Food Safety Enforcement News – India updates – June 11-2017


Adulterated Agra Petha, white wash cement, Alum stones and artificial food colors were seized from the accused’s possession.
Hyderabad: Continuing its crackdown on adulterated food products in the city, the Hyderabad Task Force on Wednesday raided several sweet shops and ice cream manufacturing units across the city and arrested two persons on charges of adulteration in two different cases on Wednesday.
In the first case, police arrested Ram Singh, 37, a sweet maker and resident of Jiyaguda. According to Task Force personnel, Ramsingh was indulging in preparing ‘Agra Petha’ in his sweet shop at Jummerat Bazaar in Shahinayathgunj without any valid certificate from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and was selling adulterated Agra Petha without any brand label. 
“We found him selling sweets prepared using white wash cement, Alum, Sodium Hydrosulphide and other artificial food colors. He was selling the adulterated sweets to customers,” said B Limba Reddy, DCP, Task Force.
Adulterated Agra Petha, white wash cement, Alum stones and artificial food colors were seized from his possession. He was handed over to the Shahinayathgunj police for further action.
In the second incident, the Task Force raided Sindhu Food Lines, an ice cream manufacturing unit, at Bapuji Nagar in Musheerabad and arrested one person. 
The arrested person, Pattala Ashok, 45, proprietor of Sindhu Food Lines and resident of Bapuji Nagar was allegedly making ice creams in different flavours by mixing non-ISI brand milk powder and local color emulsion and food colors. 
Officials seized around 100 expired flavoured milk bottles and other incriminating material from his possession. He was handed over to the Musheerabad police for further action.
Expired Food and Tobacco disposed

CCpur, June 08 2017:

With the Food Safety Department continuing its drive against tobacco products and sub-standard food, a huge haul of expired food and tobacco products was today disposed at the town’s dumping site.

Food Safety Officer Churachandpur, Bisosana Loitongbam along with a police team raided several godowns in the town today and impounded a huge quantity of expired or sub- standard food or eatables and tobacco products.

The Food Safety Officer while addressing reporters claimed that many of the edible items imported from foreign countries expired in the hands of stockists and warned the public to be aware of such products.

She also advised the public not to consume products that lack the FSSAI approval and to look out for their trademark.

Some local bakers also failed to specify the expiry dates for their products and it will be desirable of them to print the expiry dates for the safety of the local public, she added.

The impounded food and tobacco products that are estimated to be worth Rs 70 thousand were later burnt and disposed by the team at the local dumping site.

Another Rs 5 lakh worth of tobacco products seized yesterday was however taken to Imphal for disposal.


Traces of detergent found in milk sample

108 samples tested as part of an awareness campaign on food adulteration
Traces of detergent were found in one of the 108 milk samples tested by Food Safety and Drug Administration department as part of an awareness campaign on food adulteration organised here on Thursday.
Speaking to the media, Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao, who inaugurated the campaign earlier in the day, said that the sample was collected by a Field Officer of FSDA from a consumer, although he did not elaborate on where the consumer had bought the milk.
Sources in FSDA department, however, said that the consumer, who resided in Kochadai, had bought the milk from a neighbourhood vendor, who supplied raw milk (not pasteurized).
Stating that the testing equipment used by FSDA indicated that further tests were required to confirm presence of soda, bicarbonate or detergent, Mr. Rao said that a ‘legal sample’ would be collected from the place where the consumer had bought the milk.
“By ‘legal sample,’ we mean that the sample will be collected as per specifications and without contamination. The sample will be sent to a laboratory with necessary infrastructure,” he said. If adulteration was confirmed, he added, criminal proceedings would be initiated against those involved.
Officials from FSDA indivitedthat the sample that was tested being a contaminated one was also a possibility. “For instance, if the consumer had kept the milk in a vessel that was not rinsed properly, the detergent present in the vessel may show up in the milk sample,” an official said.
As part of the campaign, which was organised near K. Pudur bus stand, samples brought by the public and those collected by field officers of FSDA were tested. Mr. Rao said that 11 samples were found to be sub-standard since the fat content in them was less than 3.5 %.
The testing, for which a sample of 300 ml was needed, was a two-step process, FSDA officials said. The samples were first tested for fat, solids-not-fat (SNF) and water, followed by another test for adulteration. The tests were conducted using a kit, named electronic milk adulteration testing (EMAT) unit.

TN govt sends milk samples to Pune lab

Chennai: In the wake of state minister KT Rajenthra Balaji’s charge that private firms in the state were adulterating milk with toxic chemicals, the Tamil Nadu government has sent samples to the Central Food Laboratory in Pune for a detailed analysis.
The referral laboratory for the region received four samples from the office of the commissioner for milk production and dairy development in Madhavaram on May 31, lab director Suhas Bakre said. “It will take two weeks for us to test and send the report to officials in the state. We will be testing the milk for fat content, chemicals and other substances. The results will be sent by June 20,” he said.
In May, dairy development minister Rajenthra Bhalaji said his department suspected that carcinogenic substances were being added to milk by private manufacturers. “These chemicals are available freely in cities like Chennai, Madurai, Trichy and Coimbatore. In Chennai, these chemicals can be purchased for Rs 20 from Flower Bazaar. They are mixed with milk to increase shelf life,” he said.
Although Bhalaji stated last month that the government had sent samples to the Pune lab, officials at the lab told TOI on May 28 that the last time they received samples from Tamil Nadu was in June 2016. A sachet of whole milk produced by a private firm was sent to the laboratory by the designated officer in Erode for testing “fat” content. “The sample failed the test and we sent the report to the officer concerned. There were no toxic chemicals in it,” Bakre said. Three days later, the lab received samples from the state government.
An official in the dairy department, who refused to speak on record, said some milk samples were tested by Aavin. “We detected the presence of chemicals in it but we can’t file cases or initiate action against the manufacturers because these samples were tested in our lab. Besides being a conflict of interest, the food safety rules don’t permit us to initiate action until they are tested in a central lab,” he said.

Canned water under threat

Authorities accuse a few packaged water units of flouting norms to draw groundwater; manufacturers flag clearance certificates.
Though the Tamil Nadu packaged drinking water manufacturers have withdrawn their strike, authorities are said to be at loggerheads with them over depleting groundwater level, putting the availability of canned drinking water in question in the long run.
While the association members say that a total of 350 packaged drinking water manufacturing units operate in Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts, sources claim that around 200 illegal units are also run by people with political clout. However, V Murali, president of Greater Tamil Nadu Packaged Drinking Water Manufacturers Association, told DTNext that all the units have obtained the environmental clearance apart from certificates from Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
“In such a condition, why should the concerned officials pressurise us to close the units. Lakhs of people rely on canned water not only in the city, but across the state. Is curbing the availablity of a life essential to save groundwater level justified?” he asks. While the officials claim that they have only instructed some units that overexploit groundwater and flout the norms to abide by, the association members accuse officials of being discriminatory and claim that they are being threatened to shut down the units without a valid reason.
According to Murali, manufacturers draw water of about 300 million litres a day from 350 units in Chennai region. “Though we have necessary licences from all the departments, sometimes the officials try to close down units for reasons best known to them,” he says. However, Shankar, Chief Engineer of Ground and Surface Water Resources Wing, justifies the department’s action.
“There are some norms, which the drinking water manufactureres do not conform to. We have been periodically instructing such units not to overexploit groundwater beyond prescribed levels and it is monitored through a water meter. But some companies flout the rules and we along with Revenue officials insist the manufacturers to close such units,” he elaborates. He also adds that the PWD is preparing to monitor the units in Chennai region and would ask the manufacturers without a licence not to tap water anymore. 
Shankar says the groundwater level can be maintained if such units located near lakes and rivers without licences are closed. R Kathiravan, Designated Officer, FSSAI, Chennai, says that there are 17 packaged water manufacturing units in the city alone. “We regularly monitor them and if we find the water to be unfit for consumption, we immediately ask the manufacturers to stop processing. After tapping the water, the manufacturers should do the purification process promptly. Some companies would not maintain the equipment properly and in such a scenario there is a possibility for water contamination. So, the manufacturers should be careful during the entire process of purification,” he says. 
Kathiravan adds that regular inspections are conducted to check potability of canned water.
7 to 10 lakh cans of water are supplied to Chennai households on a daily basis
Total number of units in Chennai region: 350
50% of drawn water goes waste in the purification
No of illegal unit: 200


Noida will not give nod for meat shops in slums

The Noida authority has written to the district magistrate to resolve the issue at their level
Meat sellers can only be issued licences if the shops are in areas where municipal services are provided
A group of meat sellers on Monday met Noida authority’s deputy chief executive officer (DCEO) Saumya Srivastava seeking his help in obtaining licences for meat shops in slum areas.
As per norms, the food safety and drug administration (FSDA) can issue a licence only if the applicant produces before them all required documents, including a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Noida authority.
However, the authority made it clear to the meat sellers that it will only issue NOC for a shop if it fulfils all requirements and is located on land where municipal services are provided.
“We can issue NOC to a shop if it is located in a sector or a village. We will not be able to issue NOC for a meat shop located in a slum because we do not provide municipal services there,” said the DCEO.
Following the meat sellers’ demand, the authority has written to the Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate (DM) regarding the issue.
“I have written to the district administration and also spoken to the additional DM. We have requested them to deal with licence applications in slums at their own level on the basis of merits or demerits of the applications. The Noida authority will not issue NOCs, so the administration will exercise its powers and take a call as per law,” said Srivastava.
Among the norms set by the authority for an NOC, the shop will have to be located 100 metres from a place of worship, 50 metres from a residential area and have access to municipal facilities.
“We will issue NOC for five shops in a village if the population is less than 4,000 and 10 shops if the population is more than that. In urban areas, licence will be issued to a meat shop only if it was originally allotted for this purpose and is located in a commercial area,” said Raghunandan Singh Yadav, senior project engineer of the Noida authority.

Lack of food safety officers in West Bengald, only 42 out of 180 slots filled: FSSAI

At an interactive session organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce, Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, FSSAI said there is a shortage of food analysts and safety officers in several states including West Bengal.
West Bengal is among several states in the country plagued by a shortage of food safety officers, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said here on Thursday. At an interactive session organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce, Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, FSSAI said there is a shortage of food analysts and safety officers in several states including West Bengal.
“The state government has to create more posts. The problem is not only with West Bengal, but with several states. The number is far from adequate.
Besides, there is no proper manual for officers to follow. We are talking with the state government about this,” the chief executive officer said. “We have identified two laboratories in the state, which will be upgraded with equipment and expertise,” the chief executive officer added. Food safety officers present at the occasion said that the requirement was to have 180 safety officers in Bengal, but at present, there are only 42 officers.
“Of them, 23 are working under the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), while the other 19 were to take care of the 23 districts. Some officers have to be in charge of more than one district,” said a food safety department official. Sources said there were three private (NABL-accredited) and two public food laboratories in the state. There are two food analysts under whom the food safety officers work.
During the session, Agarwal said that food safety in India is primarily the responsibility of those in the business. “It is primarily the responsibility of those engaged in food business. We have to trust them, but we also need to verify certain factors.
“As we move to a stricter regime, one of the conditions that needs to be fulfilled is that in every establishment under the food business, there has to be at least one person trained in food safety who will supervise other food handlers,” Agarwal said.

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