Food Safety Enforcement News – India this week – May -28-2017

GENERAL

ASSAM

Assam Govt to shut down stalls selling of fish, meat in the open

Guwahati :  The Assam government has decided to close all unhygienic stalls selling fish and meat openly on the footpath in Guwahati by Sunday.
As such practice has become poisonous and fatal to human life, the administration has decided to close all such unhygienic and open selling of fish and meat on the footpath in the city, a government release said here today.
The decision has been taken in an emergency meeting chaired by Additional Chief Secretary in charge of Guwahati Development M G K Bhanu here today, the release said.
Bhanu also ordered Deputy Commissioner Kamrup Metropolitan District comprising of Guwahati only, Commissioner of Police, Commissioner Guwahati Municipal Commissioner, CEO Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority and Chief Food Safety Commissioner to work jointly as a team in this regard.
Meanwhile, in view of the Prime Ministers forthcoming visit to Guwahati on May 26 the meeting also discussed the cleaning up and beautification of Guwahati city, the release added.
 

CHANDIGARH

The health minister Brahm Mohindra has issued strict instruction to district health authorities to ensure implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Act.

Local officials have been asked to act against large food and beverages operators besides smaller food shops and street vendors against whom there have been complaints of adulteration.

Mohindra chairing the state-level review meeting of food and drug administration (FDA) officers said it was the duty of the health department to ensure that health and hygiene of people are adhered to with supply of nutritious and unadulterated food articles.

He said there would be zero tolerance on adulteration of food articles and complaints of people in this matter must be addressed within a stipulated time. He exhorted the food safety officers not to confine their activities only to raid of food shops but instead they should try to bring positive results by acting against miscreants.

J & K 

Unsafe pulses sold in Valley

FSD asks dealers to stop sale, distribution of polished pulses
Srinagar:
The Food Safety Department (FSD) Wednesday declared polished pulses sold in Kashmir as unsafe and asked dealers to stop selling them in the market.
Assistant Commissioner Food Safety, Srinagar, Hilal Ahmad Mir told Rising Kashmir that the Department has detected polishing in pulses using soapstone and oil.
The Food Analyst Kashmir found Arhar and Channa Dal samples coated with hazardous soapstone and oily substances, which have been declared unsafe as per the Food Safety & Standards Act (FSSA), 2006.
“If consumed, they can cause a potentially harmful effect on human health,” Mir said.
He said from coloured stones to hazardous Kesari dal, adulterated pulses are being openly sold in the market.
“The cheap and low-quality Kesari dal was banned by the government in 1961,” he said.
According to doctors, most of the polished Dals contain diamino-pro-pionic acid, which could lead to paralysis of the lower body and numbness in limbs and spine.
Officials said traders start mixing Kesari dal with normal variety of pulses after rise in prices of Arhar dal due to a poor harvest.
Mir said he has directed the designated Food Safety Officers in the districts to strictly enforce the order immediately.
“I have also requested the Commissioner Food Safety to issue ban orders as per the Analyst Report,” Mir said. 
KARNATAKA

Newspaper for packaging food, banned:regulations

Mangaluru : Food retailers can legally no longer pack food in newspapers as it poses serious health hazards, stated a Food Safety Officer, in Mangaluru city.
Under the guidelines issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, the authorities have now agreed to implement the Food and Safety and Standards Act effectively in the district, the official said. He said that use of newspapers for packing cooked food poses a risk to health and thus the ban is essential.
A press release from the Food Safety Officer said that public should not purchase any food items especially fried eatables wrapped in newspapers. Even mineral water comes under food category. The release stated that can/bottle/containers of water should have BIS standard and ISI mark. It should mandatorily have the date of manufacture and the expiry date on the bottle.
“If the public come across packaged drinking water units that fail to have ISI mark and are being sold in the market, they can bring the same to the notice of the food safety officer,” he said.
“The use of calcium carbide for artificially ripening fruits like banana, chikoo, mango, mosambi is also banned. Artificial ripening of fruits is not good for health,” food safety and quality officer Dr Rajesh said.
Consumers should verify details on standard mark, nutrition values, importers details, weight of the produce, expiry date and manufacturing date while purchasing food products.
In case of any complaints of food safety and standards, public can contact: 
Dr Rajesh B V, Designated officer, Food Safety and Quality officer, Mangaluru (9449843255, 0824-2420466); 
H P Raju, senior food safety officer, MCC limits (7019181523/ 8453441763), 
Dr Naveen Chandra Kulal, taluk medical officer/food safety officer (9845228689), 
Dr K Kala Madhu Taluk medical officer/food safety officer, Belthangady (9845967576), 
Dr Subramanya M R, taluk medical officer/food safety officer, Sullia (9449662224), 
Dr Deepa Prabhu, taluk medical officer/food safety officer, Bantwal (9845838677), 
Sumanth, food safety officer, Puttur (9449505104).

KERALA

MAHARASHTRA

NAGALAND

Health department cautions food business operators

DIMAPUR : The Nagaland State Department of Health and Family Welfare (DoHFW) issued a notice today prohibiting the sale of all forms of packed food items, beyond their ‘best before’ and ‘expiry date’ timeframe. The prohibition is in effect across the state.
The notification stated that sale of food beyond ‘best before’ and after ‘expiry date’ may be considered as unsafe food and is prohibited under sub-clause (I) and (2) of the Section 26 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and sub-clause (a) clause (2) of Section 27 of the said Act.
Offenders are liable to a penalty not exceeding Rs 25,000 under Section 50 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and punishable with imprisonment for a term of six months to seven years with fine of Rs 1,00,000 to Rs 10,00,000 under clause (I) (II) (Ill) and (IV) of Section 59 of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
The department directed all food business operators in the state to comply with this notification, and cautioned that action shall be taken against defaulters under the appropriate provisions of the said Act.
All designated officers (CMOs) and Food Safety Officers (FSOs) have also been asked to carry out inspection/checking and sampling of food establishments under their jurisdiction and take necessary action against the defaulters.
Further, the department also asked the public to inform the Chief Medical Officers/Food Safety Officers of the districts or Directorate of Health & Family Welfare (Food Safety Cell) if anyone is found selling such food items.

TAMILNADU

Vendors caught selling water from unlabelled, soiled cans in Chennai

CHENNAI: In the second time in less than a month, food safety officers on Thursday caught vendors selling water unlabelled and soiled cans at two government hospitals in Egmore here.
Based on a tip-off, food safety officers landed at the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and found a vendor selling water on the campus at Rs 8 a bottle. Another man was caught selling water on the pavement just outside the Institute of Child Health from a container that had multiple labels. Around 40 cans were seized.
Food safety officer A Chandrasekaran, who inspected the hospitals along with two other officers, said four samples were collected and sent for testing. “Last time, the vendors were just let off with a warning. This time, if the samples are found to be non-potable, the department can take action,” he said.
During questioning, the vendors said they had bought the water cans from a dealer nearby for Rs 40. The water was then sold to patients and their attendants.
On May 11, food safety officers caught the same two vendors selling water from soiled cans in the hospitals.

Quality of water sold by tanker lorry operators remains unchecked

There is no mechanism to check the quality of potable water supplied in private water tankers.
Water shortage during the harsh summer has forced many to depend on private water suppliers. However, the quality of potable water sold by tanker lorry operators remains unchecked as there is no mechanism in place for the same.
While quality of packaged drinking water is often checked by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), potable water supplied by private operators in tankers is not checked by the government agency.
‘Not a packaged product’
According to FSSAI officials, potable water supplied in private tankers does not come under their ambit. “Examining the quality of water supplied in tanker lorries does not come under FSSAI as it is not a packaged product. FSSAI examines only packaged drinking water,” said O.L.S. Vijay, designated officer, FSSAI, Coimbatore.
As of now, private water tanker operators do not require any licence or permit to supply potable water or water for other purposes. They either draw water from their own water sources like bore wells and open wells or buy water from those who have the sources.
“The water supplied can be potable or for other purposes. Even if we check water in a tanker, the operator may not admit that it is for drinking purposes. It is difficult for us to prove the same,” said a food safety official.
The corporation has no role in checking the quality, according to officials as the local body is responsible to ensure quality of water supplied by it at times when distribution through pipelines is disrupted.
Meanwhile, most of the hotels in the city which buy potable water from private suppliers, are providing filtered drinking water to customers. According to K. Kathirmathiyon of Coimbatore Consumer Cause, it is advisable for the seller to get the sample of water from the collection centre to be tested once in a while.
“This will help them to ensure their credibility and safety of water supplied to the customers,” said Mr. Kathirmathiyon.
“We spent around Rs 5,000 to purchase potable water a day. While reverse osmosis water is served in the pipeline for hand wash, purified water is given for consumption,” said an owner of one of the restaurants in the city.
According to representatives of Private Water Suppliers’ Association, there are about 5,000 tankers operate in Coimbatore.
These tankers supply water to apartments, hospitals, hotels, schools, private enterprises and houses. After regulations were brought in on drawing water from water bodies, private suppliers mainly depend on bore wells in the rural parts of the district.
 

Namma Chennai : Keeping Food Safety First at Marina. A job well done by the Food Safety Department

A team from the Food Safety department were on a mission this Friday when they set out to Marina Beach. Based on complaints,around 300 hundred food stalls in the 3 km stretch between Anna Square and Lighthouse were raided and inspected.
Ten teams of officials were mobilized for the drive and they did a top notch job of checking the stalls for adulteration, expired products, unauthorized addition of food colours and personal hygiene of food handlers.
SKIM
The sad fact of the matter is that a lot of roadside food vendors are not aware of basic food safety practices and they are just trying as hard as they can to etch out a living for themselves. Drives like this are not only for the purpose of seizing and nabbing and terrorizing the vendors. That is not the intention at all. The intention is to make sure that no rotten, out of date, unsafe food is sold to customers and also to make the vendors aware of the dangers of selling food that is not handled or stored properly.
NIP THE BUD
Officials seized 100kg of decayed fruits, 24kg of rotten fish and 7kg of expired ice-cream and biscuits. In addition, they also took away 40 litres of expired soft drinks and 31 litres of reused oil.
It is a scary prospect, but efforts such as these by R Kathiravan, designated officer, Tamil Nadu food safety and drug administration department and his team make us feel a good that issues like these are slowly being taken care of.
None of the vendors were fined this time as the officials realised that most of them did not even know of food safety practices. Even though a fine of upto Rs.25,000 can be charged under under the Food Safety and Standrads Act, 2006, the officials find it difficult to drag the vendors to courts. Most of them do not own the push carts and it is hard to trace them. The vendors from whom the food was seized were let off this time with a strict warning notice and the information that food safety offices would be issuing spot fines if the same vendor was found defaulting again. They were also advised on how best to avoid contamination of food and were informed that more raids would follow.
It is heartening to see such efforts being taken and we hope that more such efforts with the participation of officials,customers and vendors together can bring about a great change.
The Chennai Corporation has enumerated nearly 1,500 hawkers on Marina beach. For any food related complainants WhatsApp to 94440 42322.
UTTAR PRADESH
Synthetic milk racket busted in Agra
AGRA: In a major crackdown on adulterated milk, food safety and drug administration(FSDA) team conducted raidson three places in the city and seized several thousand litres of synthetic milk, along with liquid detergents and chemicals. One woman was arrested in this connection even as three FIRs against five people were registered.

Vineet Yadav, assistant commissioner, FSDA, Agra said, “The joint raid of FSDA and police was conducted at a house in Kukhreliya village under Barhan police station. A large quantity of adulterants was found while one woman was caught red-handed making synthetic milk.”

5 RO plants seized

Lucknow: Five reverse osmosis (RO) plants have been seized by the food safety and drug administration (FSDA) in this month till now for anomalies in documentation.
The fifth, in Aurangabad, was seized late Wednesday evening.
According to FSDA district officer PR Mishra, there are eight RO plants in Lucknow approved by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS). The seized plants were not registered with either.
The seized RO plants supply around 5,000 litres of water to Lucknow daily. According to FSDA, the manufacturers used to supply bottles to offices and student hostels.
WEST BENGAL

Adulterated foods: Kolkata police Enforcement Branch to conduct raid

KOLKATA: Getting a tip off that adulterated foods are being served in some Kolkata restaurants, Kolkata police Enforcement Branch (EB) has decided to conduct a raid across the city. The drive will follow a similar raid in Dum Dum area last week.
Kolkata Municipal Corporation top brass said that the civic body would extend its helping hands in the forthcoming EB initiative.
“We have expertise in dealing with such cases of adulteration. We will extend our help to the EB team if need be,” said a KMC health department official.
In fact, the KMC is the nodal agency for conducting such raids in the city or assisting the EB in case the latter carries out a drive against adulteration.
In recent times, the KMC health department has raided several north and south Kolkata restaurants and took samples of food items.
Among the food items, biryani has been one item which has failed the civic body’s laboratory tests very often.
“We were surprised to find a reputed chain of restaurants selling adulterated biryani. The chemical that the restaurant used in biryani to enhance colour and taste of the popular food was not permitted under food safety rules,” a KMC food safety official said.
Besides food, packaged drinking water has been a major headache for the KMC food safety cell. “We have found several packaged drinking water brands to be fake. These brands are mainly sold in the districts but often get into our city and are sold mainly in the pan or stationery shops,’ said a KMC official.
Eatery Manager held for stale food 

KOLKATA: A manager of a restaurant in Dum Dum was arrested on Friday by the Enforcement Branch on Friday following raids where it was found that the eatery was serving stale food. The raid was jointly conducted by officers with South Dum Dum Municipality officials to check several restaurants in Nagerbazar, Dum Dum Road and Jessore Road. 

South Dum Dum Municipality ward 9 councillor Surajit Roy Chowdhury said raids were being conducted since Thursday after the civic authorities were tipped off that stale food was being served in some restaurants.

South Dum Dum Municipality chairman Pachu Gopal Roy said: “Strict action will be taken against them within seven days if the eateries do not take preventive measures. We have warned them their trade licence will be cancelled if they don’t follow the safety rules.”

 
 

Food Safety Enforcement News – India updates

GENERAL

FSSAI, GFSP to work together on food safety in South Asia

Food regulator FSSAI today said it has joined hands with the Global Food Safety Partnership (GFSP) to develop actions for raising investments to support food safety system in South Asia. 
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the GFSP held a high level discussion in the national capital on food safety.
The GFSP is an innovative, public-private initiative dedicated to supporting and promoting global cooperation for food safety capacity building. 
“As a part of this dialogue, nearly 100 participants came forward to indicate their intention to act in various areas including funding and investment, knowledge sharing, public/ private collaboration, and capacity building to manage and support the region’s food safety systems,” FSSAI said in a statement. 
GFSP’s CEO Lystra N Antoine said that a collaborative approach would contribute to enhance global food security. 
FSSAI Chairperson Ashish Bahuguna said the regulator wants to enhance its global outreach with a view to learn from experiences of other countries in food safety and build global trust in India’s food sector. 
“We strongly believe in co-creating a sustainable architecture for building strong food safety systems across Asia. We believe that globally there is a need for more informed and cohesive arrangement on capacity building and knowledge sharing on food safety and nutrition,” he added. 
This calls for support from public and private organisations, partners and other international bodies, Bahuguna said. 
FSSAI’s CEO Pawan Agarwal said that it has made a good progress in terms of food safety capacity building efforts through launch of FosTaC portal that necessitates to have one trained and certified food safety supervisor in Indian food businesses.
 

Chocolates put under food safety regulations

The manufacturers are also required to specify on the label that it contains vegetable fat in addition to cocoa butter. All varieties of chocolates are required to have not less than 25% of total weight. The standards prescribed in the regulations lay down the minimum percentage of cocoa solids, milk fat, milk solids and acid insoluble ash in different varieties of chocolates.
New Delhi : The Health Ministry has put all kinds of chocolates under the food safety and standards regulations, requiring all manufacturers to abide by them by January 1, 2018.
The regulations clamped on the recommendations of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, the national food regulator, were published on August inviting objections from the public.
They lay down the percentage of the ingredients, including cocoa and sugar, allowed in various kinds of chocolates.
For instance, the dark chocolate that is becoming popular from health point of view shall be required to contain not less than 35% of the cocoa solids, which includes not less than 18% of cocoa butter and not less than 14% fat free cocoa solids.
The chocolates covered under the regulations include milk chocolate, milk covering chocolate, plain chocolate, blended chocolate, white chocolate, filled chocolate, composite chocolate, couverture chocolate and praline.
In case of praline, the regulations lay down that the product shall be a single mouthful size having not less than 25% chocolate component in terms of weight and meet the criteria fixed for filled or a single or combination of chocolates.
Optional ingredients allowed in the chocolates are edible salts, spices or condiments, vitamins and minerals, permitted emulsifying and stabilising agents, and permitted sequestering and buffering agents.
The manufacturers are also required to specify on the label that it contains vegetable fat in addition to cocoa butter. All varieties of chocolates are required to have not less than 25% of total weight. The standards prescribed in the regulations lay down the minimum percentage of cocoa solids, milk fat, milk solids and acid insoluble ash in different varieties of chocolates.
GOA

1.5 tonnes of mangoes seized at Margao

 
Panaji: The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) on Friday confiscated 1.5 tonnes of artificially ripened Alphonso mangoes worth Rs 32,000 from the godown of one Habib Narangi, near the flyover bridge, at Margao.
After conducting a spot test, it was established that the plant growth regulator, Ethpon, was used to artificially ripen the mangoes. The seized stock was subsequently transported to the garbage dump at Sonsoddo, where it was destroyed.
The enforcement team also conducted inspections at 35 other premises where mangoes, papayas and bananas were being sold. The sites checked were located in the SGPDA market, near Minaxi Hotel and Cine Lata in Malbhat, and in the vicinity of the Rajagiri Victor Hospital. However, no artificial ripening activity was detected.
The team further confiscated gutka worth Rs 8,000, and foreign cigarettes worth Rs 4,000 that did not bear the mandatory pictorial warnings on their packs, from gaddas (kiosks) located in Margao.
The FDA team comprised food safety officers Abel Rodrigues and Amit Naik, assistant chemist Punalik Gawade, and support staff Pradip Parsekar, Sainath Mandrekar and Arjun Naik.

FDA wins national award for safe food project

PANJIM: The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has been honoured with the ‘Safe and Nutrition Food Ambassador’ Award by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for its contribution and early adopter of the project ‘serve safe and nutrition food’. FDA director Salim Veljiee accepted the award at a ceremony in New Delhi on May 16.
Under the ‘Project Serve Safe Food under the Safe and Nutrition Food & Street Food’, the State FDA had trained around 1400 street food vendors in association with CSR partner, Nestle India Limited and NASVI (National Association of Street Vendors of India). Street food vendors were imparted special skill development training in the good sanitary and hygienic practices. 
“The State FDA Goa was the first State food regulatory agency across the country which had adopted the FSSAI 10 & 10 initiative program of Project Serve Safe Food,” a statement issued by FDA states. 
Veljee said the award is a great achievement for the directorate and the government which show cases the continuous efforts in ensuring safe and nutritious food to consumers
CHANDIGARH

Food Safety act be enforced with iron hand : Brahm Mohindra

Complaints against adulteration and sale of sub-standard food be addressed immediately
Storage units and kitchens of schools for mid-day meal & Aganwadis be put under surveillance
Food/Canteens in government sector would also be screened
Chandigarh, May 19, 2017: The Health Department Punjab has issued strict instruction to the district health authorities to ensure the implementation of Food Safety & Standards Act with iron hand and to act against big food and beverages operators besides the small food shops and street vendors for the complaints of adulteration.
The instructions were issued by Minister for Health and Family Welfare Punjab Mr. Brahm Mohindra while chairing the State level review meeting of the Food and Drug administration officers. He said that it is the prime duty of the health department to ensure that health and hygiene of the citizen is maintained by the supply of nutritious and unadulterated food articles. He said that zero tolerance would be maintained against adulteration of food articles and all complaints of the citizens in this regard must be addressed within stipulated time. He exhorted the food safety officers not to confine their activities only to raid food shops instead they should concentrate on bringing positive results by acting against the miscreants who are playing with life of people.
The Health Minister instructed the officers to ensure the sampling of the basic eatables consumed by the citizens such as milk and dairy products paneer, khowa, ghee, seasonal fruits like mango, banana and chikoo. He said that the adulteration is a serious issue which directly linked with health and hygiene of the citizen. He asked the officers that henceforth food /canteens in government sector should also be taken into screening.
The Minister said that by ensuring the supply of unadulterated food articles we may curb many deadly and chronic diseases like cancer, hepatitis, stomach and gastric disorders. The Minister also directed the officers to sensitize the public through IEC activities for registering their complaints against adulteration over on-line portal of the department. The Minister also directed the Principal Secretary Mrs. Anjali Bhawara to arrange a special orientation training program for the food safety officers to educate them about the modernize sampling techniques and procedures. The Minister himself wished to be present in this training program.
Mrs. Anjali Bhanwra Principal Secretary Health asked to District Food officers to ensure the submission of status reports of mobile test labs to the Dr. Amritpal Warring, Nodal Officer within three days
She instructed the food safety officers to emphasize on generating more and more awareness regarding the various provisions of Food Safety Act and rights of the citizens in this regard, by using social networking mediums, workshops, seminars and other IEC activities.
Mr. Varun Roojam Commissioner Drug and Food Administration also directed the food safety officers to act with diligence and sincerity to ensure the proper implementation the food safety Act to guarantee the hygiene and infection protection.
KERALA

Lack of infrastructure hits food safety dept.

No food safety officers for Nadapuram, Beypore, Kuttiady
Soon after a four-year-old boy died of suspected food poisoning after eating jelly candy from a bakery about a month ago, the food safety officials and the health section of the Kozhikode City Corporation raided bakeries and shops selling sweetmeats in the city.
The next day, there was a report from Vadakara about a worm being found in an evening snack. The food safety officials had to discontinue their examination in the city. Reason: The department has only one vehicle and it had to be sent to Vadakara for inspection.
According to a senior official, the functioning of the Food Safety Department in the district has been hindered by lack of infrastructure such as these and staff shortage.
“The only vehicle we have is old too. As it breaks down frequently, we are forced to depend on private or other vehicles,” the official said.
Sources in the department said that the department has offices in all Assembly constituencies. However, instead of 13 food safety officers, there are only 10. Nadapuram, Beypore, and Kuttiady constituencies do not have food safety officers.
No permanent offices
Also, there are no permanent offices in Kuttiady, Nadapuram, Beypore, Thiruvambady, and Balussery circles.
The offices for Kunnamangalam and Elathur are functioning in the district office itself.
The Perambra circle office is operating from the same premises of the Koyilandy circle office.
 
TAMILNADU
UTTARKHAND

‘Silver foil on sweets replaced with toxic aluminium’ Shivani Azad

 
Dehradun: For many of us, one of the best bits of eating sweets is perhaps the silver foil that glitters on the top of these delicacies. But food safety officials here have come up with a shocking fact. Samples collected from a distributor did not have silver quoting, which are known as vark. These were instead replaced with similar-looking aluminium foils. While vark consists of silver and is known to be anti-bacterial in nature, the aluminium foils can cause severe damage to the brain and stomach if consumed in large quantities. The reason why this practice is rampant is because one sheet of aluminium comes at a much cheaper price than silver, said officials.
The samples collected by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) were “nowhere close” to the actual silver leaves, said officials. “It was alarming for us to read the findings of the report. The samples contained absolutely no traces of silver even though the sheets were sold as silver foils by the distributor,” said an official of FSSAI, Dehradun.
The district food safety unit has issued a notice to the manufacturers who are based out of Saharanpur and has a distributor based in Darshani Gate here. According to officials, the firm supplies foils to nearly 50 shops in the city and elsewhere as well. The testing of the samples was done at a laboratory in Rudrapur in Udham Singh Nagar.
Meanwhile, doctors said that if consumed in certain quantities, these aluminium foils can lead to severe damage to the nervous system. “Excess consumption of aluminium can lead to depression of various types as well diseases such as Alzheimer,” said gastro surgeon Dr Vipul Kandwal, assistant professor, Doon Medical College, Dehradun.
Officials also said that this was not the first instance when aluminium foils were found in sweets here. “Eighty per cent of the so-called silver quoted sweets in the city is often layered with aluminium. The tentacles of this business have spread so far that not only sweets but items such as biryani and mangoes are at times wrapped in it,” said Brij Mohan Sharma, secretary, Society of Pollution and Environmental Conservation Scientists (SPECS), Dehradun.
 
 

Food Safety Enforcement News – India this week – 21-05-2017

GENERAL

To reduce fat consumption new guidelines for packaged food soon: FSSAI

Food regulator FSSAI today said it will soon come out with new regulations relating to labelling of packaged food products and incorporate the expert panel’s suggestions for reducing consumption of fat, sugar and salt.
FSSAI has said that to reduce consumptions of junk food with high contents of fat, sugar and salt, guidelines for appropriate packaging will be released soon.
Food regulator FSSAI today said it will soon come out with new regulations relating to labelling of packaged food products and incorporate the expert panel’s suggestions for reducing consumption of fat, sugar and salt.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) will also frame a definition of junk food, its CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal said.
Asked whether the FSSAI would implement the suggestions made by an expert panel set up by it, he said that many recommendations are beyond the regulator’s jurisdiction.
“We are bringing change in labelling regulations. We are making a big change,” Agarwal told reporters here.
He said the FSSAI would, for the time being, incorporate the panel’s suggestions related to labelling of food products.
An expert panel set up by FSSAI has recommended additional tax on highly processed food items and sugar-laced beverages as well as a ban on advertising of junk foods on children channels or during kids shows on TV.
It has suggested that informations like total calories, amount of carbohydrates, sugar, fat, protein, sodium, dietary fibre, amount of trans-fat added in food should be mandatory for labelling in food products.
Agarwal said there is no definition of junk food and even this panels’s report has not defined it.
Asked about suggestions of advertising ban, he said: “First, we will have to define, what food will be restricted. By itself, report can not lead to action”.
Agarwal said the government plans to make it mandatory for food business operators to have at least one trained food supervisors.
The FSSAI, he said, is launching food safety training and certificate programmes through both offline and online system. It is looking for partners so that trainings could be provided across the country.
“With the scale we are contemplating, this is a massive exercise in raising the food safety standards in the country,” Agarwal said.
The FSSAI is focusing on increasing awareness about the consumer grievance redressal mechanism adopted by food businesses. “Consumers should not be left high and dry when it comes to grievance redressal”.
It is also taking initiative to provide safe, nutritious and wholesome foods to citizens at home, schools, offices, public places and place of worship.
Addressing the conference, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said the FSSAI is a very critical organisation in making India free from unsafe and unadulterated food.
He complemented the regulator for taking many progressive moves including fortification of food products to deal with micro-nutrients deficiency.
Stating that the FSSAI is using technology in a big way and is doing away with papers, he said there should not be any paper work and no public interface for getting license and registration.
“We allow the industry to do self certification. But if anyone is found violating the norms, there should be stringent and toughest action,” Kant said.
He stressed on harmonisation of Indian standards with global norms.
 

FSSAI to define junk food before imposing additional tax

 
FSSAI CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal says will define junk food before looking at imposing additional tax on packaged foods with high fat, sugar and salt content
New Delhi: Food safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) chief executive officer Pawan Kumar Agarwal on Tuesday said the food regulator will first “define junk food” before looking at imposing any additional tax on packaged foods with high fat, sugar and salt content.
Last week, FSSAI had put up a report by an 11-member expert group on the subject. FSSAI had set up the expert group after a Delhi high court order in June 2015. The expert group, which listed almost every packaged food item in the category, had proposed an additional tax on all packaged food items with high fat, sugar and salt.
“Imposing additional tax on the purchase of commodities such as pre-packaged foods with high salt and fat content, sugar sweetened beverages, etc. can be a pragmatic approach to reduce the rising burden of chronic diseases among Indian population. Imposing excise tax on unhealthy eating products can be an endeavour to bring about positive health effects among population. This exercise can be of great importance in supporting nutrition-related programmes by the means of profit generated from taxing unhealthy food products,” noted the expert group report.
“The report will be used as a reference. We may or may not take the suggestions listed there,” Agarwal said, adding that the regulator is likely to bring new labelling norms based on the suggestions in the report. The regulator is in the process of finalizing the new labelling norms.
The expert group also asked for restrictions of advertisement of these products on kids television channels and during programmes targeted to children. “This has to be looked into in detail,” Agarwal said.
Meanwhile, Agarwal said FSSAI is collaborating with corporate entities, academic institutions and Government skilling councils for Food Safety Training and Certification programme to train food safety supervisers. “Over a period, every food company will mandatorily have to have at least one trained food safety supervisor at its premises,” said Agarwal.
The authority has developed 19 short-term courses that would be offered at different institutes. “We’ll eventually host e-learning courses that will be available to all and raise the food standards of food businesses by several notches,” added Agarwal.
On Tuesday, the food regulator also launched a new interactive portal meant for the consumers for information, references and grievance redressal.
As part of its aim to enhance food safety and nutrition, FSSAI is planning to come up with joint campaigns with the Swachch Bharat Abhiyan, the regulator said in a statement.

New guidelines for labelling of packaged food soon: FSSAI

 
New Dehi : Food regulator FSSAI today said it will soon come out with new regulations relating to labelling of packaged food products and incorporate the expert panels suggestions for reducing consumption of fat, sugar and salt.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) will also frame a definition of junk food, its CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal said.
Asked whether the FSSAI would implement the suggestions made by an expert panel set up by it, he said that many recommendations are beyond the regulators jurisdiction.
“We are bringing change in labelling regulations. We are making a big change,” Agarwal told reporters here.
He said the FSSAI would, for the time being, incorporate the panels suggestions related to labelling of food products.
An expert panel set up by FSSAI has recommended additional tax on highly processed food items and sugar-laced beverages as well as a ban on advertising of junk foods on children channels or during kids shows on TV.
It has suggested that informations like total calories, amount of carbohydrates, sugar, fat, protein, sodium, dietary fibre, amount of trans-fat added in food should be mandatory for labelling in food products.
Agarwal said there is no definition of junk food and even this panelss report has not defined it.
Asked about suggestions of advertising ban, he said: “First, we will have to define, what food will be restricted. By itself, report can not lead to action”.
Agarwal said the government plans to make it mandatory for food business operators to have at least one trained food supervisors.
The FSSAI, he said, is launching food safety training and certificate programmes through both offline and online system. It is looking for partners so that trainings could be provided across the country.
“With the scale we are contemplating, this is a massive exercise in raising the food safety standards in the country,” Agarwal said.
The FSSAI is focusing on increasing awareness about the consumer grievance redressal mechanism adopted by food businesses. “Consumers should not be left high and dry when it comes to grievance redressal”.
It is also taking initiative to provide safe, nutritious and wholesome foods to citizens at home, schools, offices, public places and place of worship.
Addressing the conference, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said the FSSAI is a very critical organisation in making India free from unsafe and unadulterated food.
He complemented the regulator for taking many progressive moves including fortification of food products to deal with micro-nutrients deficiency.
Stating that the FSSAI is using technology in a big way and is doing away with papers, he said there should not be any paper work and no public interface for getting license and registration.
“We allow the industry to do self certification. But if anyone is found violating the norms, there should be stringent and toughest action,” Kant said.
He stressed on harmonisation of Indian standards with global norms.

FSSAI conducts workshop on safe and nutritious food in Lancers International School

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) conducted a 20- minute workshop on ‘safe and nutritious food at Lancers International School today. The workshop was conducted under FSSAI’s ‘safe and nutritious food at school’ initiative. Officials of FSSAI were also present at the occasion.
As part of this initiative, mascots developed by FSSAI, Master Sehat and Miss Sehat gave valuable tips regarding the importance of safe and nutritious food through interactive skit. They advised to purchase milk in tetra packs where adulteration chances are minimum. They also briefed about the significance of consuming fortified food, various deficiency diseases and how to take precautions to avoid them. More than 200 students attended the workshop.
FSSAI has launched pan- India ‘Safe and nutritious food at school’ initiative during which they plan to reach out to 16 lakh government, public, private as well as international schools across the country. FSSAI has developed multi-pronged strategy to deliver the message.
“There is an urgent need to spread awareness about safe and healthy food to ward off diseases. Since children are powerful change agents, such an initiative at schools will long a long way in instilling consciousness about the importance of safe and healthy food .We heartily thank FSSAI for conducting this workshop at Lancers International School,” said Rohit Mann, Director, Lancers International School.
The objective of the initiative is to impart principles of food safety in a full-filled way through interactive theatre workshops and mascots. The initiative intends to train teachers and senior students as Health and Wellness coordinators to disseminate the message of safe and nutritious food to their school and drive various safe food initiatives. It also plans to drive the initiative by reviewing the curriculum from Class 1 to 12 standards for identifying crucial gaps, spreading awareness through extra-curricular activities like interactive quizzes, mascots, and legislative and regulatory framework.
“The session by FSSAI was really informative and made us aware about consuming safe and healthy food.” said, Kovida Chhikara a student of Lancers International School.
Lancers International School has been actively promoting the significance of safe and healthy food. A week ago, a session on ‘Healthy Food practices’ was organized by Dr. Sushila Kataria,Director Department of Medicine & Geriatrics ,Medanta. The children had the opportunity to speak to Dr. Kataria one on one and discuss the food and safety measures to be taken at their end.
The school also sends its food and water to testing lab once in every quarter to maintain safe and high standards of food in the campus.

AP & TELENGANA

CHANDIGARH

Food Safety Officers Conducted Raid at Grain Market Sector-26

 
Chandigarh: In view of the ongoing summer season artificial ripening of fruits like mango, papaya with calcium carbide is common practice adopted by various Food Business Operators. The use of which is prohibited for ripening of fruits under the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011. The ripened fruits with the above said chemical cause serious health problems.
Looking into the seriousness of the matter the Food Safety Officers i. Sh. Bharat Kanojia, Sh. Surinder Pal Singh, Sh. Bhaljinder Singh, Mandeep Kaur, Mrs. Nisha Juneja, Navneet Bagga and Ms. Amardeep Kaur in early hours conducted a massive raid in the area of Grain Market, Sector-26, Chandigarh as directed by the designated Officer, Food Safety Administration, Chandigarh. The officers from the Food & Supply Department also accompanied the team. Many warehouses and shops where the fruits like mango and papaya were stored were inspected and it was found during inspection that the Food Business Operators were using Calcium Carbide for its ripening. About 180 kgs of Mangoes was seized and destroyed in th dumping ground of Chandigarh through the vehicles of Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh.
The traders dealing in sale, storage and distribution of fruits are advised not to use any type of hazardous chemical for the ripening of fruits. If anybody is found violating the provisions of Food Safety and Standard Act,2006 and the Rules & Regulations, 2011 framed there under, action will be initiated against the such violators.
GUJARAT
Surat: Most of the water bottling plants in Bhathena, Limbayat, Udhna and Varachha that supply mineral water in the city are operating in unhygienic conditions. The health department of Surat Municipal Corporation raided one such bottling plant in Khodiyar Nagar on Wednesday and found there several aedes mosquito breeding spots that transmit dengue fever. The owner Jitu Patel was fined Rs10,000 by SMC officials who ordered immediate closure of the water bottling plant.
SMC had registered 52 such plants under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 of which 15 have now closed. These plants package 9, 72,000 litre of water daily and supply it to different parts of the city. “We take samples regularly and punish those who sell contaminated water,” said an SMC officer.
“SMC should ensure that the Jitu Patel never gets the licence to sell packaged mineral water again. Many water bottling plants package bore water and sell it as mineral water to people,” said Shiv Patel, a resident of Limbayat .
SMC chief health officer Dr Ashish Naik said, “The issue of impure water crops up in areas like Limbayat, Udhna and Varachha zone more often. People living in Rander and Athawa have installed reverse osmosis (RO) plants in their homes.”

J & K

D&FCO officials inspect food outlets in city: destroy unhygienic food

Jammu : A special drive against the menace of food adulteration especially against the fast food roadside outlets was conducted today in Gandhi Nagar, Nanak Nagar, Trikuta Nagar and adjoining areas of Jammu city. Official spokesperson said, “Acting on the complaints of the consumers regarding poor quality of Chinese food specially momos being prepared, sold and served under unhygienic conditions, a team of officers from Drug & Food Control Organization (D&FCO) today conducted a surprise inspection of food vendors at various parts of the Jammu city.” 
“The team visited Gandhi Nagar, Nanak Nagar, Trikuta Nagar and adjoining areas during which six samples of momos were collected and sent to Food Analyst -Jammu Division. Approximately thousand pieces of momos lying in unhygienic conditions were destroyed on spot as a precaution,” he added. Official also said that one sample of Mono-Sodium-Glutamate (MSG) was also sent to check its quality. Pertinently, use of MSG has been prohibited in processed food for children below the age of 12 years. 
On the occasion, food business operators were directed to strictly adhere to the provisions laid under Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and maintain high standards of sanitary and hygienic conditions. Any body found not complying to the directions will be dealt with strictly under Food Safety Act.

Rotten, uncovered food seized from City eateries

Srinagar: The food safety officers of Srinagar Municipal Corporation (SMC) visited various areas of Srinagar to inspect food establishments including hotels, bakery shops, dhaba’s and other food outlets. The visit was initiated by commissioner SMC Dr Shafqat Khan.
The eateries that got inspected in different areas included Lal Chowk, M.A road, Batamaloo, Residency road, Wazirbagh , Rajbagh , Hyderpora and adjacent areas.
During the inspection large quantity of rusted utensils and uncovered food items kept in polythene bags were were destroyed on spot.
The mutton sellers were strictly directed to maintain proper hygiene. Rotten vegetables and fruits were destroyed in bulk from various City markets, an SMC spokesperson said.
The Commissioner SMC Dr Shafqat Khan in this regard has appealed food business operators to maintain up to mark hygiene and sell qualitative food to the public.
KERALA

Rights panel seeks report from FSSAI

‘Chemicals used to preserve fruits’
The Kerala State Human Rights Commission has asked the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to submit a report to the State Food Safety Commissioner on the allegation that chemicals have been used to preserve fruits that is being exported from the Calicut International Airport.
Based on media reports
Commission acting chairperson P. Mohanachandradas said in a press release that a suo motu case had been registered based on media reports and an explanation sought from the State Food Safety Commissioner on the issue.
The commission was told that the Assistant Food Safety Commissioner, Malappuram, had collected samples and sent them to the food analytical laboratory in Kozhikode.
When it was pointed out that the FSSAI was issuing licence to firms involved in selling food at the airport and the State officials did not have the authority to conduct raids there, Mr. Mohanachandradas served a notice on the Central agency. The commission pointed out that “cheating expatriates by sending them unhealthy food” could not be tolerated.
KOCHI: In a major crackdown on unhygienic eateries, the district administration has closed down 79 food joints in the Kalamassery, Aluva and Thrikkakara municipal areas.
The special squads constituted by District Collector K Mohammed Y Safirulla had conducted inspections at hotels, bakeries and wayside eateries as part of the one-week drive, which was launched in the wake of reports of epidemic outbreak in the district.
As per the data from the district administration, the maximum number of eateries were closed down in the Kalamassery municipal area, where over 40 cases of Hepatitis A were reported recently.
Of the 91 eateries inspected in Kalamassery municipality, 37 were closed down and five were removed. As many as 25 eateries were closed down in Aluva, which is fast turning into a migrant hub. In Thrikkakara municipality, the team inspected 109 shops and closed around 17 food joints and removed 26 wayside eateries.
“We have issued stop memos to the eateries that had been functioning in unhygienic conditions, operating without obtaining licence from the local bodies and employed workers without health cards. Many illegal wayside eateries were removed during the drive,” said District Health Officer P N Sreenivasan, who coordinated the drive. 
The District Collector, who is also the chairman of the District Disaster management Authority, had last week formed the special squad comprising Revenue, municipality, health, police and food safety officers after cases of jaundice, diphtheria, hepatitis, dengue and H1N1 were reported from various parts of the district.
The squads were empowered under Sections 30(5), 30(20) and 33 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, to inspect eateries, including bakeries and hotels.
“We will intensify the inspections in the coming days and action will be taken against offenders based on the Municipal Food Safety rules. The drive is part of the preventive measures to check the spread of epidemics before the onset of monsoon,” the District Collector said.
Raids at food joints
Kalamassery
Inspected 91
Closed 37
Removed 5
Aluva
Inspected 74
Closed 25
Removed nil
Thrikkakara
Inspected 109
Closed 17
MAHARASHTRA

FDA seizes substandard betel nut in raid

 
NAGPUR: The Food and Drugs Administration seized 3871 kg of substandard and adulterated betel nut costing about Rs 8.3 lakh.
The betel nut was seized in a planned raid conducted by the FDA food inspectors from M/S S M Enterprises, Eknathsao Wadi in Tandapath. The samples of the betel nut have been sent for laboratory analysis.
The betel unit owned by Mahendra Baliram Hedau was under watch for some time by the FDA officials. Action will be taken against the trader as per the 2006 law of food safety depending on the analysis report, said the FDA joint commissioner (food) M S Deshpande.
Deshpande said that such planned raids will continue in future at all the suspected places in the city. He has appealed to the people to inform the FDA about any such illegal activity on 0712-2562204.

PUNJAB

3,390 litres of adulterated cooking oil seized from store

Meerut: The Food Safety and Drugs Administration (FSDA) personnel seized 3,390 litre of adulterated oil valued at Rs 3.71 lakh from a store in Meerut’s Madhavpuram while checking in cooking oil. As many as 11 samples of adulterated oil, including mustard oil, refined palm oil, vegetable oil and ghee, were taken from the spot and sent to a Lucknow laboratory.Giving details, Randheer Singh, designated officer, FSDA, said, “We have seized 3,390 litres of oil from the spot. This includes 510 litres of mustard oil, 720 litres each of palm oil and vegetable oil, and 1,440 litres of ghee from one STS Group situated in sector 3 of Madhavpuram on Thursday.”According to Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) guideline, blending of rice bran and palmolein with mustard up to 25% to make refined vegetable oil is allowed, but authorities said they found tins and containers of palm oil at the spot which were labeled as mustard oil, which is illegal.“The store in Madhavpuram from where oil worth Rs 3.71 lakh was seized belongs to one Trilok Chand Gupta and he used to sell these items from this store only. 
He also did not have the licence of the store, where he had kept mustard oil, palm oil and vegetable oil,” said Anand Dev, chief food safety officer.The raid was conducted on the basis of a tipoff received by the FSDA department on Thursday afternoon. “A many as 11 samples have been taken from the spot and sent for testing to the Lucknow laboratory. Once the report arrives – which takes at least a month’s time – action will be taken against the owner,” said Dev.

Raids conducted, food samples collected

Following the directions of health Minister Brahm Mahindra and commissioner food Siri Varun Roozam, a Special raid was conducted today in the evening to check those food business operators who were selling fast food on the carts and in shops.
Samples of fast food items were taken from nakodar road, old GT Road and other areas of the city.
Two samples of milk were also taken from a dairy in Ajit Nagar Bhattha Road. Samples of roasted China and biscuits were taken from Nakodar Road near Lal Rattan Cinema Jalandhar.
As many as 11 samples of milk, two, sauces and chutney, bhaji, roasted chana, biscuits and other champ were collected by the food safety team.
All the food business operators particularly those dealing with prepared food items were directed to prepare food and serve food while wearing gloves, headgear and after taking other Hygenic protections.
Dr Harjot Pal Singh Assistant Food Commissioner directed all the food business operators to obtain online food licence at the earliest failing which necessary legal action shall be initiated against those working without license.
It Is worth mentioning here that the last date for obtaining online food licence has already expired. The sampling team consisted of team in charge Dr Harjot Pal Singh assistant commissioner food Jalandhar, food safety officers Rashu Mahajan and Divya Bhagat along withalong with other employees.

TAMILNADU

Bid to burn 2 tonnes of chocolates not fit for consumption foiled

Food safety officials at the site where chocolates that had passed expiry date had been heaped for being burnt near Palayamkottai on Thursday
Officials ask distributor to send them back to manufacturer
Food Safety officials thwarted the attempt to burn two tonnes of chocolates not fit for consumption in a land closer to the residential area near Palayamkottai on Thursday.
On getting information that a leading distributor of consumer goods and office-bearer of consumer goods stockists association had heaped 2 tonnes of chocolates that had passed expiry date in his land near Tirunelveli Taluk Police Station for destroying it, Designated Officer, Food Safety, Senthil Kumar and Food Safety Officers A.R. Sankaralingam, Ramesh and Kalimuthu rushed to the spot.
The distributor’s assistants, who had been entrusted with the job of destroying the chocolates, told the officials that they would usually burn the confection not fit for consumption in the distributor’s land as burying it in the land would spoil the soil texture. However, the officials told the assistants, who had brought the chocolates in three trucks for burning, to send it back to the manufacturer who would destroy it scientifically.
Accepting it, the assistants assured the officials that they would send the consignment back to the manufacturer.
Earlier, the Food Safety Officials took samples of ‘neera’ (‘pathaneer’) from the vendors on Thursday morning following complaints from the public that ‘artificial pathaneer’ was being sold by them by mixing saccharin in water. The officials, who warned the vendors that selling adulterated ‘pathaneer’ would land them in legal tangles and attract a few thousand rupees as fine, also told them to get the mandatory certificate under the Food Safety Regulation Act by paying the prescribed fee of ₹. 100.

Send complaints about adulteration to dedicated WhatsApp number

Trichy: The process of registering complaints about adulteration of food commodities and inferior food quality is all set to become easy with the Tamil Nadu food safety department introducing a WhatsApp number for grievance redressal.
On Monday, the Trichy district administration informed people that they can lodge complaints to the food safety department in Chennai on the WhatsApp number – 94440 42322. The number will be accessed by a state-level officer. The complaints will be forwarded to the designated officer (DO) of the food safety department in respective districts. Thereafter, the food safety officer (FSO) of the taluk will receive the complaints on his smart phone and will start an inquiry.
Though the number was officially released by the district administration on Monday, it had already received a few complaints from Trichy. A complaint about inferior quality biscuits was one of the complaints received recently on the number.
The purpose of introducing a dedicated WhatsApp number for receiving complaints is to reduce the time gap between the date of filing the complaint and the action taken on it, said officials.
They said the volume of complaints received is likely to increase as people become familiar with the number. People can lodge complaints about inferior quality of the food and food products, use of carbide stones for ripening mangoes, sale of commodities beyond the expiry date, and manufacturing date or expiry date missing on the label, among others.
Officials said that adulteration of edible oil is a worrying trend in the district. This involves mixing of rice bran oil or palm oil with gingelly oil.
Meanwhile, designated officers in all districts in the state have been ordered to submit a compiled report on action taken on complaints received on the number.

Sago manufacturers warned

Officials of Salem Starch and Manufacturers’ Service Industrial Co-operative Society Limited (SAGOSERVE) and the Tamil Nadu Food Safety Drug Administration Department has warned sago manufacturers not to produce adulterated products.
During a meeting organised by Sagoserve here recently with sago manufacturers from seven districts, D. Raajendiran, Managing Director, Sagoserve, said that harmful chemicals are used to bleach sago to achieve pure white colour, which is banned as per Food Safety and Standards Act.
T. Anuradha, Salem District Designated Officer, said that maize starch and sago starch are mixed in equal quantities to produce adulterated product which is a violation. She said that while tapioca starch is sold at ₹ 55 per kg while maize starch is sold at ₹ 25 kg in the market. Hence, to earn more profit, adulteration and hazardous chemicals are used endangering the lives of the consumers.
She warned that strict action will be taken against adulterators, including cancelling the license of the unit, if the violations are found.
UTTARKHAND

Open sale of meat to be banned in Dehradun city

According to norms, even shops with a licence cannot keep meat in the open and have to do their business behind closed doors.
The state urban development minister Madan Kaushik on Sunday announced that open sale of meat will be banned in Dehradun city even if shops have a licence. He announced the decision after a meeting with local traders union in Dehradun.
Speaking to officials from local bodies and state urban development department present in the meeting, Kaushik said that shops with a licence cannot keep meat in the open and have to do their business behind closed doors as per norms.
He directed officials of Dehradun Municipal Corporation and other departments to hold public awareness campaigns and inform shopkeepers not to sell meat in the open.
Kaushik ordered that meat traders with open shops who want to continue with the same arrangement will be provided land at a separate location that will be surveyed and identified by the officials of Dehradun Municipal Corporation and district food safety department.
The minister has given strict instructions to the official to deal sternly with illegal meat shops owners and initiate legal action against them.
He has also asked the officials to expedite pending licence applications of meat traders.
Apart from officials, Dehradun mayor and BJP MLA Vinod Chamoli, senior Congress leader and former corporator Ashok Verma, BJP leader and Dehradun Traders Association chief Umesh Aggarwal and Anil Goyel were present in the meeting.
Earlier, the BJP-led state government had ordered that meat shops along River Ganga be shut down. It had also raided illegal slaughterhouses operating across the state.

Food Safety Enforcement News – India this week – May -14-2017

GENERAL

Parents and Varsity respond to government’s no-junk resolution

If you are one of those parents who cajole your kid with junk foods; be it for their homework or scoring best marks in the class, wait! You might want to think again about this, as the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is planning to levy additional taxes on processed food and sugar-sweetened beverages and also have called for a blanket ban on advertising of junk foods and beverages on kids’ channels and on all other mediums that connect with children. This happened after the Maharashtra government announced a ban on the sale of junk food at the school canteens.
Schools Speak
According to the GR passed by the government on Monday, every school in the state is prohibited from selling or deal with junk foods, be it Government schools, private aided schools or the privately owned schools. The Principals of the private schools are confused as to why such a ban has been imposed when they already have implimented a no-junk food policy in their school canteens.
Talking to The Afternoon D&C, Nishant Garodia, the Principal of Garodia International School, Ghatkopar, explained the daily menu of their school canteen. He said,”The government’s Junk food policy is valid and acceptable. However, as far as I know, even before the government asked, most of the private schools already followed the no-junk food rule in their canteens.” According to him, Garodia International has a weekly food chart which includes healthy foods, however, they have a cheat day too!
“Every week, we have allotted one day as cheat day where the students will be given their beloved junkies. Pizzas, Pastas, Chocolates and Burgers. The reason behind this is not to oppress their urge to consume their favourite food,” he added.
According to Garodia and other Principals, providing junk food once in a while is okay, they feel by stopping them from eating junkies, may lead to some other trouble. Psychologically, if a child is not given what they desire, they will find other ways to possess them which may prove fatal.
Dilshad Thobani, Principal of H.A and L.S Girls High School, Masjid Bunder, said, “I feel that’s a very positive move. But even before the ban, I had asked the Parents and Teachers Association (PTA) members to prepare home made stuff rather than packaged food items in their children tiffins.”
Why Banning Junk Will Cause Trouble?
According to the canteen owners around the schools and colleges, the one thing that students are most attracted to is Junk food. Foods like potato chips of various brands, cold drinks, Frankie (bread roll), Pizzas, Pasta, etc. are students’ favourite food types. The canteen owners are afraid that if the government asks them to discontinue selling all these junk food they might lose out on business.
What about the University ban?
The Government Resolution (GR) which was passed on Monday clearly stated the eradication of Junk food from the school canteens in the state. The question is that will the schools really work under the guidelines of the GR?
Like the Maharashtra government, The University Grants Commission (UGC) too had issued instructions last November against the availability and sale of junk food in the higher educational institutions. UGC, which works under the Human Resource Development (MHRD), had passed such an instruction to set new standards for healthy food and make the students live and learn better. However, the University of Mumbai (MU) still provides all types of Junk food and sweetened and carbonated drinks in their varsity canteens.
 

A taste of a healthier, emptier future?

It’s natural that the Indian middle-class bulge is seen differently by marketers and nutritionists. But the recent Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) move to decree as junk most things that Indians — large and small — love to munch on and recommend they be swept off our plates in the interests of good health and slapped with a sin tax may not do a fat lot of good. 
As the food authority’s no-nos include all sweet, deep-fried and salted ‘snacks’, potato chips, candy, burgers, pizzas, nuggets, noodles, confectionaries, packaged soups and colas, among many other things, children would be the first to ask — as they are wont to do — “Then what else is there for me to eat, even as a treat?” It is likely, therefore, that any caveat against these toothsome delights will be taken with a huge pinch of salt by most people. Man, after all, cannot live by bread alone, even if it is whole grain and bromate-free or a chapati. 
Given the flip-flops by experts on everything from salt and ghee to eggs and red meat — including sugar replacing fat as the new Public (Health) Enemy No. 1— Indians can be forgiven for being sceptical about this new good-food/bad-food diktat. In fact, they could get so spooked by harangues about what they should (not) eat that they may rush off for a sugar and-carb fix just to soothe their jangled nerves and tummies.
 
NEW DELHI : 
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is finalising new labelling norms for packaged food companies, which is expected to include provisions to ensure more transparency on sodium, sugar and saturated fat content in processed food.Expert group suggestions
The new norms will incorporate recommendations of an expert group which has proposed positive nutritional labelling and has proposed making it mandatory for packaged food companies to disclose total calories/energy value, amount of carbohydrates, sugar, fat, protein and sodium on their labels.
The expert group was constituted by FSSAI in 2015 to provide recommendations on various issues, including labelling requirements for packaged food and regulatory limits for fat, sugar and salt in processed food among others.
The expert group has made several recommendations such as banning advertising of food high in fat, salt and sugar on children television channels or during children shows. It has also suggested that celebrity endorsements of such foods should be discouraged. It has also recommended imposition of additional tax on packaged foods with high salt, high sugar and high fat content.
When contacted, Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI, told BusinessLine: “These are wide-ranging recommendations that require action by various stakeholders. The recommendations will be incorporated in the new labelling regulations, which we are in the process of finalising. The Authority will be taking up the labelling regulations in its meeting this month, which will then be sent to the government as part of the due process.”
On its website, FSSAI said the expert group’s report serves as a guideline document for all the stakeholders, including the industry, the FSSAI and consumers, in reducing consumption of fat, sugar and salt through processed food products. After the report was approved by the scientific committee of FSSAI, it has been put in the public domain by the regulator.
Other recommendations include encouraging industry for voluntary reformulation of food products to reduce the content of saturated fats,sugar and salt in packaged food. It has also recommended periodic monitoring of fat, salt and sugar intakes at national level.

India’s food safety regulator wants higher tax on packaged food, sweetened drinks

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) also wants a blanket ban on advertising of junk foods and beverages on children’s channels and content for children across television, websites and social media.
Packaged junk food may soon cost more with India’s top food regulatory authority recommending additional tax on processed food and sugar-sweetened beverages.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) also wants a blanket ban on advertising of junk foods and beverages on children’s channels and content for children across television, websites and social media.
“Imposing additional tax on the purchase of commodities such as pre-packaged foods with high salt and fat content, sugar sweetened beveragesetc can be a pragmatic approach to reduce their intake,” said the FSSAI’s report on ‘Consumption of Fat, Sugar and Salt (FSS) and its health effects on India’s population’.
“Advertisement ban for foods high in FSS during children TV shows or kids TV channels is urged. In fact, we should progress towards a total ban law as being done in a few other countries like Chile,” recommended the 11 members panel of experts from medicine, nutrition, dietetics and medical research in the report, which suggests ways to cut unhealthy food consumption and lower the rising burden of lifestyle diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
The report suggests celebrity endorsements of unhealthy foods discouraged and recommends having a balanced diet with around 60-70 per cent of total calories from carbohydrates, 10-12 per cent from protein and 20-30 per cent from fat.
Higher tax on unhealthy food and beverages has been a longstanding demand of public health experts. “Modelling studies on how eating less junk food lowers obesity and risk of lifestyle disease such as diabetes, heart disease, and chronic kidney disease, which affect Indians at a younger age than other ethnicities. India must consider taxation on unhealthy foods, restrictions on advertising and appropriate labelling of food to lower consumption across socio-economic groups,” said Dr Anoop Misra, chairman, Fortis C-DOC centres for diabetes, metabolic diseases and endocrinology.
“The money from additional tax on unhealthy foods can be used promote nutrition education in schools and the community,” said Dr Misra, who made these recommendations in a paper for British Medical Journal.
It recommends all food labels must carry total calories, amount of carbohydrates, sugar, fat, protein, sodium, dietary fibre and trans-fat. “A total of 10 per cent of total energy is allowed as added sugars in our daily diet. Simple sugars and refined carbohydrates should be reduced. These come largely from sugar sweetened beverages and processed snacks with high added sugar content,” the report said.
It recommends fats in the form of unsaturated fatty acids (oils that do not solidify at room temperature), especially the long chain mono- and poly unsaturated-fatty acids, should be encouraged in everyday diets was among the recommendations.
The report will be a guideline document for all the stakeholders, including the FSSAI, industry and consumers, in reducing consumption of fat, sugar and salt through processed food products.
 

BIHAR

Administration to keep tab on sweet shops

PATNA: The Patna district administration on Saturday decided to act tough against those selling poor quality sweetmeat, namkeens and other confectionary items in various shops across the city.
District magistrate Sanjay Kumar Agarwal said food safety, weight and measures and commercial taxes officials will keep a close eye on quality of sweets being sold in different shops besides taking action against those cheating customers while weighing the products. A magistrate will accompany these officials in course of raid.
The DM said the decision was taken following complaints that several sweetshops were weighing products along with the box. “Since one such box weighs 50gm, the shopkeepers are fooling the customers,” Agarwal said.
He added in many high-end shops and malls, there was no option for the consumers to weigh the packaged product. “These shops have been asked to provide weighing machine to the consumers, failing which they will be punished,” the DM said.
The team will also check the quality of materials being used in preparing sweets and milk products, such as paneer and khoya. “Use of poor quality oil and harmful colours can pose a threat to the health of people,” the DM said.
The DM also urged the people to remain alert and inform the district administration if they come across any shop selling poor quality food products. “People can call on 2219810 or share the information on Facebook page of the district administration,” said Agarwal.
The shopkeepers have also been advised to display the rate of various products, inclusive of all taxes, so that a consumer can know beforehand how much he has to pay. All the shops and hotels have been given a one-week time to comply with the order.
CHANDIGARH

Mangoes, papayas turn toxic in Sec 26, shows raid

UT health department cracked down on the use of banned chemical calcium carbide for artifically ripening fruits at wholesale godowns in the Sector 26 grain market on Saturday, carrying out early-morning raids that started from 7am and continued for three hours. By the end of the raids, carried out with the help of the police force and under the supervision of sub-divisional magistrate (east) Tapsya Raghav , the department seized 2.5 tonnes of papaya that had been artifically rippened and found most of the 20 vendors who had been raided, using calcium carbide.”We also found packets of ethylene which were used for ripening mangoes. We have sent the samples of it to the laboratory to check whether the chemical is being used in the permissible limits,” said Raghav.
The department has since destroyed the papayas.
The SDM said most vendors were found using chemicals to ripen the fruits either in trucks standing behind their shops or in rented godowns. She also said use of calcium carbide for artificial ripening of fruits was not allowed under the Food and Safety Act, 2006, and Rules and Regulations, 2011. Thoughh laws on the use of calcium carbide are strict and even entail 10 years of imprison ment, the harmful chemical -otherwise used by welders -is applied on fruits by vendors without any fear.
When asked if there was a way to stop vendors from using calcium carbide on the fruits, the SDM said it was a grey-colored powder used by welders, so its supply could not be stopped in the market.”But we will keep a check on its usage,” she said.
The director of the Sector 26 market committee, Subhash Randhawa, said adulterated mangoes were coming from “Madras and China”.”The chemical is being applied by suppliers their only.The practice of ripening papayas through carbide has stopped completely here,” he added.
KERALA

Shops and bakeries come under scanner

Surveillance part of Statewide alert against sale of jelly candy, pudding and related products
Shops and bakeries in Ernakulam selling jelly candy and savouries will be under the close scanner of the Food Safety Department.
The move comes close on the heels of the death of a child due to suspected food poisoning after eating jelly candy from a bakery in Kozhikode last month. The surveillance over the shops and bakeries forms part of the State-wide alert against sale of jelly candy, pudding and related products. Senior officials of the Food Safety Department said that shop owners had removed the stocks of the jelly candy manufactured by a Coimbatore-based confectionery immediately after the Kozhikode incident hit headlines.
Food safety officials pointed out that samples of jelly candy and other confectioneries will be collected on a routine basis as part of the strengthened vigil after the Kohzikode incident. They have asked the retailers and wholesale shops not to sell sweets and savouries without mentioning the manufacturing date and expiry date. Stringent action will be taken against those responsible for not carrying the details of the ingredients in the food items, they said.
Misbranding
Bakers Association Kerala has demanded an increased vigil over the sale of chocolates, toffees, and jelly candy by misbranding it as foreign products. P. M. Sankaran, president of the association, said that several sweets and chocolates banned abroad are being sold through various outlets in the State. Bakeries should not sell items that lack the licence issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, he said.
FSSAI officials have made it clear that manufacturers should display the 14-digit licence number on the packet, container or bottle in which the food item is stored. It should also have the customer care number and address of the manufacturer. Those who fail to get the mandatory licence will be sentenced to six months in prison and fined ₹5 lakh, they said.
 
MAHARASHTRA

FDA issues closure notice to unpackaged drinking water units

NAGPUR : The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Nagpur division, has sent closure notices to about seven units of the region, selling unpackaged drinking water without mandatory licenses. Last week, FDA had raided these units on the directives of FDA commissioner Harshdeep Kamble.
FDA assistant food commissioner of Nagpur division Milind Deshpande, who is also holding additional charge of rural, said that these units are now prohibited from selling drinking water. “Action has been taken under section 36 of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006,” Deshpande added.
The seven units include three from Nagpur and two in Bhandara and Gadchiroli each. The food safety officers of Bhandara and Gadchiroli divisions were called to Nagpur and handed over the notices. “If the units continue to sell water despite notices, matter will go for adjudication,” Deshpande said.
FDA will continue raiding more such units in the coming weeks. On September 6, 2016, TOI was the first to expose the shocking conditions in which the ‘potable water’ was being stored and transported. The units were running without licenses from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) or Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), which are mandatory for selling packaged drinking water.
The ministry of health and family welfare, through a notification issued on November 15, 2016, has made it mandatory to sell packaged drinking water in sealed containers. Following this, Kamble issued directions for inspecting all such units in the entire state.
On the other hand, members of RO chilled water manufacturers welfare association recently staged a protest under the leadership of youth Congress leader Bunty Shelke. Stating that many women and handicapped people are running these units for livelihood, they demanded allotment of licenses by FDA.
TAMILNADU

Mangoes seized

Officials of the Food Safety and Drug Administration Department seized nearly Rs. 1 lakh worth of artificially ripened mangoes, rotten fruits, and soft drinks which jumped the expiry date from various shops and storage yards near Palladam here on Friday.
Sources said that the mangoes were artificially ripened by spraying chemicals over it.

Vendors selling tap water in government hospitals caught

Chennai: The state’s health department may be on their toes to keep infections, especially stomach-related ailments, at bay in the time of drought, but their own backyards lie unattended as government hospitals bristle with vendors selling unhygienic water. On Thursday, two vendors were caught at the women and children’s hospital in Egmore selling, what is suspected to be, tap water in bottles.
Based on a tip-off, Tamil Nadu food safety department officials undertook an inspection at the Institute of Child Health and Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and found the vendors selling water from soiled containers with no label. “When we questioned them, they said they had bought it from a dealer nearby for Rs40,” said an official who was part of the inspection team. The team tracked the dealer and found that he wasn’t attached to a licensed manufacturer. “The dealer procures bubble-top cans and fills them with water. The vendors too keep refilling,” said the official, adding 41 of them were seized. They suspect the cans were filled with tap water and sold for Rs8 a bottle.
Dr Raghunathan, resident medical officer at ICH, said vendors usually stand at the hospital gates selling water and food items. “They wait for doctors to leave for the day to enter the premises,” he said, adding the hospital had repeatedly complained to the police and corporation to remove these hawkers. When asked if the hospital had sufficient drinking water for patients and attendants, he said it had two reverse osmosis drinking water units, and more are in the process of being set up. Patients, however, said on most days these taps ran dry, a claim supported by senior doctors. “You can’t blame the hospital for this. We buy water from Metrowater. Sometimes we have to wait longer for it to come. Water is rationed when that happens,” said a senior doctor, not willing to be named.
R Kathiravan, designated officer, Tamil Nadu food safety department, Chennai, said the health department would undertake inspections at hospitals and evict vendors. The department seized nearly 115 soiled or unlabelled cans from various parts of the city.

Apply online for food safety licences

Business operators can apply for food safety licences online or through e-service centres.
According to a Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department press release operators can apply for licences on http://www.fssai.gov.in or through the e-service centres.
Public can lodge complaints about food products at the WhatsApp number, 94440 42322, a press release said.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India officials inspect bubble-top drinking water cans
Chennai: 
According to officials, with summer hitting its peak and the city facing a water shortage, many unlicensed packaged water manufacturing companies have started exploiting the situation to make a fast buck. 
To check this, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had been inspecting trucks carrying bubble-top water cans.
Speaking to DTNext, R Kathiravan, Designated Officer, FSSAI, Chennai, said that his body had formed four teams to inspect canned water in various parts of the city. “Accordingly, a team of food safety officials near Koyambedu intercepted around 15 vehicles. Most of these cans were found unfit for consumption,” he said. In a particular case, the officials found no labels on 60 cans of water. They confiscated 31 such cans, which were unfit for consumption, Kathiravan said. Moreover, a total of 74 bubble-top water cans had labels, but there was no manufacturing date, he added. 
When asked about the punishment, an official said, “As of now, we are creating awareness. Henceforth, we will file cases against the manufacturing companies and impose fines ranging from two to three lakh.” 
It may be recalled that a few days ago, the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) officials had seized a total of 149 cans and 7,181 sachets of drinking water which were unfit for consumption.
 
 

Food Safety Enforcement News – Tamilnadu updates – 2

CHENNAI

Don’t fall for polished fruits for they might be ladened with chemicals

Customers should be alert when they reach for ripe, juicy and glossy mango, papaya and other fruits as they could be ripened using chemicals. Doctors say such fruits are a health hazard.
Chennai: 
With the demand for fruits and salad vegetables peaking in the scorching summer season, several traders and vendors are reportedly making a killing by ripening and sweetening fruits artificially. 
Vendors in the city’s biggest wholesale fruit and vegetable market in Koyambedu, and a few other markets in the city, allegedly do not conform to the guidelines laid down by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Sources say that in order to make a quick buck, traders are using calcium carbides to ripen fruits such as mangoes, exposing customers to the risk of health hazards. 
With the onset of kathiri veyyil a few days ago, the demand for fruits like mangoes, banana, papaya and watermelons has only gone up. However, some vendors using carbide stones and other chemical elements for artificial ripening, have turned out to be a bane. In doing so, such fruits would be ready for consumption practically overnight. Those claiming to know more allege that some traders also inject ‘erythrocyte’ in watermelons, to enhance the natural colour of the fruit. 
Small- time fruit vendors also claim that when they go to Koyambedu market early in the morning, they notice traders spraying chemicals on the fruits. “On a few occasions, when I went to purchase mangoes and watermelons, I was shocked to see carbide stones poking out of the fruit pile. I have heard some customers complaining about the stones, when they came to buy fruits like mangos, chikku and watermelons,” said A Marimuthu, a fruit vendor in Aminjikarai. Some traders in Koyambedu market complex even keep the spray bottles inside their shops and since the officials have failed to conduct frequent raids and apprehend violators, most of them get away scot- free. 
However, members of Koyambedu Market Licensed Merchants Associations say that they advise the traders not to indulge in such practices. Thyagarajan, president, Koyambedu Market Vegetable and Fruit Vendors Association, said, “FSSAI and Greater Chennai Corporation officials are conducting raids on a continuous basis and we are also advising the traders in the market not to use any chemical spray and carbide stones for artificial ripening.” 
However, a vendor from the Koyambedu fruit market, speaking on condition of anonymity said that although they use chemicals, they ensure that this does not cause health hazards to the consumers. “I have been selling fruits like mangoes and chikku for over a decade here, and no customer has complained about fruits,” he said. 
Exercise caution: When contacted, Food Safety Wing Designated Officer, R Kathiravan, Chennai, told DTNext that they are constantly inspecting all the markets across the city and appealing to the consumers to purchase only those mangos that ripen naturally. People should be careful while purchasing fruits like mangoes, chikku, banana and papaya, as there is a possibility that they have been artificially ripened,” he said. When asked about colouring agents in fruit juices, the officer said that they target such vendors. “We will conduct raids soon.” 
Risk of allergies: Doctors say artificially ripened fruits contain lesser nutritional value and can cause allergies. Dr M A Aleem, former Vice-Principal and a medical expert of KAPV Government Medical College, Tiruchy, said, “Eating fruits ripened with carbide and ethylene would pave the way for causing diarrhoea, peptic ulcer, indigestion and irritation in the mouth. Consumers should buy fruits with utmost care. Worse still, it could cause cancer of the bladder.” 
Touch of stone: The carbide stone has chemicals which are detrimental to health. Due to these chemicals, fruits are being ripened within 12 hours. However, ethylene gas is permitted to be used by FSSAI for ripening by dipping the mangos in the liquid. 
What norms say: No person shall sell or offer or expose for sale or have in his premises for the purpose of sale under any description, fruits which have been artificially ripened by use of acetylene gas, commonly known as carbide gas. The fresh fruits and vegetables shall be free from rotting and free from coating of waxes, mineral oil and colours. 
Violations
Carbide stone is banned 
The chemical is banned under the Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011 
Violators could be penalised with a 7-year imprisonment or a hefty fine 
Around five tonnes of artificial fruits, including mangoes, were seized in 2016 
8.5 tonnes of fruits have been seized till date this year 
Ethylene gas is the permitted and most commonly used ripening agent .

 

Unit making ice-candies with Saccharin unearthed

RAJASTHAN
The ice-candies which were destroyed by health officials on Saturday
The ice-candies which were destroyed by health officials on Saturday

JAIPUR: Food safety officers unearthed a manufacturing unit of ice-candies for allegedly using saccharin as a sweetener on Saturday. Saccharin is an artificial sweeter which is not permitted to be used as an ingredient for producing ice-candies.

The manufacturing unit — Jai Shree Ambey, is situated in Jaipuriyon Ka Bad at Sirsi Road. “The food safety officers collected two samples of ice candy and milk candy. We have also destroyed 1,000 ice-candies which were prepared with saccharin,” chief medical health officer (CMHO) Jaipur-I, Dr Narottam Sharma said.

At the time, when a team of CMHO raided the manufacturing unit, they found that there were workers in the unit manufacturing ice-candies. “We asked them if they have used saccharin in preparing the ice candies. They accepted that they have used the artificial sweeteners. They have also given it in written,” Verendra Singh, food safety officer said.

“Saccharin is harmful to children especially those who are under-14 years. It affects bones badly. In rural areas, these ice-candies are sold and its sale picks up during summer,” Singh said.In comparison to Saccharin, sugar is quite expensive. To earn heavy profits during summer when the demand for ice-candies goes up significantly, they use of saccharin. The granulated sugar most customarily used as food is sucrose. Saccharin is more than 300 times sweeter than sucrose, the officials said.

Officials said that if lab reports show that the ice candies contain saccharin, they will present the case before the court.

The firm caught preparing ice candies using saccharin, sale it in the rural areas. If children consume it regularly, they become vulnerable to different kinds of health related problem. Food safety officers also claimed that it may have a carcinogen effect on children. Officials said that whenever they have found saccharin in ice-candies, the testing report shows that it is unsafe for consumption.

Food Safety News – India this week – May 7 -2017

GENERAL

FSSAI proposes blueprint for ‘food smart cities’

 
Regulator FSSAI has proposed widening the ambit of smart cities by incorporating food management system into it to ensure safe and nutritious food consumed by citizens. 
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Urban Development Ministry on May 2 organised a workshop on ‘Food Smart Cities’ to discuss its framework and methodology for rollout.
Senior representatives from Smart Cities including Ludhiana, Ajmer, Jaipur, Gurgaon and Bhubaneswar participated in the meeting. 
FSSAI CEO Pawan Agarwal said that food has been largely ignored in city planning, despite it being the central piece around which life revolves. 
“There is now a golden opportunity to integrate food systems management into the smart city guidelines,” he said in a statement. 
The Food Smart Cities would have end-to-end solutions for food systems in urban areas. 
Stating that rapid urbanisation has raised concerns about food quality, FSSAI said: “One of the ways to address this is to integrate sustainable food safety and nutrition systems within the smart city design and create Food Smart Cities”. 
FSSAI has proposed a four-pillar approach that cities could undertake at the local level to ensure safety and hygiene across the supply chain. 
“The workshop concluded with a decision that a framework for food smart cities would be further refined and circulated to cities around the country, aspiring to be Food Smart Cities,” FSSAI said.
 

Not just Maggi: Here’s the shameful truth about food safety inspection in India

 
New Delhi: Even as Nestlé India continues to firefight its gravest crisis ever in its nearly three-decade old history of selling Maggi noodles in the country, the most vital question now doing the rounds, including the social media, is how could a multinational company (MNC) carry out business for so long… selling a product with potential health hazards to millions of consumers?
The presence of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and lead above permissible limits in Maggi samples cannot be an overnight phenomenon. Besides, there could be many more products by other MNCs as well that could potentially harm the health of Indians.
Who has allowed these MNCs to sell “sub-standard” product all these years? Can the government be absolved of its responsibility and accountability for allowing domestic and foreign food manufacturing companies to have a free run?
“Both, the Centre and state governments usually avoid taking stringent action against MNCs or big Indian manufacturers, despite being aware of violations. However, this time Delhi government has been prompt in taking action on Maggi issue,” a retired senior official from Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Civil Supplies told Firstpost on condition of anonymity.
Ashim Sanyal, COO of the voluntary action group Consumer Voice said, “Who knows what people have been consuming for the last 20 years? There’s laxity on part of both the state governments and the central regulatory body FSSAI. Both never bothered to exercise their powers to have a regular check on food products, whether Maggi or any other ready-to-eat items all these years.”
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was established as an independent statutory authority under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which consolidates various acts & orders that have hitherto handled food related issues in various ministries and government departments. The agency has been created for laying down standards for food articles and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.
The 2006 Act aims to establish a single reference point for all matters relating to food safety and standards.
“If it’s so, why did FSSAI take so much time to act despite the fact that Maggi controversy broke some time back?” questioned Sanyal.
Grey areas
Consumer policy experts and activists have identified several grey areas that help food operators to supply sub-standard products to consumers and yet remain ‘untouched’. It’s ultimately the consumer, who gets the wrong end of the stick.
– Central regulator doesn’t conduct regular inspections and testing of products, to ensure that only the right quality product is sold in the market.
– There is laxity on part of state governments’ food safety departments as well.
– There is lack of proper coordination between the Centre and states, as the latter don’t report to the Centre in this regard.
– Barring a few laboratories accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing & Calibration Laboratories (NABL), several testing laboratories in states fail to conform to standards. The equipment used by these labs is often not upgraded and not properly calibrated. It leads to variation in results.
– Despite having immense power, the food safety commissioners and officers in states don’t exercise it on a regular basis to keep a check on all ready-to-eat products on shelves.
– Often the field inspectors fail to get permission from higher authorities to conduct a raid and check products.
– Lack of proper training facilities of inspection staff, and modernization.
– Unlike abroad, the implementation of law and regulations is weak in India. So, is the penalty.
– Both the regulator at the Centre and food safety departments in the states suffer from staff crunch. The state units lack funds.
– Corruption is another area of concern.
– A Five-year action plan chalked out jointly by the Centre and states in 2009-10 is yet to be implemented.
Bejon Kumar Misra, an international consumer policy expert, said, “First, the industries exercise a strong influence on policy makers and it’s easy for them to get through. Second, instead of sitting jointly and finding a solution, there’s a blame-game between the Centre and states. Even when any plan has been made, it finally fails to get implemented on ground. Nobody wants to bell the cat.”
Unlike India, legal procedures and penalty system are so stringent abroad that no one dares to violate them. The system of recalling sub-standard products in India is voluntary and not mandatory like in other countries.
Sanyal added, “The Supreme Court had pointed out the issue of penalty in the case of contaminated milk. No legal action is taken and one gets away by paying a small penalty. There’s a need to evolve laws according to changing times. We hardly get to hear sub-standard products being recalled by a company.”
“Some years back, a Jamshedpur court had prosecuted Nestlé, after MSG was found in Maggi noodles. But, what happened after that nobody knows. This is the sorry state-of-affairs of our system and no one is afraid of law. But, it’s for the first time since the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 came into existence, the government has registered a case against Maggi noodles with the National Consumer Grievance Redressal Commission, claiming compensation for the consumers,” Misra pointed out.

RAILWAYS

Respond to petition on poor food on trains: HC to Centre

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gital Mittal and Justice Anu Malhotra issued a notice to the Railway Ministry, asking it to ensure that Food Safety and Standards Act regulations were met.
It said the quality of food served on trains and at railway platforms had to be monitored.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by Sardar Jagjit Singh, a retired food inspector with the Railways, who said urgent measures were required to guarantee safe food in restaurants, food plazas, staff canteens and other cooking units run by the railways.
The petitioners counsel K C Mittal, while submitting that 23 million people travelled by train in the country every day, focused on the sale and supply of adulterated food in the Indian Railways.
The lawyer had earlier submitted to the court a CD containing a news report from a television channel on the subject.
“The worst is the insensitivity and the failure on the part of the respondents to take adequate steps to ensure sale and supply of unadulterated, wholesome and hygienic food to 23 million passengers who travel everyday by train (24X7) in different parts of the country,” it said.
The petition said food quality should be monitored on passenger and goods trains, pantry cars, other food outlets in railway areas operated by private contractors, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation Ltd (IRCTC) and food plazas, including unauthorised vendors and canteens run by the railways.
The bench has now fixed May 16 for a hearing on the matter.
CHANDIGARH

Raid Conducted in Grain Market by Department of Food Safety

Artificial ripening of fruits like mango, papaya with calcium carbide is common practice adopted by various Food Business Operators during summer season. The use of Calcium Carbide is prohibited for ripening of fruits under the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011. The ripened fruits with the above said chemical cause serious health problems.
Looking into the seriousness of the matter the officials of Department of Food Safety, U.T.of Chandigarh under the supervision of Dr. Tapasya Raghav, IAS, SDM, Chandigarh Administration conducted a massive raid in the area of Grain Market, Sector 26, Chandigarh today. Many warehouses and shops where the fruits like mango and papaya were stored were inspected and it was found that the Food Business Operators were using Calcium Carbide for its ripening. Approx. 2.5 tons of papaya was seized and
destroyed in the dumping ground of Chandigarh through the vehicles of Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh.
The traders dealing in sale, storage and distribution of fruits are advised not to use any type of hazardous chemical for the ripening of fruits. If anybody is found violating the provisions of Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006 and the Rules & Regulations, 2011 framed there under, action will be initiated against such violators.
GOA

Govt bans gutka, pan masala in State

 
PANJIM: The State Government on Thursday issued an order prohibiting manufacture, storage, sale or distribution of food products containing tobacco or nicotine like gutkha and pan masala in the State for one year.
The ban also applies to processed, flavoured, scented, chewing tobacco, whether packaged or unpackaged or sold as one or separate products.
Commissioner of Food Safety, B R Singh, said that in the interest of public health, the government prohibits manufacture, storage, sale or distribution of gutkha and pan masala, by whatever name it is called, which contains tobacco or nicotine as an ingredient. “The ban has been imposed for a period of one year,” he said.
The decision appears to have been taken in view of the Supreme Court order wherein it observed that to circumvent the ban of sale of gutkha, manufacturers were selling pan masala (without tobacco) with flavoured chewing tobacco in separate sachets.
The notification has been issued under Food Safety and Standards Act (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations 2011 and Act 2006.

Food and drugs raid on Suraj Sweet mart at Chaudi

CANACONA: Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) officials on Thursday raided a sweet mart along NH 17, in the market area in Chaudi-Canacona, and sealed drinking water bottles and sweets. The samples have been sent for tests.

Local resident Jisto Gracias, who is a frequent customer of this shop, purchased two 20-litre canisters of packaged water, but noticed some leakage in the canisters. He questioned the owner, Narayan Vaishnav, who washed his hands off the problem, arguing that it was the company that packed it.

Gracias then visited Vaishnav’s residence, which is just 50 metres away from the shop, and found some women filling tap water in the canisters. He clicked some pictures and forwarded the same to the NGO Aami Goenkar, which filed a complaint with the FDA.
A huge crowd gathered outside the shop while it was raided by the FDA officials. The agitated locals demanded that the sweet mart be shut until directed by the FDA to operate again. Vaishnav, a native of Rajasthan, refused to speak to reporters.
Local resident Sham Kenkre said, “People don’t drink tap water because it’s dirty, and prefer mineral water. Strict action should be taken against the vendors for playing with our lives”.

Goa tightens ban on gutka, pan masala

 
The ban on consumption of tobacco products such as gutka and pan masala has been tightened in Goa with the State Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) banning the products under the Food Safety Standards Act (FSSA), 2006. The Act came into force in 2011.
Salim Veljee, Goa Director of FDA, said the gutka lobby was trying to exploit loopholes in the ban under Public Health Act by separating Ghutka from pan masala using packaging gimmicks. “By banning the products under the FSSA, the loophole has been fixed. This ban makes everything consumed orally associated with tobacco as food.”
As per Food and Safety Standards Authority of India, under the Act, gutka and pan masala consumed in any form and used in any type of containers for production, sale, consumption and storage will be banned for one year.

KARNATAKA

DK DC orders inspection of food and water units

Mangaluru : Chairing a meeting of the district-level committee for the implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Act. on May 3, Wednesday, DK DC Dr K G Jagadeesh directed officials to carry out inspections at food processing and water units to ensure the quality of food, as a part of the effective implementation of Food Safety and Standards Act.
The DC said that there are 16 drinking water packaging units. “As per the Act, such units have to be ISI-certified. No licence could be issued to the units that do not meet ISI standards. 
Units operating without licence should be sealed. A circular will be issued to all panchayats and urban local bodies,” he said. Expressing his discontentment on the poor performance of food safety officials in inspecting the food and water units, he directed the officials to test the quality of food and water in laboratories.
Adulteration : “It is also found that the food sold in street stalls and fast-food centres gets adulterated with non-permitted chemicals. The items sold in bakeries also carry non-permitted colours which adversely affect the health. Awareness should be created among the public,”DK DC Dr Jagadeesha said, and warned, “Stern action will also be initiated against vendors who use chemicals to ripen and colour fruits. The lorries carrying fruits should be subjected to inspection and if use of chemicals on fruits is found, such lorries should be seized.”
Zilla Panchayat chief executive officer Dr M R Ravi said that as water-borne diseases have been spreading faster, the quality of water cannot be ignored. The public may submit their complaints to food safety officials if they find adulteration in food served in hotels. Senior food safety officer H T Raju said that the taluk health officer will be the food safety officer for the taluk. The implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Act will be monitored by the senior food safety officer in Mangaluru City Corporation and Puttur taluk.
Additional DC Kumar, district health and family welfare Officer Dr Ramakrishna Rao and district surveillance officer Dr Rajesh were present during the meeting.
 

Keep strict tabs on bottled water manufacturing units, DC tells officials

MANGALURU: Deputy Commissioner K G Jagadeesha on Wednesday directed officials concerned to ensure continuous inspection of food preparation units across Dakshina Kannada district for effective implementation of Food Safety and Standards Act. The food safety inspectors must specifically pay due attention to bottled water manufacturing units, collect samples periodically, get is tested in the laboratories and ensure that it is fit for human use, DC said.
Chairing a meeting of district level committee under the act, DC said there are 16 bottled water manufacturing units in Dakshina Kannada. Each such units must mandatorily obtain a permission from Indian Standard Institute (ISI) to carry out their activities. Urban local bodies or panchayathi raj bodies are not entitled to issue license to such units in their jurisdiction if they do not ISI license and such licenses must be revoked forthwith if they have issued one.
A detailed note will be issue to all urban local bodies and gram panchayats in this regard shortly, DC said while directing officials to crack down on all illegal water bottling units functioning in the district. Expressing displeasure that periodic inspection of such water bottling units is not happening on a regular basis, Jagadeesha directed the nodal officer under the Act to carry out the same and provide inspection reports to his office in proof of compliance.
Observing there are complaints of chemical adulteration of food sold on roadside eateries, fast food hotels, DC directed the officials to keep a watch out on such food joints as well. He advised people not to use foods served in such joints that are rich in colour for they could be adulterated. Likewise, the authorities concerned must run public awareness campaigns to educate people about the ill-effects of consuming such adulterated food on their health, he noted.
Averring that there are complaints about artificial ripening of fruits using chemicals, he directed the officials to inspect wholesale fruit godowns and wholesale fruit merchants for such instances. Action should be initiated against anyone found guilty of use of chemicals on fruits for pecuniary gains, he said while advising officials to also inspect lorries that bring fruits from outside the state and ensure that there is no chemical adulteration of fruits at source.

Nine packaged drinking water units shut down in Mysuru

Four other units that were in the process of getting licences were asked to stop production and sale till they obtained certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards. 
As many as nine packaged drinking water units which were functioning without possessing mandatory ISI certification in Mysuru district have been closed down. Four other units, which had applied for ISI certification and were in the process of getting them, were asked to stop production and sale of their products until they obtained certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
S. Chidambar, designated officer for Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and district vector-borne diseases officer, and other officials conducted an enforcement search a few days ago and found that nine units were functioning without the ISI certification.
Licences mandatory
Disclosing this to The Hindu, Dr. Chidambar said that apart from functioning illegally, the units were not following prescribed procedure in preparing good quality packaged drinking water.
The owners of the units were asked to close down their units and were warned of dire consequences if they attempted to re-open the same in the future, he said. He cautioned that action would be initiated against the units under Section 33 of Bureau of Indian Standards Act, 1986, if they were found indulging in carrying out their businesses illegally.
Licences from BIS and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) are prerequisites to run a packaged drinking water plant, he said.
Laboratory tests
Dr. Chidambar said that apart from having treatment machinery like reverse osmosis units, carbon filters and sand filters, the plants must have also laboratories that are extremely important to check the potability of water after processing. The owners of the plant should conduct tests of each batch of processed water in their laboratories and in other laboratories too at regular intervals, he said.
Health hazard
A spurt in the demand for processed drinking water has resulted in proliferation of packaged drinking water plants. The plants were set up by individuals to make easy money. Substandard quality of water manufactured by such units may pose a grave threat to people’s health, Dr. Chidambar said.
Dr. Chidambar said that borewell water is the only water that should be used for manufacturing packaged drinking water, and river water, open well water or water supplied by civic bodies should not be used for this purpose. He also appealed to the people not to buy packaged drinking water unless they find the ISI certification and FSSAI number.
He instructed hotels, bakeries, bars and restaurants not to sell packaged drinking water without ISI certifications and FSSAI numbers. There are other 32 manufacturing units functioning in Mysuru district with certification from BIS, he said.
PUNJAB

300 eateries running in Gurugram without licence

GURUGRAM: The department of food safety has decided to launch an extensive drive to crack down on restaurants, hotels and shops selling edibles without any licence in the city.
A rough estimate suggests that there are at least 300 eateries — mainly bakeries, sweet shops, street vendors, tea stalls and such other small outlets that common people visit frequently — across Gurgaon are running without licence.
During the crackdown, which is likely to kick off later this month, officials will inspect all shops and restaurants to check the quality of food or beverages served. Also, officials will check if outlets have registered themselves with the department and whether they have validity licences. Shops found without a valid licence will be sealed and a case will be registered against their owners.
“We will carry out random inspections of shops and collect food samples. Also, we will check their registration and licence details. Owners will be prosecuted in case of any violation,” said Dr KK Sharma, the food safety officer, Gurgaon.
In 2014, the department had directed owners of all hotels, restaurants and shops selling eatables to registered themselves under the Food and Safety Act 2006 and obtain licences from the authorities. The department has extended the deadlines to apply for the licence six times in the past three years, yet many eatery owners failed to abide by the order.
MANIPUR

Food Safety Officials Seize Tobacco And Expired Products

The Imphal West District Police under the supervision of the Imphal West superintendent of police N Herojit along with the Food Safety & Standards Enforcement Wing, Manipur today seized tobacco products worth around Rs 10 lakhs and expired eatable items.
The tobacco product were seized from three different shops located at Prajatantra Gali, Thangal Bazar, Imphal and the three shops were owned by Ganesh Kumar(25) s/o Hiralal Shah of Bihar presently staying at Tillipati, Anil Kumar Gupta (25) s/o Kapil Manishah of Bihar presently staying at RIMS Road and Guddy Shah (22) s/o Kedar Shah of Bihar presently staying at Tillipati.
The expired eatable items (mostly consumed by kids) were seized from a godown located at Kakhulong Khul, Paona Bazar, Imphal owned by Mukesh Kumar Sah (47) s/o Jokhi Lal Sah of Bihar presently staying at Masjid Road, Paona Bazar.
Speaking to media persons, Imphal West additional SP (law and order) Priyadarshini Laishram said that the state government has already banned selling of tobacco products from the year 2013.
So the team has conducted the raid and was able to seized a huge amount of tobacco items from three different shops, he added.
They has been intensifying such drive mostly tobacco products in view of high prevalence of cancer in the state as uses of tobacco products leads to cancer, said Priyadarshini.
She said that necessary action and case will be taken up against the three shop owners after obtaining the sampling nicotine report of the seized product from the laboratory by the Food Safety department.
She added that keeping of expired product is also an illegal action so they have seized the eatable items from godown and found that most of the seized items are items mostly consumed by the kids.
Priyadarshini said, “It is most likely that the owner kept the items with an ulterior motive such as to convert into a brand new by changing covers or tag.”
So proper action will be taken up against the owner of the godown after finishing the procedure of testing the items by the Food Safety department, she continued.

MAHARASHTRA

Food and Drugs Administration keeps a check on ice quality for summer heat

NASHIK: Water samples have been collected from various ice factories in the district by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) to check the quality of water being used..

The food inspectors have sent the samples to the government laboratory for further inspection.

Assistant commissioner of FDA, Nashik, Y K Bendkule said, “We have collected 10 ice samples from across the district. The samples were not only collected from ice factories but also cane juice stalls which are set up during the summer. The samples have been sent to the state public health laboratory in Pune for the investigation.”

The drive is mainly being conducted during the summer as huge amounts of ice is consumed by citizens at juice centres and ice candy outlets. The objective is to ensure that the water used for preparing the ice should not have bacterial contamination, which will lead to health hazards.
Currently, 10 samples have been collected by the department, which will continue to raid other ice factories and juice centres.
Apart from inspection of ice, the FDA also collected samples of mangoes from various parts of the city to check if calcium carbide was used to ripen them. The deadly chemical is known to be used by traders to ripen mangoes artificially.
 
FDA destroys 5000 kgs artificially ripened Mango
Another team of FSOs led by Vinod Dhawad raided M/s Mohd Irfan Rain and seized 2,998kg mangoes costing about Rs 1.20 lakh.
Another team of FSOs led by Vinod Dhawad raided M/s Mohd Irfan Rain and seized 2,998kg mangoes costing about Rs 1.20 lakh
.
NAGPUR: The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) Nagpur division seized 5,000kg of mangoes that were artificially ripened using calcium carbide from the Kalamana wholesale market and destroyed the same. The mangoes were valued at about Rs 1.70 lakh.

FDA joint commissioner (Food) Shashkant Kekare told TOI that the seized material being biologically degradable was destroyed in the Bhandewadi dumping yard in the city’s outskirts.FDA food safety officers (FSOs) raided the Agriculture Produce Marketing Corporation (APMC) in Kalamana, the wholesale market of grains, fruits etc and seized the artificially ripened mangoes 

The FSOs team included Manoj Tiwari, Akhilesh Raut that raided the site of M/s Raju Katariya and seized 240 kg mangoes costing Rs 3,607. FSOs Pravin Umap and Bhaskar Nandanwar raided M/s Jitendra Ganesh Mankar and seized 2,278kg mangoes costing Rs 45,560. 

Another team of FSOs led by Vinod Dhawad raided M/s Mohd Irfan Rain and seized 2,998kg mangoes costing about Rs 1.20 lakh. 

FDA raids APMC, destroys mangoes laced with carbide

 
Nagpur: In a major overhaul, the Food Drug Administration (FDA) officials raided several mango shops , siezed and destroyed mangoes which were injected with the Calcium carbide at the market yard of Kalamna.
The raid was conducted at the Agriculture Produce Market Commodity (APMC) Kalamna market, where mangoes collectively weighing 5,516 kilograms were seized from different shops. The total value of mangoes is estimated at Rs 1.70 Lakh. The operation was carried under the supervision of FDA Joint Commissioner Shashikant Kekre and executed by Assistant Commissioners Milind Deshpande and Motiram Pawar. A team of food safety officials Manoj Tiwari and Akhilesh Raut raided the shop of Raju Kataria and found 240 kgs mangoes which were tested positive for carbide.
Later, Food safety officials Vinod Dhavad raided the shop of Mohammad Irfan Rais at the same location and found 2,998 kgs of mangoes positive with carbide and immediately confiscated the mangoes worth Rs 1.20 lakh.
Food safety officer Pravin Umap and FDA officer from Bhandara along with officials Bhaskar Nandanwar and other joint teams conducted a raid at office of one Jitendra Mankar at the market yard and seized mangoes weighing 2,278 kgs worth Rs 45,560. Then FDA officials raided the shops of Mohammad Isaq Haji, Mohd Javed and Shraddha Fruit Traders and seized and destroyed mangoes worth lakhs. The team officials were Kiran Gedam, Sheetal Deshpande and Anand Mahajan.
Calcium carbide is also used in some countries for artificially ripening fruit. When calcium carbide comes in contact with moisture, it produces acetylene gas, which is quite similar in reaction to the natural ripening agent ethylene.
Acetylene acts like ethylene and accelerates the ripening process.
 
MANIPUR

Food safety enforcement wing conducted drive

 
Imphal, : Food safety enforcement wing conducted a surprise drive at various shops in Masjid Road and Thangal Bazar area, today.
Th Sunilkumar, Designated officer of Food Safety and Administration who took part in the drive said that despite the edible items which may cause throat diseases to the children were ban earlier were found to be still available in today’s drive.
The ban items have been seized today.
Th Sunilkumar also said actions will be taken up under the food safety and standard act 2006, if shopkeepers are found violating the rules.
In the past the drive could not be held regularly due to the lack of manpower in the department but now the department has the adequate manpower and the drive will be conducted regularly in all valley districts.
Sunilkumar appeals to the public and CSO’s to extend all possible support to stop the people running shops without the FSSAI license.
The drive was conducted by a combine team of enforcement wing of Imphal East and West, Thoubal and Bishnupur District under the supervision of food safety Commissioner, P.K Singh.
During the drive edible items being sold without license were seize and some of the shopkeepers pulls their shutter down on hearing the news of the surprise drive.
The shops have been seal by the enforcement wing.
Most of the shopkeepers were found selling of edible items without the norms of food safety and standard authority of India (FSSAI) license.
The combine team also found many imported items from Myanmar without expiry date stickers, stickers with Myanmar language and twice printed stickers with manufacturing date.
TAMILNADU

Three charged with trade of dead chicken

The Food Safety and Drug Administration department officials on Thursday charged three persons with collecting dead chicken from farm and selling them for meat. About 50 kg of dead chicken found in their possession was seized and destroyed.
Food Safety Designated Officer K. Tamilselvan said Raju (37), who was found collecting chicken which were dead due to sunstroke and dehydration at the farms, was first caught.
Subsequently, Dhanapal (27) and Thangadurai (40), who were buying the dead chicken from Raju, were also caught. “We are initiating process to prosecute them for violations under Food Safety Act,” said Mr. Tamilselvan.

Cooking oil manufacturing units warned against adulteration

 
The officials of the Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department conducted surprise check in the cooking oil manufacturing units in the city and warned the firms against indulging in adulteration.
Complaints
On receipt of complaints that adulteration is rampant in cooking oil manufacturing units, a team led by T. Anuradha, Designated Officer of the Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department, conducted surprise check in a few oil manufacturing companies functioning at Sivathapuram, Arisipalayam, and Saminathapuram in the city on Thursday.
The officials noticed that stickers of the companies functioning in the neighbouring states were being displayed in the cans and tins packed here. Moreover, the tins were washed using chemicals and used again for packing the oil, in violation of norms. The team also noticed the unhygienic conditions prevailing in the units.

TELENGANA

UTTARKHAND

Food safety officers seek clarifications on ITC’s Yippee noodles

After Nestle’s Maggi, there seem to be question in store for ITC’s Yippee noodles.
According to a report in The Times of India, the Uttarakhand food safety office has sought clarifications from the company about the claims it has made on the label of this popular brand. The company has been asked to respond in 15 days about the nutritional claims it makes on the packet. The notice was issued on Friday, according to the report.
The food safety officials had tested samples of Yippee Magic Masala and Classic Masala from a store in Kaliyar in Haridwar, the report says.
The food safety office has asked the company to provide the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India-approved lab reports about the shelf-life of the both the versions. The aim is to check whether the claim that it is best before nine months from the date of manufacture is correct or not.
ITC, in a clarification sent to Firstpost, had this to say: “The picking up of food samples and seeking of information by Food Safety Officers is a routine occurrence and part of the duties of the Food Safety Officer under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 and is not an out of ordinary event requiring any cause for concern to the public. ITC’s Yippee! Noodles are in full compliance with food safety laws, and are backed with ITC’s world-class internal laboratories as well as at FSSAI-approved, NABL-accredited external laboratories confirmation.
“The information sought by the Food Safety Officer pertains to statutory declarations required by the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, that appear on the label, and ITC is fully cooperating with the Food Safety Officer in providing the information required by him. It is pertinent to mention that ITC has obtained adequate scientific analysis substantiating all information before making such declarations on the pack.”
Interestingly, the move by the food safety officers comes days after the company removed the ‘no added MSG’ disclaimer from the packs. The move followed recent directions by the FSSAI, said a PTI report.
Announcing its decision, the company had said earlier in a statement that under the Food Safety Standards Act, if a manufacturer adds MSG (monosodium glutamate) in its product, then only the quantum of MSG has to be declared.
Moreover, the FSSAI, in connection with noodles of “another brand” (read Nestle’s Maggi), had held that such statement of having no MSG was “inappropriate”, ITC said.
“Therefore, ITC is voluntarily taking steps to remove the phrase ‘no added MSG’ from its labels in its new batches of packaging and consumers should ignore this on the current packaging. ITC would like to once again assure consumers that MSG is not added to Sunfeast YiPPee! Noodles,” ITC said.
Unfortunately for ITC, the food safety authorities’ action comes at a time when the company is pushing the Yippee brand to make the most of the Maggi debacle.
According to a report in the Business Standard on on 13 June, the company is distributing leaflets among retailers, explaining how it has conducted stringent tests on its products.
“In all these tests, our food products have consistently been found to comply with all regulatory standards,” the report cited the leaflet as saying. The retailers are being told to show it to Maggi’s loyal customers in a bid to woo them to Yippee.
However, the FSSAI move is in line with the expectations of many an analyst who had predicted the Maggi incident to have a cascading impact on other brands too.
Reliance Securities, for one, had said in a report on Nestle it sees the ignominy extending to all brands in the category in general and not just dent one particular brand as FSSAI pushes to strictly implement the new norms on food safety across all packaged food products.
“This would force all the companies in the segment, like Dabur (in Honey), ITC (Sunfeast, Yipee, Kitchens of India), Britannia, Parle, Pepsico and HUL (Knorr, Kissan, Magnum), to declare in detail the ingredients used in their packaged products,” the brokerage had said.
Interestingly, much before the FSSAI crackdown on Nestle began and gave rise to a debate on food safety issues in India, Consumer Education & Research Society (CERS) had found that many popular instant noodles brands are deceiving consumers on nutrition claims they make on the labels.
According to a report in Moneylife published in 2012, in-house laboratory tests conducted by CERS found that 15 brands made fake health claims and have nutritional levels way below their claims.
The brands included Maggi, Top Ramen, Knorr, Ching’s Secret, Sunfeast Yippee!, Foodles, Tasty Treat and Wai Wai X-press.
“Some of the common findings for most of the samples tested included high level of sodium salts, significantly low fibre content, high amount of fats and several other shocking factors. The brands that claimed ‘Healthy’, ‘wholesome’, ‘enriched with proteins and iron’ and ‘full of fibre’, were refuted by the test findings as going way above the safe limit of several harmful elements,” the report quoted CERS as saying in a release.
Clearly, it is high time the FSSAI started testing all the brands in this category.