distribution through pipelines is disrupted.
Meanwhile, most of the hotels in the city which buy potable water from private suppliers, are providing filtered drinking water to customers. According to K. Kathirmathiyon of Coimbatore Consumer Cause, it is advisable for the seller to get the sample of water from the collection centre to be tested once in a while.
“This will help them to ensure their credibility and safety of water supplied to the customers,” said Mr. Kathirmathiyon.
“We spent around Rs 5,000 to purchase potable water a day. While reverse osmosis water is served in the pipeline for hand wash, purified water is given for consumption,” said an owner of one of the restaurants in the city.
According to representatives of Private Water Suppliers’ Association, there are about 5,000 tankers operate in Coimbatore.
These tankers supply water to apartments, hospitals, hotels, schools, private enterprises and houses. After regulations were brought in on drawing water from water bodies, private suppliers mainly depend on bore wells in the rural parts of the district.
 

Namma Chennai : Keeping Food Safety First at Marina. A job well done by the Food Safety Department

A team from the Food Safety department were on a mission this Friday when they set out to Marina Beach. Based on complaints,around 300 hundred food stalls in the 3 km stretch between Anna Square and Lighthouse were raided and inspected.
Ten teams of officials were mobilized for the drive and they did a top notch job of checking the stalls for adulteration, expired products, unauthorized addition of food colours and personal hygiene of food handlers.
SKIM
The sad fact of the matter is that a lot of roadside food vendors are not aware of basic food safety practices and they are just trying as hard as they can to etch out a living for themselves. Drives like this are not only for the purpose of seizing and nabbing and terrorizing the vendors. That is not the intention at all. The intention is to make sure that no rotten, out of date, unsafe food is sold to customers and also to make the vendors aware of the dangers of selling food that is not handled or stored properly.
NIP THE BUD
Officials seized 100kg of decayed fruits, 24kg of rotten fish and 7kg of expired ice-cream and biscuits. In addition, they also took away 40 litres of expired soft drinks and 31 litres of reused oil.
It is a scary prospect, but efforts such as these by R Kathiravan, designated officer, Tamil Nadu food safety and drug administration department and his team make us feel a good that issues like these are slowly being taken care of.
None of the vendors were fined this time as the officials realised that most of them did not even know of food safety practices. Even though a fine of upto Rs.25,000 can be charged under under the Food Safety and Standrads Act, 2006, the officials find it difficult to drag the vendors to courts. Most of them do not own the push carts and it is hard to trace them. The vendors from whom the food was seized were let off this time with a strict warning notice and the information that food safety offices would be issuing spot fines if the same vendor was found defaulting again. They were also advised on how best to avoid contamination of food and were informed that more raids would follow.
It is heartening to see such efforts being taken and we hope that more such efforts with the participation of officials,customers and vendors together can bring about a great change.
The Chennai Corporation has enumerated nearly 1,500 hawkers on Marina beach. For any food related complainants WhatsApp to 94440 42322.
UTTAR PRADESH
Synthetic milk racket busted in Agra
AGRA: In a major crackdown on adulterated milk, food safety and drug administration(FSDA) team conducted raidson three places in the city and seized several thousand litres of synthetic milk, along with liquid detergents and chemicals. One woman was arrested in this connection even as three FIRs against five people were registered.

Vineet Yadav, assistant commissioner, FSDA, Agra said, “The joint raid of FSDA and police was conducted at a house in Kukhreliya village under Barhan police station. A large quantity of adulterants was found while one woman was caught red-handed making synthetic milk.”

5 RO plants seized

Lucknow: Five reverse osmosis (RO) plants have been seized by the food safety and drug administration (FSDA) in this month till now for anomalies in documentation.
The fifth, in Aurangabad, was seized late Wednesday evening.
According to FSDA district officer PR Mishra, there are eight RO plants in Lucknow approved by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The seized plants were not registered with either.
The seized RO plants supply around 5,000 litres of water to Lucknow daily. According to FSDA, the manufacturers used to supply bottles to offices and student hostels.
WEST BENGAL

Adulterated foods: Kolkata police Enforcement Branch to conduct raid

KOLKATA: Getting a tip off that adulterated foods are being served in some Kolkata restaurants, Kolkata police Enforcement Branch (EB) has decided to conduct a raid across the city. The drive will follow a similar raid in Dum Dum area last week.
Kolkata Municipal Corporation top brass said that the civic body would extend its helping hands in the forthcoming EB initiative.
“We have expertise in dealing with such cases of adulteration. We will extend our help to the EB team if need be,” said a KMC health department official.
In fact, the KMC is the nodal agency for conducting such raids in the city or assisting the EB in case the latter carries out a drive against adulteration.
In recent times, the KMC health department has raided several north and south Kolkata restaurants and took samples of food items.
Among the food items, biryani has been one item which has failed the civic body’s laboratory tests very often.
“We were surprised to find a reputed chain of restaurants selling adulterated biryani. The chemical that the restaurant used in biryani to enhance colour and taste of the popular food was not permitted under food safety rules,” a KMC food safety official said.
Besides food, packaged drinking water has been a major headache for the KMC food safety cell. “We have found several packaged drinking water brands to be fake. These brands are mainly sold in the districts but often get into our city and are sold mainly in the pan or stationery shops,’ said a KMC official.
Eatery Manager held for stale food 

KOLKATA: A manager of a restaurant in Dum Dum was arrested on Friday by the Enforcement Branch on Friday following raids where it was found that the eatery was serving stale food. The raid was jointly conducted by officers with South Dum Dum Municipality officials to check several restaurants in Nagerbazar, Dum Dum Road and Jessore Road. 

South Dum Dum Municipality ward 9 councillor Surajit Roy Chowdhury said raids were being conducted since Thursday after the civic authorities were tipped off that stale food was being served in some restaurants.

South Dum Dum Municipality chairman Pachu Gopal Roy said: “Strict action will be taken against them within seven days if the eateries do not take preventive measures. We have warned them their trade licence will be cancelled if they don’t follow the safety rules.”

 
 
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