Food Safety Enforcement News – India Updates – Aug 6


Action taken by Centre to stop duplicate mineral water bottle

New Delhi :
 Standards for Packaged Mineral Water and Packaged Drinking Water (other than Mineral Water) are prescribed under sub-regulations 2.10.7 and 2.10.8 of Food Safety and Standards (Food Products and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 respectively and compliance to these standards is mandatory for any packaged drinking water manufacturer in the country. These products are also under mandatory certification of Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
These requirements are to be followed by all manufacturers of packaged water. However, cases of sale of packaged water by unlicensed units and not meeting the prescribed standards have come to the notice of FSSAI. Therefore, FSSAI has been regularly taking up the matter with the Food Safety Commissioners of States/UTs and urging them to undertake regular and effective enforcement action in the matter.
Regular surveillance, monitoring, inspection and random sampling of food products, including packaged water are being undertaken by the officials of Food Safety Departments of the respective States/UTs to check that they comply with the standards laid down under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, and the rules and regulations made thereunder. In cases where the food samples are found to be non-conforming, recourse is taken to penal provisions under Chapter IX of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) from time to time receives complaints regarding quality of BIS Standard marked Packaged Natural Mineral water and Packaged Drinking Water as per IS 13428 and IS 14543 respectively. Similarly complaints are also received regarding misuse of Standard Mark on Packaged Drinking Water/Packaged Natural Mineral water by manufacturers without having valid BIS Licence.
Complaints regarding quality of BIS Standard Marked Packaged Natural Mineral water and Packaged Drinking Water are investigated both at complainant-end and Licencee’s premises for redressal.
Complaints regarding misuse of BIS Standard Mark (ISI mark) on Packaged Natural Mineral water and Packaged Drinking Water are investigated. Depending on outcome of the investigation, raids are conducted and cases are filed in the concerned court of law.

J & K

After HC Rap, Govt Appoints Commissioner Food Safety

Srinagar—The State government on Monday appointed Dr Pawan Kotwal (IAS), Principal Secretary to the Government Health and Medical Education Department, as the Commissioner of Food Safety in addition to his own duties.

A notification in this regard was issued by the government under Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 and comes two weeks after the J&K high court pulled up the state for remaining behind in appointing the Commissioner. 
During the suo-moto hearing of a Public Interest Litigation, Dr. Pawan Kotwal, who was present before the court on June 17, had stated that the process of having a “full time” Commissioner of Food Safety was under way. “The proposal is pending with the Finance Department for financial approval,” Kotwal had said, following which the high court had directed the Finance Department to clear the proposal within a week. 
The court had stressed that the entire organizational structure envisaged under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 required that all the functionaries should be in place because specific functions have been given to officers of each tier. 
The lowest in the ladder is the Food Safety Officer, then Designated Officer, Assistant Commissioner and Commissioner of Food Safety on the top. 
In so far as reporting of samples was concerned, the first point is collection and that is to be done by the Food Safety Officer. Thereafter, the samples are forwarded to the Food Analyst through the Designated Officers. It is the Food Analyst who analyses the samples and then, depending upon the seriousness of offence, whether it is a case of fine or sentence or sentence of more than three years, further action has to be taken by the Designated Officer or by Commissioner Food Safety, the court had underlined. “Unless and until the entire manpower is in place, the proper functioning of the Act would not be possible,” the court had said 
In so far as Food Safety Officers are concerned, there are 106 sanctioned posts, out of which 70 are filled while 20 FSOs are holding the posts of Designated Officers as Incharge but not in a substantive capacity. 

“Once they are granted substantive capacities as Designated Officers, 20 posts of Food Safety Officers would become available which would have to be filled up,” the court had said. 

Besides, there are 16 posts of FSOS which are lying vacant and the process in respect of them has been initiated by the government. The government informed the court that the examination in respect of the 16 posts conducted by the J&K Service Selection Board on 6 July this year and its result was awaited.

To check adulteration, FSDA conducts raid at food manufacturing unit

Meerut: In order to check adulteration in sweets and other eatables ahead of Raksha Bandhan, the Food Safety and Drugs Administration (FSDA) officials raided a food manufacturing unit in Meerut’s Shastri Nagar area on Tuesday. One sample each of besan ladoo, food colour and refined palm oil was taken from the spot and an improvement notice was issued to the owner of the unit.
Archana Dheeran, designated officer, FSDA, said, “We took three samples – one each of besan ladoo, food colour and refined palm oil from Giriraj Food Products – a manufacturing unit in Shastri Nagar area. The samples were collected and sent for inspection at a Lucknow laboratory to ensure that no tampering is done at the local level.”
The samples were collected by a seven-member team. The reports of these samples will take at least a month to arrive after which action will be taken if required.
“Also, since the food was being prepared in unhygienic conditions, an improvement notice has been issued to them. A check will be conducted after one month to see if they followed the directions in the improvement notice – which if not done, will invite an inquiry against them,” said Dheeran.
The raids will continue for the next few days, said officials.

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