Maharashtra: 30 children fall sick after consuming food at madrassa


Around 30 students of a madrassa in the Bhiwandi township here suffered from suspected food poisoning after having a meal at a function, an official said today.

The children were served food at a feast organised by a person at the madrassa on Tuesday afternoon, Bhiwandi’s tehsildar Shashikant Gaikwad said.

The students, all boys aged around 12 to 15, complained of vomiting, nausea, stomachache and giddiness yesterday following which they were rushed to the government- run IGM hospital in Bhiwandi, he said.

Later, as the health of some of the children started deteriorating, all of them were shifted to the Nair Hospital in neighbouring Mumbai, he said.

Gaikwad visited the children at the hospital last night and said they all were out of danger.


An investigation was on into the incident, he added.


FSSAI Drafts Amendments Related to MRL of Pesticides

FSSAI Drafts Amendments Related to MRL of Pesticides
FSSAI Drafts Amendments Related to MRL of Pesticides

The FSSAI has drafted some amendments in the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulation 2011 related to MRL of pesticides. The FSSAI has also invited comments, views and suggestions from stakeholders by 8 February, 2018. Once approved these regulations may be called the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Amendment Regulations, 2017.

In the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011, in regulation dealing with Residues (2.3), for sub-regulation 2.3.1, the following sub-regulation shall be substituted “2.3.1: Restriction on the use of insecticides

(1) Subject to the provisions of regulation 2.3.1(2), no insecticides shall be used directly on articles of food:

Provided that nothing in this regulation shall apply to the fumigants which are registered and recommended for use as such on articles of food by the Registration Committee, constituted under section 5 of the Insecticides Act, 1968 (46 of 1968).

The FSSAI has increased the number of insecticides and has also specified the maximum residue limits in mg/kg of these insecticides on specific foods. MRL on the Food have been specified so that MRL is not general like food-grains but specific like maize, rice wheat, milled food grains

MRL for insecticides has been given for foods like

  • Maize, wheat, rice, paddy, soyabean, rice bran, corn, dry-fruit, sesamum, sorghum, mentha
  • Milled food grains
  • Milk and Milk products
  • Meat and meat products
  • Fish
  • Poultry and Eggs (shell free basis)
  • Fruits like pineapple, mango, grapes, sugarcane, citrus like orange, acid line and sweet lime, apple, banana (whole), guava, papaya, pomegranate juice, cherry, pomegranate, peaches
  • Vegetables like Chilli, Okra, Cabbage, tomato, cucumber, potato, onion, sugar-beet , brinjal, leafy vegetables ,bitter gourd, beans, cauliflower, peas, gherkin, mustard, bottle gourd, coconut
  • Safflower seed, Cottonseed, Groundnut seed, sunflower seed, rape seed,
  • Cumin, cardamom, pomegranate seeds, pepper, dry chilli, mustard seeds,
  • Areca-nut
  • Red gram, black gram, Bengal gram, pigeon pea, green gram, chickpea,
  • Tea (green and black), coffee
  • Carbonated water, Coconut water,
  • Cottonseed oil, groundnut oil, soya bean oil, mustard oil

The new amended list contains 219 names of insecticides along with MRL of these insecticides on the above mentioned foods. Each insecticide and MRL on specific foods has been mentioned in Tabular form in great detail. The insecticide names are in alphabetical order and so it is easy to check the names and MRL on specific foods.

NOTE: All these Maximum Residue Limit/tolerance limit values are provisional for a period of five years and not fixed on the basis of actual data in the Indian context. They may be reviewed after five years or as and when the relevant scientific data is made available to Food Safety and Standard Authority of India, whichever is earlier.

This article is only a summary of the amendments. One can refer to for more details.

Mandatory for FBOs to declare Cinnamon on Food package : FSSAI

Gel based pest control could become order of the day

Scientists have used state-of-the-art technology to evolve gel-based carriers known as nanogels that carry pheromones to repel pests. 

Consignments of Indian fruit and vegetables   often face quarantine restrictions or rejections in exportMARKETS because of pest infestation or high pesticide residues. In the domestic market, too, unsafe levels of pesticide residues in food items have become a major concern, inviting injunctions from courts to curb this menace. The solution lies in finding and promoting safer, preferably non-toxic means of pest control. Options for implementing this include the use of bio-pesticides or natural enemies (predators) of the pests; hot and cold treatment and irradiation of the produce; and equipping plants with inbuilt resistance against pests and diseases through genetic modification, among others. However, most of these methods have their own limitations that restrict their usage.

Another hi-tech, yet easy-to-use method that has shown good potential for controlling pests is the deployment of pheromones – natural or artificial odours, including sex aromas – that lure insects to either trap and destroy them or disrupt their breeding. These aromas, similar to the ones emitted by insects themselves, are species-specific. They, therefore, do not result in killing all insects

indiscriminately – as is done by most pesticides – regardless of whether they are harmful or useful to the crops as pollinators or predators of pests. Besides, these are required to be used in extremely low doses and do not leave any harmful residue that affects the marketability of the produce. In the past half century, scientists have identified and synthesised around 1,500 pheromones for different insect species. These have found widespread application in agriculture, forestry and urban pest management.

However, for using pheromones on a mass scale, the techniques for dispensing them in fields need to be reliable, economical and simple enough for the farmers to use. For this, many methods, including aerial spraying, have been tried out but with limited success. Many medium (carrier)-based pheromone dispensers have also been developed and are commercially available. But most of them are sensitive to ambient temperature and other atmospheric conditions that limit their use to certain seasons only. In recent years, various kinds of gels have been used as the medium or carrier for pheromones for field application. However, many of the commonly used gels, notably hydrogel, swell or shrink, depending on the obtaining humidity level, or tend to degenerate under other adverse circumstances.

To get over these constraints, scientists have now used state-of-the-art nanotechnology to evolve hassle-free gel-based carriers for pheromones called nanogels. They have been found to be the most convenient option for field application of pheromones in all seasons, regardless of the temperature or humidity. Besides, they are easy to transport and do not require specialised storage. Pheromones absorbed in nanogels are released slowly over an extended period to provide longer-term protection against pests. Nanogels are now also used in human and animal health care for slow delivery of drugs in the required quantity to targeted spots in the body. In pest control, too, pheromone-doped nanogels have displayed the ability to release pheromones gradually in the needed quantity.

The technology for preparing these nanogels for agricultural use has been evolved by a team of scientists belonging to the Bengaluru-based Indian Institute of Science and the National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources (NBAIR) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research. “This simple, practical and low-cost environment-friendly method of pest management has a significant potential for crop protection due to its long-lasting beneficial activity, excellent efficacy and favourable safety profile”, says NBAIR senior scientist Deepa Bhagat, who was part of the team that invented the nanogel. This technology can be efficiently and economically carried forward from the research laboratory to agricultural fields to control pests of crops such as cotton, pigeon pea, chickpea, tomato, brinjal, coffee, guava, mango, rice and others, Bhagat points out. The developers of the nanogel have already initiated the patent process before it is licensed to entrepreneurs for commercial production and promotion.

Agriculture Today

Food Safety Enforcement News – India updates – Jan 14-2018


States must use NHM funds for food safety: JP Nadda

Nadda is Union minister of health and family welfare
NEW DELHI: In a bid to strengthen food safety systems in each state such as laboratories and enforcement infrastructure, states should use funds from National Health Mission (NHM), said the Union minister of health and family welfare, JP Nadda during a meeting with state health ministers and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.
“Central Government is providing support to the tune of Rs 482 crore for the states. As many as 45 state labs are to be strengthened. I request the states to come forward with the proposals or give us the plan for strengthening the laboratories,” said Nadda adding that finance will not be a constraint and each state should have at least one government food laboratory of high quality. 
Food borne diseases impose a huge economic burden on India amounting to as much as 0.5% of India’s GDP or about $28 billion, according to researchers present at the meeting. 
All state health ministers, present during the meeting, agreed to the use of appropriate curriculum content on food and nutrition in schools to promote healthy eating habits and build awareness. States will also launch sustained campaigns in cities, districts and states under the banner of Safe and Nutritious Food (SNF) to develop city, district and state-wide ecosystems and declare them smart food state, city or district.


Telangana to have foolproof nutritious food system

The health authorities have decided to adopt a seven-point charter to address issues that have impeded food safety
Hyderabad: For the first time in Telangana, the State government is set to implement a broad framework aimed at putting in place a fool-proof mechanism for safe and nutritious food for all.
To this effect, the health authorities have decided to adopt a seven-point charter to address issues that have impeded food safety and put in place a robust food control system at the State-level.
Participating in a round table meeting of State Health Ministers in New Delhi organised by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on Tuesday, Health Minister, Dr. C. Laxma Reddy said the State government is committed to improve food safety and very soon these measures will be grounded.
Recognising the need to improve infrastructure, the State government has decided to upgrade State Food Laboratories (SFL) by roping-in manpower and equipment and get certification from National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).
The SFL will become part of the Indian Food Laboratory Network (InFoLNet) to ensure seamless flow of information and in the process instil confidence among public and food business.
Among the many decisions, the authorities have also decided to tap into the available funds with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to upgrade the SFLs. The authorities will procure major lab equipment, set up microbiology laboratory and renovate infrastructure at a cost of Rs 10 crore.
In addition to all this, authorities will also utilise resources to start mobile food testing laboratories dubbed as ‘Food Safety on Wheels’ with a cost of nearly Rs. 40 lakh and an additional Rs. 5 lakh every year towards petrol and oil expenses.
The authorities have also decided to address the issue of micro-nutrient deficiency by adopting fortified staples like rice and flour with iron and iodine in mid-day meal scheme and in Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). In due course, activities like promoting organic food, launching campaign with focus on youngsters to adopt a healthy lifestyle.


Dietetics: Food safety norms not followed in state

PATNA: Bihar Dietetic Association (BDA) on Wednesday said people of the state were forced to consume substandard food as there was no regular inspection against adulteration in Bihar.
The association members alleged that the Combined Food and Drug Laboratory at Agamkuan in Patna to check food adulteration has been non-functional for the past many months. “Nobody checks if the norms for food safety are being followed by vendors or the companies that provide processed food in the state,” said association’s secretary Sudhakar Mishra. The samples from Bihar, he claimed, are sent to Kolkata for test.
Mishra requested the state government to get regular inspections conducted by the health department’s food safety wing to ensure that the companies with the licence to manufacture processed food were selling items as per standards fixed for them.
Talking to newsmen at a workshop conducted at Nalanda Medical College and Hospital (NMCH), he said, “People in India focus only on quantity and not on quality of the food they consume.”
The association, he said, wants to ensure that the food being consumed is checked for adulteration.
Sources in the food safety wing said there were only 14 food safety officers for 38 districts in the state. The official also said although the laboratory faced problems in the past as well, it had been functional for the past six months with regular inspections being carried out for adulteration. “The allegations are not true,” an official said.
Food safety inspector Mukesh Kashyap, when asked about routine inspections, said as per the norms followed by the food safety wing, every food safety officer collects 10 samples from different areas every month for routine inspection. “Inspections are also carried out extensively during festive seasons,” said Kashyap.

FDA warns Mumbai McDonald’s outlet over food hygiene

HardCastle Restaurants, which runs the McDonald’s franchise in Southern and Western states said they are looking into the matter seriously.
According to the Food Safety Standards Act, hotels and restaurants should see to it that the kitchen conditions, as well as the cleanliness and hygiene of the chefs should be of good standard. (Photo: PTI)
Mumbai: The state Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned popular quick service restaurant McDonald’s as one of its outlets in the central region of the city has allegedly breached food safety standards. 
The FDA had reportedly conducted a “surprise check” on the McDonald’s outlet in High Street Phoenix at Lower Parel for alleged violation of the Food Safety Standards Act, by cooking in unhygienic conditions, and for not displaying its licence copy prominently. 
They subsequently sent a warning notice to the restaurant chain, saying if the conditions were not improved over the next 15 days stern action will be taken. 
HardCastle Restaurants, which runs the McDonald’s franchise in the Southern and Western states said they are looking into the matter seriously. 
“As a part of a routine investigation we have received some queries from the FDA. We have already submitted our response to the points raised,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday. 
According to the Food Safety Standards Act, hotels and restaurants should see to it that the kitchen conditions, as well as the cleanliness and hygiene of the chefs should be of good standard.

2nd phase registration for food-related units starts in Tirupur district

TIRUPUR: The Food Safety and Drug Administration (FSDA) started its second phase of enrolment camps for food business operators (FBO) in the district on Tuesday at CM Unavagam in Palladam. The enrolment drive would end on January 12.
The FSDA asked FBOs to use e-services, which was launched on Monday, for registration and for getting licences.
Till now, 65% of the 18,585 FBOs in the district have either registered or submitted applications for the purpose. “With the first phase of special enrolment camps held last month, Tirupur FSDA was able to increase the percentage of enrolled entities from 46% to 65%. The state food commissioner has fixed January 15 as the deadline to achieve 100% registration,” said K Tamil Selvan, designated officer of Tirupur FSDA.
“For registration or to obtain licence, the FBOs could submit application at the common e-services centres (CSC) with the required documents and registration fees. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) started the online services for the purpose in Tamil Nadu on Monday,” said Tamil Selvan.
As per the FSSAI norms, the food selling entities, from hawker to business class hotels, should pay Rs 100 as an annual registration fee if it has a turnover under Rs 12 lakh and 2,000 if the turnover exceeds Rs 12 lakh.
In case of the food manufacturing units, the registration fee is Rs 3,000 if the total production is less than one tonne a day and Rs 5,000 for 1-2 tonnes a day.
Earlier, the FSSAI wanted the FSDA to get all FBOs registered or obtained licences before the last year. But around 50% of the entities across the state were yet to enrol.
The enrolment would help the department to keep a tab on the quality of foods produced and sold in the FBOs. So, the FSDA was carrying out door-to-door campaigns to create awareness. “If the FBOs fail to come forward for registration, we would serve them with legal notices,” Tamil Selvan added.

FSSAI introduces food hygiene rating for eateries

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