Food Safety requirements while handling high risk foods like cut fruits, fresh salads, and confectionery products

Confectionery Products
Confectionery Products

High risk foods are those that are ready to eat products which should be stored under recommended temperatures and have to be consumed within a limited time frame. High risk foods become easy targets for microbial contamination as bacteria can grow quickly in these food products. Any contamination of food products is a health risk for consumers and Food Business Operators must be over cautious in guarding against contamination in foods that are eaten raw like salads and fruit.

Confectionery items also come under the category of high risk foods as they can deteriorate quickly, even if they are kept under refrigeration particularly if milk products and cream have been used. Uncooked food like fruit and salads, juices and cold beverages need to be prepared with utmost care as bacteria can multiply very quickly in them.

Personal hygiene is very important when handling such foods to prevent cross contamination. Keeping the utensils clean and sterilized is equally important so no pathogens can grow in confectionery products when stored. All food business operators should ensure that the following precautions are  kept in mind so that the high risk foods they serve are totally free of microbial infestations.

Cut fruits/salads, fresh juices and beverages

FBOs must make sure that

  • Fresh fruits, juices and vegetables to be eaten as salads or in cold platters are consumed immediately on being cut.
  • Cut, raw vegetables and fruits are stored only under refrigeration at or below 4°C and that too for short time durations if they need to be stored before consumption.
  • Storage utensils are sanitized and foods are covered when stored
  • Only potable water is used to prepare beverages
  • Ice required for beverages is also made only from potable water.
  • Containers used for keeping ice for consumption should be separate from containers used for food and beverages

Confectionery Products

  • Prepared confectionery products must be stored only in airtight containers.
  • If they are to be displayed then they must be inside covered and hygienic display cases.
  • Cream is kept covered and under refrigeration.
  • Finished products are properly refrigerated and that labels have an expiry date.
  • Properly cooled before they are wrapped and packaged as per regulations.
  • Only permitted food additives, colours, preservatives and flavouring agents are used.
  • Unwrapped confectionery items are used well within time as they have a short shelf life.

Proper attention should be given to cooking, preparing and storing high risk foods to keep them safe for consumption.

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8 of family taken ill, food poisoning suspected

Shahjahanpur: (UP)

Eight members of a family, including four children, were taken ill possibly due to food poisoning at Miyapur Akhtiyarpur village in Shahjahanpur’s Sindhauli block. They were found in a semi-conscious state by a neighbour, who raised an alarm and they were taken to the community health centre.

Police said Jagatpal, a local, saw his neighbour Bhagwaan Sharan lying unconscious outside his house. When he went inside the house to inform the others, he saw all the members of the family lying in a semi-conscious condition. He immediately informed other villagers and they called the 108 ambulance and sent all the family members to the CHC, Sindhauli. Later, all of them were referred to the district hospital, where their condition is stated to be stable.

 

According to Sharan, he had invited his sister Verma Devi, 56, and his nephew Sheru, 25, for dinner on Saturday night. Everyone ate pumpkin and chapatis made of wheat flour and went to sleep. Thereafter, everyone fell ill and could not even gather the strength to inform anybody and ask for help.

 

Fortunately, their neighbour Jagatpal happened to see Sharan. Sindhauli police also arrived on the spot to investigate if somebody had tried to poison the family but found nothing suspicious. The wheat flour used for making chapatis was not poisoned.

The doctors at the district hospital said all the family members were stable in the evening but the children would be kept under observation till Monday.

 

Station officer of Sindhauli police station said, “We received the information about the suspected poisoning case but when we inspected the village and spoke with doctors, it turned out to be a case of food poisoning. We will be recording the statement of the family members once they are discharged from hospital.”

Viviana Mall – First mall to organise Food Safety Training and Certification as per FSSAI guidelines

Viviana Mall, leading destination mall in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region is the first mall to organize Food Safety Training & Certification (FOSTAC) has laid down by FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India).
The FOSTAC training program will slowly and steadily reach across all food operating businesses in order to make all operators FSSAI compliance
Joint Commissioner (FOOD) Konkan Division, FDA – Thane, Suresh Deshmukh was present during the inauguration along with Assistant Commissioner, (Food), FDA – Thane, Krishna Dabhade, who was one of the trainer training the participants from restaurants and food outlets (29 participants in all).
Assistant Commissioner, (Food), FDA – Thane, Krishna Dabhade, who himself conducted training for Food Business Operators (FBO’s) of the mall said, “The training will help food handlers to gain advanced expertise and adhere to the required guidelines in order to provide clean, hygienic, safe food to the customers. We have launched our mascot Master Sehat and Ms. Sehat as approved by FSSAI of healthy individuals. Through the mascot we aim to reach more than 20 lakh plus food operators and customers in a span of a year.”
In order to align with the future guidelines or policies by FSSAI’s, Viviana Mall organized this training for the food establishments present inside the mall. FOSTAC program developed by FSSAI will help in maintaining hygiene and food safety implementation at food establishments. The FSSAI is looking to introduce a mandatory requirement of having at least one trained and certified Food Safety Supervisor in each Food Service Establishment very soon in near future. Food safety supervisor will be responsible in preparing, processing and serving safe and hygiene food that is being served at that particular food business operator. 
Speaking at the event, Joint Commissioner (FOOD), Konkan division FDA – Thane, Suresh Deshmukh said, “FDA’s main objective is to provide clean, safe and hygienic food and we are glad that Viviana Mall, which witnesses 25, 000 to 30, 000 footfalls every day has become a part of the initiative. To spread awareness about clean and hygienic safe food, we are taking certain steps and we are thankful to Viviana Mall to provide us a platform to kick start our initiative as landmark for rest of the malls in Maharashtra State. Proper certification from FDA would be made mandatory for obtaining license for a food business in the next five – six months.”
Viviana Mall invited all the restaurants and food outlets present inside the mall to be a part of the FOSTAC training program.
CEO, Viviana Mall, Sunil Shroff said, “The mall strives to provide better quality and hygienic food to its patrons and employees in the mall. We aim to proactively make our food establishments FSSAI compliant even before the certification becomes mandatory. Even if one supervisor in a food chain is FSSAI certified, the skills can be passed to other employees too. This shall help food businesses to gain more trust from customers and deepen the brand connect.”
The FOSTAC training program will slowly and steadily reach across all food operating businesses in order to make all operators FSSAI compliance. After assessment participants will be certified as FSS (Food Safety Supervisor) which is valid for 2 years.

30 lakh temples do not adhere to food safety standards in India

BENGALURU: “A six-month jail term and a fine of Rs 5 lakh is levied on those operating without licenses,” says T Narasimha Murthy, which is not being followed in Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam’s (TTD) case. He adds that the TTD is prompt in taking their own issues to court, but don’t want to follow any rules themselves. “For example, there was a sweet shop in Chennai called ‘Tirupati Ladoos’. TTD approached the TN High Court and had the shop shut down.”
The way ahead
The TTD has obtained the license (which will have to be renewed each year) for operating as a FBO (Food Business Operator), making Murthy’s fight successful after several threats sent his way to back off over the last few months. “They have finally obtained the license about a month ago. Usually, when the documents are submitted to us and if they are all in place, we issue the license within a day or two,” says Dr M Kannan, southern regional deputy director, Central Licensing Authority, FSSAI. He adds that apart from Murthy’s efforts, the FSSAI has also been trying to get various temples to get licences, and now that TTD has got its, others will follow. 
Murthy claims that there are close to 30 lakh temples in the country that do not adhere to food safety standards. “I see the TTD as the Supreme Court, and now that I have succeeded in making them get a license, I can focus on other temples in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and then Golden Temple,” he says adding that RTIs are the best way to get anything done in this country. 
When CE contacted TTD, they were unavailable for comment.

Consumer alert – Godrej Natures Basket – Selling expired products

Food Business Operator : Godrej Natures Basket

Place : Pune, Maharashtra

Product : Food item

Issue : Selling expired product

Consumer Complaint as posted by Sanjay Shitre on Sept 17th in Indian Consumer Complaints Forum

While buying at wannori shop today… Was shocked to see expired food times stacked in the freezer.

When informed the store manager… The response was… ‘the supplier might have put in by mistake’

Really… What the hell you are there for… Aren’t u suppose to check the product and quality.

Enclosed the pic.

selling expired food items

HC Madurai : Expedite check on edible oil brands

Madurai: Directing the food safety and drug administration to expedite its task of checking edible oil brands on various parameters, the Madurai bench of the Madras high court on Monday further directed it to enforce the department’s WhatsApp number (9444042322) created for receiving complaints from consumers on adulteration, poor quality or labelling defects of the oil scrupulously. 
The division bench of justices K K Sasidharan and G R Swaminathan gave this direction while disposing of a petition filed by one K Ravichandran that sought to constitute committee to examine edible oil packets available in market to ascertain whether it is fit for consumption. 
During hearing, the special government pleader (SGP) M Govidan told the court the state government’s Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration, created on December 22, 2011, is acting effectively for the enforcement of Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006. 
Since the inception of the department, 1,402 edible oil samples were analysed, of which 20 were found unsafe and 507 were found contravene to the FSSA. Eighteen cases were filed before the judicial magistrate courts which gave conviction in eight cases and imposed Rs 1.68 lakh penalty. A total of 384 cases were put forth before the adjudication officer, of which 238 were convicted and Rs 49.89 lakh was imposed as penalties, the SGP said. 
Besides, based on complaints given by public, the department made inspections. Now, the food safety and drug administration commissioner P Amudha has constituted a state-level committee to monitor the quality of edible oil based on FSSA. 
The committee, having deputy director of the department as its head and designated officers of Salem, Erode, Namakkal, Virudhunagar, Madurai and Tuticorin as its members will look into adulteration in edible oil, adherence to FSSA standards and labelling/ mislabelling. 
The committee will meet immediately to check/ scrutinise the various brands of edible oil available in the market for safety, standards and labelling as per FSSA and rules, the SGP said. 
He also said instructions will be given to the district offices to lift the samples of all major oil brands and send a report to the state committee on the test results and labelling discrepancies.

Tribunal upheld fine on sub standard skimmed milk powder case

The food safety appellate tribunal in Kashmir has upheld fine of rupees four lakh imposed by a food adjudicating officer on a Madhya Pradesh-based company after analysis reports attested its skimmed milk powder samples as substandard.
Presiding officer of FSAT Kashmir Muhammad Yousuf Akhoon upheld the order of the adjudicating food officer Anantnag against Sterling Agro Industries Limited, the manufactures of NOVA brand of skimmed milk powder. 
“The sample of skimmed milk powder NOVA sample has been found of substandard quality since it contained less protein content and higher ash content than the prescribed limit,” the Tribunal said.
While the Tribunal held that the skimmed milk powder was admittedly meant for distribution among different Anganwadi centers of district Anantnag, it said the company cannot escape its liability as it is the manufacturer of this skimmed milk powder that was meant for human consumption, ‘more-so by children who are prone to be affected even by the slightest adulteration in food product,”
The company had approached the Tribunal in appeal against the order of adjudicating officer food safety Anantnag who had imposed the fine on the company after a Punjab-based accredited laboratory and Kolkata-based referral laboratory declared NOVA brand of skimmed milk powder samples as substandard. 
After the officer had inspected stores of ICDS project Anantnag, he lifted samples from the stocked skimmed milk powder packets that were meant for distribution among different Anganwadi centers in the district and supplied by Nazir Ahmad Kawa. 
Four parts of the skimmed milk powder (one kilogram each) bearing batch no (HR 15) and manufacturing address of M/S Sterling Agro Industries Limited Ghironji Industries Area, Malanpur District (MP), were taken as samples in keeping with the procedure laid down under Section 47 of FSS Act, 2006. 
For detection of any violation of the provisions of FSS Act, one part of the sample was sent to a lab food analyst Kashmir and the second part to accredited laboratory—Punjab Biotechnology Incubator, Mohali, Punjab. 
The other two parts of the sample were handed over to the designated officer food safety and standards Anantnag.
While the food analyst Kashmir declared the sample as of standard quality, the Punjab-based accredited lab declared it as sub-standard in violation of the FSS Act. After the reports of the two laboratories were at variance, the second part of the sample was sent to a referral laboratory in Kolkata for final opinion.
The referral laboratory declared the sample of sub-standard quality on the basis of detection of less protein and higher ash content than the prescribed limits.
During the investigation, it was revealed that Kawa had purchased the skimmed milk powder from M/S Sterling Agro Industries Limited, the manufacturer of the food product.
The food safety officer placed the compliant before the adjudicating officer food safety (additional deputy commissioner Anantnag) and he imposed a fine of Rs 4 lakh on the company after coming to the conclusion that its skimmed milk product was substandard. 
“The report of referral laboratory Kolkata is to be taken as final in keeping with FSS Act,” the Tribunal said, dismissing the appeal as devoid of merit. 
Meanwhile, the Tribunal ordered that the amount of penalty recovered from the appellant company which stands deposited in FDR with J&K Bank, branch old secretariat, be deposited in the government treasury along with the interest after the period of appeal is over.