Food poisoning , 58 hostel inmates admitted to hospital

Thiruvananthapuram:
As many as 58 students of GV Raja Sports School, Mylam, took treatment from district hospital Peroorkkada, following food poisoning.
As many as 29 inmates of the boys’ hostel and the same number of students from the girls’ hostel were taken to hospital on Monday night after they complained of stomach pain, diarrhea and vomiting. Except for two girls, who are under observation, all others were discharged on Tuesday.
Sources in food safety department said that they received information about food poisoning only on tuesday morning. So, the officials could not collect samples of the food given to the students. Sources said that students had chapatti and chicken curry for dinner and they complained of uneasiness by night. The students were taken to hospital by around 10.30 pm.
Food safety officials took samples of leftover food such as rice, rasam and also flour, chilli powder, rice, packaged fruit juice etc for a lab test. Sources in the department said kitchen of the hostel will be temporarily closed.
Food poisoning cases were reported in the school in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Food safety officials point to lack of hygiene as the major reason for food safety issues .
Authorities of GV Raja Sports School could not be reached despite repeated attempts.
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CHANDIGARH

2 in dock for illegal sale of ice-cream

Chandigarh: The Chandigarh district court made two persons stand till rising of the court and imposed a fine of Rs 20,000 each on them for preparing and selling ice-cream without a valid license.
The court of the chief judicial magistrate convicted the two persons, Bhupinder Sharma and Mehta Ram Sharma, who were challaned by the food inspector.
On April 7, 2017 food safety officer Bhaljinder Singh inspected the premises of Satnam Ice Cream at Manimajra, Chandigarh, where Bhupinder Sharma was preparing and selling ice cream on behalf of Mehta Ram Sharma, without a food license for human consumption and public sale. The officer prepared the spot memo and challaned the accused for selling food articles for human consumption without a food license under Section 26 (2) (iii) and 31(1) of the Food Safety & Standards Act 2006, punishable under Section 63 of the Act.
The defence argued that the duo had been implicated and no sample was taken at the time of inspection.
However, the prosecution said there was no requirement to take a sample of the food articles as the rules had been violated right at the outset of the venture.
After hearing the arguments, the court convicted both and made them stand till rising of the court.
KERALA

6,000kg fish preserved in formalin returned to Hyderabad

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: There is an alarming increase in the quantity of fish sold in the state that has been preserved using formalin, a toxic chemical. In the latest instance, the food safety department seized and returned 6,000kg sardines brought to Edappazhanji fish market in Thiruvananthapuramfrom Hyderabad after they tested positive for high formalin content .
The seizure was made during the wee hours of Sunday and the truck was returned from the check post at Amaravila on Monday.
The samples have been sent to the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) for detailed examination.
“There has been a rise in the use of formalin in the fish brought from other states. The food safety department has been undertaking routine and random inspections at the check-posts. The public has also been advised to inform food safety officials if they suspect the presence of additives in the fish they buy,” food safety commissioner M G Rajamanickam said.
In another incident, the department returned another consignment of about 500kg fish brought from Tuticorin, which was found to be rotten and preserved in formalin.
Also, in some of the recent incidents, samples collected from Kaduthuruthy, Ettumannoor, Kottayam and Kanjirappally had tested positive for formalin, and the cases have been sent for prosecution.
As part of a project titled Sagar Rani, the department had collected samples from many parts of the state, and several of them tested positive for formalin.
Food safety officials said the state had been witnessing an influx of fish from Karnataka, Andhra, Goa and Tamil Nadu in large quantities via Manjeshwaram, Walayar and Amaravila check posts.
“Some of the consignments were visibly rotten, but these were being sold after mixing them with fresh fish, especially in rural areas,” Rajamanickam said.
The department has been gearing up for a more intense drive by increasing its random sample collection in fish markets across the state.
But the department has also been facing the problem of lack of space to scientifically dispose of such fish.

PUNJAB

Food safety officials collect samples to check adulteration

The team was comprised of Manoj Khosla, Assistant Commissioner, Food Safety, Nawanshahr, and Sangeeta Sehdev, food safety officer. Amit Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, said the Food Safety Department has been directed to hold special campaign to implement Food Safety and Standards Act in the district to check adulteration in food products and artificial ripening of fruits. 
Food safety officials on Monday told the residents about rampant artificial ripening of fruits. ARTIFICIAL RIPENING OF FRUITS
Consumption of artificially-ripened fruits can cause mouth ulcers, gastric ulcers, nervous breakdown and cancer. To ensure the supply of quality fruits to the public, a special drive has been initiated to check the quality of fruits on the directions of the state government.

FSDA to keep check on ‘adulteration’ of food items

As temperatures in Meerut continue to rise and shelf life of food decreases in this summer season, the Food Safety and Drugs Administration (FSDA) will be conducting drives to check adulteration of food. It should be noted that shelf life of food decreases during summers, locals tend to fall prey to poor quality of food and then fall ill.
“We are set to conduct an anti-adulteration drive in the district wherein we will take suspected food samples and send them for checking in our Lucknow laboratory. As the city’s temperatures are on a rise, chances of spoiled food being sold increase,” said Archana Dheeran, designated officer of FSDA, Meerut unit.
Customers can file complaints related to food adulteration with the department, also on condition of anonymity, said FSDA authorities.
Also, if any city resident is apprehensive about a certain food item, he or she can send it for testing to the food department personally and if the sample is found adulterated, a complaint can be filed immediately. The sample may be submitted by depositing Rs 1,000 and if found adulterated, a complaint can be filed with FSDA officials, who will take further action on it.
“A team of officials has been made, which will conduct anti-adulteration drive in the district,” said Dheeran.
TAMILNADU
With 60% shops in Dist under food safety ambit feel free to eat out

Representative Image
Representative Image
COIMBATORE: Thanks to the effective implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) act, more people are having safe and hygienic food in the district.
The number of food business operators registered or licensed by the food safety department has increased almost three-fold. Acording to the officials of the department, besides restaurants, bakeries and snacks manufacturers, they have also brought many home bakers and home-based catering services under the food safety ambit. The number of food businesses registered under the FSSAI act in the district has gone up from less than 6,000 outlets in last October to 17,000 as of this week, designated food safety officer Vijayalalithambigai said. “There are about 29,000 food business operators, which means we have managed to achieve at least 60% compliance. The compliance is higher among licensees or business operators with a turnover of more than Rs 12 lakh. Smaller businesses have to catch up,” she told TOI.

Food safety officials have been educating owners of new shops and eateries about rules regarding use of oil, water, packaging and serving material when they apply for registration. “We tell them not to use newspapers or printed papers to serve food and also against reusing cooking oil and artificial colours. We educate them about ways to store raw materials. We have also told them not to buy cheap tea and coffee powder and even milk, because that may be adulterated. As a result, the quality of food they offer has gone up,” a food safety officer said.In the last three days, the department had issued notices to 19 food business operators and nine small shops, asking them to obtain licenses under FSSAI.

The officials said that while compliance within the corporation limits is high, more units in rural areas need to be brought under its ambit. “In places like Valparai, the compliance is hardly 50%, because of the terrain and the fact that many estates and homes run homestays there offer food,” Vijayalalithambigai added.

 

Over 60kg adulterated tea dust seized in 3 days

COIMBATORE: Sale of adulterated tea is rampant in the city, taunting food safety department officials and ignoring awareness drives. In the last three days alone, officials of the department found 15 small shops selling adulterated tea and destroyed 66.5kg tea bags.

The department has been conducting a mass raid since Wednesday mainly focusing on the retail sector and checking if shops were selling products following the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)(FSSAI) guidelines. “While we usually raid only godowns and wholesalers, we decided to raid shops because they have to stop stocking products that do not conform to the guidelines,” designated food safety officer Vijayalalithambigai told TOI.

“At least 15 of the 152 shops we raided were selling adulterated tea. They were mainly small shops spread across the city,” the official said.
Adulterated tea contains colouring agents and its use may increase the risk of cancer. While tea dust change colour only in hot water, adulterated tea dust change colour in cold water.

According to the officials, small shopkeepers, who buy adulterated tea from wholesalers, are attracted to it because of the low cost. “Adulterated tea dust, which is referred to as low grade tea, is often cost Rs 20 lesser than the normal tea. Many petty shops sell adulterated tea for Rs 6 to Rs 7 per cup compared to Rs 10 charged by bakeries,” a food safety officer said.

Meanwhile, the officials also seized 42kg pan masala and 30litres of packaged water and soft drinks stocked beyond the expiration date.

Artificially ripened banana seized

THENI
Artificially ripened banana weighing around one tonne was seized from the Allinagaram daily market and destroyed here on Wednesday.
Led by Food Safety Officer Dr. J. Suguna, a team of Food Safety Department officials conducted a raid around 5.30 a.m. They found that six shops were selling artificially ripened banana. The seized the fruits worth ₹25,000 and destroyed them.
Three sprayers used for spraying chemicals on the fruits to ripen them were also seized, she added.
Dr. Suguna said that she received a tip off that chemicals were sprayed on fruits and chemical sprayed and artificially ripened fruits were on display for sale at weekly and daily markets in Theni, Periyakulam, Cumbum, Bodi and Chinmanaur. To lodge any complaint, the public may contact mobile 94440-42322 for immediate action, she advised.
Taste of blessings : Temple food to get better as HR&CE trains cooks

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Representative Image
Representative Image
Temple food may get tastier and healthier as the HR&CE department has started providing training to cooks in temple kitchens on preparation of prasadams and keeping the kitchens hygienic.

The training is being given by food safety and standards authority of India (FSSAI) officials. Nearly 142 cooks from 82 temples in and around Chennai were imparted training at the Vadapalani temple. Similar training will be given to other temple cooks region-wise.

“The cooks (called suyampagis) were from some of the big and famous temples and the training was at Vadapalani temple. The training is on how to use kitchens and how to keep vessels clean etc,” said a senior HR&CE official. A workshop was also held for the temple officials in New Delhi regarding hygienic offerings. “The FSSAI officials also visited several temple kitchens in the city as well as in other districts,” said the official.
The FSSAI officials told temple cooks to wear a chef ’s cap (to prevent hair from falling into the prasa food) and also check the taps. “The officials came into the kitchen where prasadam is cooked, as well as in the kitchen where food is cooked for annadanam (free food). The officials told the cooks not to allow water stagnation in kitchens,” said the official.

“The FSSAI officials wanted the temple cooks and contractors to use butter papers in place of plastics while packing prasadams. The officials also advised temple officials to have mosquito nets in kitchens,” he said.

Temples in Tamil Nadu are famous for various types of prasadams and ingredients used. “The FSSAI officials also spoke about the quality. They told temple officials to use quality ingredients so that prasadams are of good quality,” said the official.

The department has also trained sculptors, craftsmen, architects, weavers, goldsmiths, village temple priests, musicians, dancers, nadaswaram exponents and vendors of puja articles. “While training nadaswaram exponents the department gave ₹5,000 to each of them as an incentive,” said the official.

FSAT upholds judgement of Adjudication Officers

Jammu Tawi, Jun 14
In a landmark Judgment announced by the Food Safety Appellate Tribunal, Jammu under Food Safety & Standards Act,2006 , the Court has upheld the judgments pronounced by Adjudicating Officers of District Samba and Udhampur in the Cases titled Food Safety Officer Samba V/s Fill industries Ltd SIDCO, Electronic Complex Rangreth-Srinagar & Others, Food Safety Officer Udhampur V/S M/s Sarveshwar Organic Food Ltd-Jammu wherein a fine of Rs Five Lacs Fifty Thousand have been imposed on the accused parties. 
The Cases were pleaded by Adv Chowdhary Mohammad Ayoub who appeared for the Department before the Food Safety Appellate Tribunal Jammu. It is pertinent to mention here that during last year; 1921 statutory samples of various food articles were lifted from Jammu Province wherein 564 samples were found in contravention of FSSA. 
Accordingly, Legal action was initiated against the defaulter companies. Out of which 497 cases have been decided and fine amounting to Rs 45,14,600 have been imposed on the violators.

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Effective labels for food items recommended

The draft laws state high in fat, sugar or salt food products “shall not be advertised to kids in any form”, the CSE said.
New Delhi: A Delhi-based green body on Wednesday said it has submitted recommendations to FSSAI on the draft regulations on labelling released by the food regulator, urging it to make the norms “effective and stringent”.
In April, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued a draft of the Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2018 and sought comments from stakeholders.
The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in a statement said that the draft has “major gaps” and called for making it “effective and stringent”. The CSE said it has submitted recommendations to FSSAI to “ensure a labelling framework in the country”.
CSE deputy director general C. Bhushan said: “A strict labelling law is important to combat obesity and non-communicable diseases plaguing our country. Though this draft directives are a good beginning, it has major gaps that need to be plugged to make it effective.” One of the “gaps” the CSE said the draft “dosen’t provide for labelling of crucial aspects such as added sugar and dietary fibres”.
CSE programme director (food, safety and toxins) A. Khurana said: “Health and nutrition experts recommend it is best to avoid added sugar in food items. It can be measured and controlled and hence must be labelled. Also, dietary fibre is a key beneficial component of our diet and must be labelled. This will help consumers make informed and healthy food choices.”
The draft laws state high in fat, sugar or salt food products “shall not be advertised to kids in any form”, the CSE said. CSE programme manager S. Taneja said: “Kids are consumers of HFSS items. With many kids becoming obese, the FSSAI must adopt to regulate ads of HFSS foods.

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