Amidst persistent rumours over ‘plastic rice,’ especially in the social media, officials of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India have been conducting checks in rice mills and at the premises of retail and wholesale rice dealers across the district. All the 18 Food Safety Officers in the district were involved in the checks to physically verify the rice stocks at the mills and shops. “We are conducting physical checks as per instructions from our higher authorities over the past few days. However, so far no such rice made of any artificial substance has been detected,” a Food Safety Officer told The Hindu. The checks are essentially seen as a move to allay fears of the public.
Five Food Safety Officers in Tiruchi Corporation limits and one each in the three municipalities and those in the block level were engaged in conducting the checks. He indicated that the checks would continue and complaints, if any, would be attended.
Food safety officials check for ‘plastic rice
Coimbatore: Food safety department has taken 19 samples of rice over the past two days to check for the presence of “plastic rice“, besides issuing a public advisory on how to detect the same.
The move comes after photos and messages about the prevalence of “plastic rice” have gone viral on WhatsApp.
The food safety department has inspected around 200 shops across the district since Friday, taking samples of rice sold loose and also in packets and sacks. “We have not so far found any dangerous adulterant. The only non-rice particle found was stones, which is common,” said the district food safety officer, Dr Vijay.
The official said they have checked for the presence of plastic, synthetic and semi-synthetic adulterants.
The food safety department has, however, issued an advisory to help people identify and the presence of plastic in rice. The officials have also released two helpline numbers, 0422220922/9444042322, to report the presence of “plastic rice” to them.
“If the rice floats on the surface when put in water, it can be plastic. And if boiled rice does not develop fungus even after three-four days, it means it could be plastic or other synthetic material,” said the advisory.