FSSAI asks States to inspect units manufacturing, processing edible oil over compliance of max 5% trans fatty acids norm
New Delhi, Aug 31 (KNN) Food quality watchdog Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has asked the states to inspect the units manufacturing and processing edible oil, particularly those with large capacity, to verify compliance to the notification revising maximum limit of trans fatty acids.
Through a notification dated August 4, 2015 FSSAI had revised maximum limit of trans fatty acids to be not more than 5 per cent in Interesterified Vegetable Fat/ Oil, Margarine and Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils.
The timeline for compliance of the notification was extended up to February 27, 2017 through notification dated August 10, 2016.
Now, FSSAI on completion of deadline has asked Commissioners of Food Safety of all States/ UTs to take up special drive to inspect the units in this regard.
It has asked the Commissioners to furnish details on action taken report regarding compliance of notification; data on trans-fatty acids in interestified vegetable fat/ oil, margarine and hydrogenated vegetable oils; and report from FBOs on the technological changes, in any, carried out to bring down trans fatty acids within 5 per cent limit.
The reports have to be sent to FSSAI by September 30, 2017
Panaji: Training those involved in the food business in way of good sanitary and hygiene practices is a prerequisite to food safety and this is exactly what Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) recently launched the Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC) programme is looking to achieve.
In Goa, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is getting ready to commence implementation of the programme starting in the month of October.
“The programme entails training persons in food safety and nutrition through private participation. Empanelled auditors will conduct training programmes of varied durations,” said FDA director Salim Veljee, adding that as directed by the FSSAI, for the first two years, the FoSTac certification will be voluntary.
“(Eventually) it will be mandatory for food establishments to recruit a person holding FoSTac certification under the FoSTac regime, and the person will have to ensure food safety and hygiene at his/her place of employment,” said Veljee, adding, some 3000-odd food premises in Goa will be brought under the ambit of the programme.
Veljee said that with the implementation of this programme FDA would not need to carry out training and awareness campaigns in food safety from to time, adding that the involvement of private auditors will ease their job, leaving FDA staff to carry out their other functions that they would have had to otherwise defer due to time constraints.
“We cannot keep a 24X7 vigil. It is simply not possible,” said Veljee, adding that their limited staff strength did not permit them to check each and every eatery on a regular basis. The FDA is already in talks with various stakeholders in the state to enable the programme to commence in October.
Training partners will broadly include trade, professional and scientific associations, licensed food businesses, recognized academic and vocational institutions, those approved by various sectors of skill councils and other government schemes, and other training agencies, who have had at least three years of experience at the national or international level in training in food safety and nutrition.
For FDA, the FoSTac is a big step that would change the working of food establishments. There will be different levels of programmes covering various segments and duration of training programmes would vary depending on the targeted segment.
Veljee said a person running a ‘gaada’ selling vada pao will not able to devote eight hours of day to attend a training programme. For him and other such people, a training programme of shorter duration has been drawn.
In a joint raid by Vigilance and Enforcement Department, Food Safety wing of GVMC and Civil Supplies, the officials seized milk products that had crossed the expiry dates, here on Wednesday.
The officials, raided the premises of P. Suryakumari Agencies located in VUDA Colony at Madhavadhara and seized the products and took its owner Ganesh Kumar into custody.
According to DSP of Vigilance and Enforcement Department CM Naidu, the accused was running the store and two godowns without a valid licence. It was an unauthorised store and the expiry dates of some of the products especially milk products such as ghee, milk biscuits, milk chocolates and skimmed milk had lapsed, said Mr. Naidu.
The raid was led by Superintendent of Police of Vigilance and Enforcement Department D. Koteswara Rao
Personnel of the Commissioner’s Task Force cracked a whip against the persons involved in the preparation of adulterated food items like ice-creams and pickles in various parts of the town on Tuesday.
The Task Force police raided a popular hotel Shivas Biryani House and seized huge quantity of rotten and contaminated non-vegetarian food items – mutton and chicken and other materials used for preparation of biryani. The authorities seized the samples and sent them to food safety testing laboratory in Hyderabad and registered case against the hotel owner.
The police also raided ‘Quality Fun’ company in Ramnagar locality for the manufacture of adulterated ice-creams with cheap quality material for earning profits.
They also raided a house in Kothirampur locality and destroyed 5,000 kilograms of fungus infected pickles. The raids were conducted by Task Force Inspector Ghouse Baba, SIs Kiran, Santosh and Nagaraju, Food Inspector Amrutha Sri and others.
RAJOURI : In view of upcoming festive days of Eid-ul-Azha, a special squad comprising of AD FCS&CA Javaid Iqbal, Assistant Commissioner Food Safety and Standards, Assistant Controller Legal Metrology and officials of revenue, municipality, animal husbandry department and police today conducted extensive market checking and booked the defaulters under relevant sections of Food Safety Act.
In order to contain profiteering, blackmarketting and hoarding besides ensuring the quality of food items, fruits and vegetables the joint team held market checking in the main town including Gujjar Mandi, Malik Market and other adjoining markets. A huge quantity of adulterated food items, rotten fruits and vegetables, and expired packs of juices and milk were destroyed by the team and Rupees five thousand was realised from the defaulters.
The team also inspected various chicken and meat establishments in the town and instructed the concerned to strictly adhere to the laid down.
Directs Govt To Appoint Full-Time Food Safety Commissioner Under FSS Act
The High Court on Monday directed the state government to inform it by September 23 about the accreditation of food testing labs with National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL).
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, a division bench of Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Sanjeev Kumar sought an updated status report on the authentication and accreditation of the two food testing labs – Public Health Lab Dalgate Srinagar and Public Health Lab Patoli Jammu.
The directions came after the court was informed that trainings have been started before applying for the accreditation under NABL and Dr Lalitha R Gowda, chief scientist (Retd), Central Food Technological Research Institute, has been engaged for consultation on authentication of food labs.
On July 18 this year, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had told the High Court that the two food testing labs in the state are not accredited with NABL, which is otherwise mandatory.
Before issuing directions, the court today heard at length senior advocate and Amicus curie Bashir Ahmad Bashir and also additional advocate general Muhammad Iqbal Dar.
Observing that though the charge of commissioner food safety is held by Pawan Kotwal, commissioner secretary Health and Medical Education, the court underscored that there should be, indispensably in place, a full time commissioner food safety under Food Safety and Standards Act.
This, the court said, after it was informed that the finance department has already cleared the proposal for creation of commissioner food safety post and full time commissioner would be appointed very soon.
The court also sought status report on appointment of food safety officers by September end, after it was apprised that state Services Selection Board has already conducted examination of the candidates who have applied for the post and the final selection list will be out by September 30.
Counsel, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Mehmood Pracha, today submitted before the court that till the equipments are placed in food testing laboratories, the food officers can be directed to check the labels of packaged food articles under Food Safety and Standards Act 2006.
“Till the functioning of labs and after the requisite equipments are installed, the food safety officers can check packaged food products and verify as to whether the labels are in accordance with Food Safety and Standards (Labeling and Regulations) Act 2011.”
In case of any deviation, court said, appropriate action under the Act as also regulation be taken and sought status report by next hearing.
While the court was informed that Ashok Kumar Koul has been appointed as presiding officer for the food tribunal Jammu, it directed that support staff should be made available for the functioning of the tribunal in Srinagar also.
The court was also informed that the latest equipments have been installed in the food testing laboratory at Dalgate here and for complete installation it will take two to three days.
The court termed the status report filed by M I Dar as satisfactory.
Thiruvananthapuram: Use of monosodium glutamate (MSG), also known as ‘ajinomoto’, is rampant in restaurants serving Chinese food in the city.
As part of a raid conducted by the food safety department, improvement notices were served and fines imposed on restaurants which did not display notices stating that they are using MSG in food items. The raid was conducted in view of the Bakrid-Onam festival season.
As MSG is not banned by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, the department cannot restrict its usage. However, in an order issued two years ago, the food safety department had made it mandatory for restaurants using MSG to display it so that pregnant women and children will be on alert. But none of the restaurants displayed the statement. Many restaurants in the city have displayed that they are not using this taste enhancing food additive, creating a positive feel among consumers.
The food safety officials informed that they have found rampant use of MSG, but the eateries violated norms by not informing the consumers.
“If you take packaged products, it will clearly state that MSG is included. That is applicable to restaurants too. Studies have proved that consumption of MSG is not good for children below one year of age and pregnant women,” the officials said.
Apart from use of MSG, the common food safety violation noticed in eateries in the city was improper use of freezers.
“The freezers were not used properly. As per norms, freezer must be used at -18 degree celsius and fridge at 4 degree celsius. The temperature was not maintained.
Also cooked, half-cooked, vegetarian and non-vegetarian food items were kept together in plastic wraps. This would lead to contamination,” an official said.
The food safety officials also found that most of the employees of restaurants lacked medical fitness certificates.
The department has formed three squads for the district. Of this, the squad formed for the city has conducted inspections in 139 eateries and slapped improvement notices on 51 institutions. A fine of Rs 2.15 lakh was slapped on various eateries.
The health wing of the city Corporation inspected Buhari hotel at Attakulangara and Ariya Nivas at Aristo Junction on Thursday. Notice was issued to Buhari hotel to take steps to improve the hygiene there urgently. At Ariya Nivas, the health wing seized at least 200 kg of plastic carry bags used for packing food. The inspections were led by Corporation health officer Sasikumar, health supervisors Ushakaran and Rameshkumar, and health inspector N.V. Anilkumar. Inspections at hotels will continue in the days to come, a statement from the Corporation said.