Worms in Mid Day Meals – No action taken by Food Safety Dept.

Indore:

Despite worms being found in mid-day meal of a school and one month after the order for collection of samples of food items being served to children in government-run schools under mid-day meal scheme, district food safety department is yet to take any action. 
Only three days ago, a teacher of Government Middle School number-40 in Dhakkanwala Kuan, had spotted worms in the mid-day meal when the food was about to be served to the students. Following the incident, about 200 students of the school had refused to eat mid-day meal. They were ready to eat the food only after the senior officials from zila panchayat assured them of quality of the food. 
“Maintaining quality of the food being served under mid-day meal scheme should be priority of the authorities concerned since its main objective is to improve nutritional status of school children,” said a senior administrative official wishing anonymity. 
The scheme has remained helpful in increasing the enrolment, retention and attendance of children at government school, and thus, it increases responsibility of the departments concerned for its proper implementation, he added.

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Food Safety Enforcement News – India Updates – Sept 17

GENERAL

India likely to ban cheap Pepper imports siting quality concerns

For the past few months Cheap Pepper imports from Vietnam has been causing problems in India, as decline in domestic prices being the main problem. Now the Spices board has recommended a ban on imports of Pepper siting quality concerns.
Pepper prices in India has declined to about Rs 400 per kg from Rs 650 per kg about a year ago, on the back of cheap imports from Vietnam through Sri lanka. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has put the Vietnamese Pepper under the scanner for suspected contamination. 
Three months ago, the Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX), expecting to bring some stability in prices launched trading in Malabar Garbled Black Pepper futures contract, but due to the cheap import it did not get the desired result.
It is estimated that Vietnam has exported about 3000 tons of Pepper to Sri Lanka during July and another 2000 tons in August and from that a majority share has arrived in India. Import from Sri Lanka carries a duty of 8 percent under the SAARC agreement, compared with 70 percent from other countries.

Food safety body, NADA join hands to check doping substances, adulterants in sports nutrition products

NEW DELHI : 
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has signed a MoU with National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) to focus on collaborative efforts to address the issues of doping substances and other adulterants in food supplements and nutritional products used by sports professionals.
Under this agreement, the two government agencies have identified various areas which can be addressed through joint efforts by the two government agencies. A working group has been set up for more focused work in this direction, as part of this MoU.Working group
“The Working Group will comprise members of the FSSAI’s scientific panel on functional foods, nutraceuticals, dietetic products and other similar products along with representatives of NADA. Representatives of the Sports Authority of India (SAI), Narcotics Control Bureau and others, as and when required, may be co-opted in the Working Group,” an official statement added. Guidance on the use of labelling/claims for supplements and special dietary products meant for sports professionals and building capacity of the regulatory staff for effective surveillance and enforcements activities, are some of the areas which have been identified for collaboration.Five labs
FSSAI will also identify five labs, in a bid to build testing capacities in FSSAI-notified primary and referral laboratories for detection of doping substances and adulterants in sports-nutrition supplements and products.
In a statement, Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI, said that this MoU will help in developing and strengthening co-operation in the field of Sports Nutrition between the two government agencies. “This would also ensure that the food safety ecosystem in the field of sports nutrition becomes more robust over the time,” he added.
Navin Aggarwal, DG & CEO, NADA, said, “This holistic effort aims to provide an eco-system of safe food for sport professionals across the country. It is one of the significant steps for NADA to ensure healthy and safe supplements for competing athletes.”
DELHI

This Delhi Man Found Insects & Bugs In Domino’s Oregano Sachets

 
 
We all like to have days when we can kick back and relax with a chilled beverage and a pizza. Cooking seems like such a task these days and we’d rather spend that time watching TV or having a conversation. The pizza arrives and our gut instinct is to reach out for the packets that contain chilli flakes and oregano, and many of us sprinkle them all over our pizza without a second thought. They’re only condiments, right? Well, you may want to look closely from now on, for this man found insects in Dominos pizza oregano packets and he’s uploaded a revolting video on social media as proof.
Insects In Dominos Pizza Packets
Delhi’s Rahul Arora had ordered a pizza like any other person on Friday evening and fell ill the morning after. He happened to notice tiny insects moving around in the oregano sachets and even uploaded a video where he opens a completely sealed packet pours out the contents into a small steel bowl. You can immediately see the tiny brown insects scurrying away.
Domino’s has replied to Arora’s tweet saying that they follow strict procedures and that they’d want to investigate the matter with him over a private conversation. The sachets even have the FSSAI accreditation on them. In which case, we wonder whether brands really adhere to the rules and regulations that FSSAI has put into place when they package anything.
Rahul Arora later got a call from Domino’s offering to replace his order. But, he told them off by saying that the issue is not a home delivery complaint and that the illness was caused due to the consumption of contaminated food. It’s wrong to trivialise such a thing.
He has also registered a complaint with the Department of Consumer Affairs and is waiting for a response. As quoted to NDTV, he said that “I wonder what would have happened if this happened in the US,” and that “The chalta hai attitude towards Indian consumers should end.”
Now, we understand that Domino’s probably doesn’t package its own oregano, and it probably has outsourced this to another company that prints and packages the herbs under the name of the brand. This does lead us to think whether the source goes through quality check from time to time.
Update
Since the video and Arora’s story went viral over the internet, Domino’s has released a statement that says, “This is with respect to a Consumer Complaint received on 11th September 2017 regarding oregano sachets, supplied by one of our vendors, in an outlet in Gurugram. The Company has since carried out a comprehensive inspection across vendors & stores and would like to reassure that all our food ingredients are safe for consumption and we have not received any other complaint of this nature.” 
“Jubilant FoodWorks maintains stringent hygiene and quality standards for its products. All the vendors and manufacturing units are FSMS (food safety management systems) certified. We also have Hazard & Critical Control Points (HACCP) certified (globally accepted standard for quality certification) commissaries where we follow strict quality standards and have a regular Audit process of all ingredients used.”
“Jubilant FoodWorks values its consumer’s experience and would like to reassure all its Consumers about best quality products, service and a great Domino’s experience at all times.”
 

Fungal Infection on imported wheat: Food safety nod must for distribution, Says Kerala HC

KOCHI: Imported wheat that was found to have fungal infection should not be distributed without the approval of food safety commissioner, the Kerala high court has ordered.
While issuing the directive, a division bench led by the chief justice said it is not possible to compromise in the matter of food safety and health. The court was considering an appeal filed by the state government regarding release of wheat imported by a private firm that was seized upon finding that it is not fit for use.
Kozhikode-based PK Roller Flour Mills had imported 20,000 tonnes of wheat from Ukraine through Kochi port in December last year. Food safety department had seized the wheat alleging that the wheat had fungal infection and is old.
Challenging the food safety department’s action at the high court, the company had alleged that the wheat can be used after washing and drying it. A single bench had allowed for inspecting 20 tonnes of the wheat stored at a warehouse of the port after washing it. The company then sought a directive to shift the wheat to Kozhikode for washing. The court allowed such action to be carried out in the presence of an advocate commissioner.
During the hearing on the appeal filed by the food safety commissioner, state government contended that the wheat is not fit for human consumption and distribution of the wheat would create health problems.
MAHARASHTRA

FDA steps up to raise the food safety standards in temples

Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken the batten to raise the hygiene and food standards in temples of the state. FDA will be conducting several workshops and training session around 254 temple trusts across the state and will impart technical skills to the participants which will help them in maintaining the quality of food.
The initiative will be flagged off in Mumbai on Wednesday, September 13, at Iskcon Temple, Juhu.
The initiative called the Blissful Hygienic Offering to God (BHOG) was launched by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in Prabhadevi-based Siddhivinayak Temple. Training will be conducted in various districts across the state throughout September.
Dr Pallavi Darade, Commissioner, FDA said “53 temple trusts and vendors who prepare various kinds of Prasad will be attending the first session. The topics to be covered include food safety, ingredients, packaging, and hygiene.
The session will help temple trusts maintain proper standards of food hygiene. Participants would be introduced to a scientific approach to safety concerns and learn about the rules and regulation of food safety,” Darade said.
“More training sessions will be planned depending upon the number of temple trusts that come forward. We will be training 3,000 people and 254 temples,” said CD Salunke, Joint Commissioner, FDA. In October, restaurant and hotel staff in Mumbai will also receive training by the FDA.
PUNJAB

1,200 food outlets have no licence, registration in dist: FSDA

Meerut: In an ongoing two-month survey conducted by the Food Safety and Drugs Administration (FSDA) authorities, as many as 1,200 food outlets in Meerut district were found to be running without licences or registrations that are mandatory for their functioning. The survey is being carried out to ensure that no food outlet is run illegally in the district.
Giving details, Archana Dheeran, designated officer, FSDA, said, “According to the instructions that have come from the state government authorities, we have been told to conduct a survey in the entire district to identify the food outlets which have not registered or taken a licence from us. Once identified, they will be given 20 days to comply with the rules or a case will be registered against them.”
It should be noted that a food outlet with an annual turnover of less than Rs 12 lakh needs to have a “registration” which can be obtained for a fee of Rs 100 every year. Similarly, a food outlet with an annual turnover of more than Rs 12 lakh has to get a licence for Rs 2,000 a year.
Dheeran said, “The survey is being done so as to make people aware about registrations and licences as these are necessary as per norms. Also it is necessary to ensure that no person selling food, even on a push cart, does not operate without a food licence. Until now, we have identified 1,200 food outlets in Meerut which do not have any registrations or licences from the department and have been issued notices. We expect to identify more such outlets by the time we end the survey.”
TAMILNADU
 

Food Safety Enforcement News – India updates – Sept 10

GENERAL

FSSAI working on inspection framework for safe food 

NEW DELHI : 

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is coming up with a comprehensive inspection framework to ensure supply of safe, hygienic and nutritious food, an official said here on Friday.

“We are working with comprehensive approach which we are calling safe and nutritious food shared responsibility, in which we are trying to reach out to Indian homes, schools, work places, restaurants, street food vendors, railways, temples,” FSSAI Chief Executive Officer Pawan Agarwal said at a FICCI event.

“On the food practices standards, we are very much far behind and this is one area of focus where we depend quite extensively on professionals who work in the food industry. We are somewhat unfortunate that general awareness about standards of food safety and hygiene is very low.”
Agarwal said that a new regulatory arrangement was being put in place to support the enforcement of regulations.

He said there were about 135 food laboratories set up by the private sector, which were recognised by the FSSAI, in addition to 90 government laboratories, most of which are under state governments’ control.

He said the FSSAI did not have food inspectors as food inspection was largely done by state governments.

Asking the food industry for collaboration, the FSSAI chief said: “Our efforts should be building coalition of stakeholders, who can jointly take responsibility. If we join hands together, our number of food inspectors will go above 20,000 in US.”
He said the FSSAI worked with science organisations, research institution to create standards for food business to operate in this country.

 

ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS

Contraband tobacco seized

Port Blair, Sep 06: Continuing the strict action against illegal sale of contraband tobacco products, on 05/09/2017& 06/09/2017 a team of Food Safety Officials lead by the District Food Safety Officer, South Andaman conducted surprise raids in connection with storage and distribution of contraband tobacco products at Aberdeen village, Shadipur, Wimberlygunj and Bambooflat, wherein large quantities of contraband tobacco products were seized fromFood Business Operators (FBOs). The details of the FBOs who premises were inspected, closed and sealed are Shri. Gyanashekhar, R/o Shadipur, Smti. G. Shanti, R/o Phoniex Bay and Shri. K.Jaleel, prop. M/s Hotel Fatima, R/o Wimberlygunj and Smti. S. Marudhachi, R/o Shadipur. All the contraband tobacco items were seized under the appropriate section of the Act and legal proceedings are being initiated against the offenders under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. Till now 44 premises have been sealed for the violation.
The Commissioner Food Safety have warned the travelers who are travelling from mainland to Port Blair by Air or by Ship should not carry the contraband tobacco products with them and also warned the Food Business Operators not to store/stock/display or sale any contraband tobacco products in their premises and storage area and if the enforcement staff on their inspection if found any contraband tobacco products, stringent action will be initiated against the errant FBOs including sealing of premises and cancellation of licenses.
All the general public is hereby requested to pass on contraventions found if any on food safety to the Commissioner of Food Safety, A&N Islands at No. 03192-231024/9434280018 or on District Control Room No. 1070 for strict actions against violators.
KERALA
No food safety violations during Onam
There are 16 Food Safety Officers in the district, for thousands of street food vendors.
Elders from various old age homes through out the state celebrated Onam with much fervour over the week. From laying flower carpets to special stage performances and traditional onam games their celebrations were no less than the rest of malayalis.
Thiruvananthapuram: The office of the Commissioner of Food Safety has no cases of violation of food safety norms to report this Onam, even though there are many street food vendors at various Onam week celebration venues. But celebrating this might be premature because one has to factor in how short-staffed the office is. There are 16 Food Safety Officers in the district, for thousands of street food vendors.
The actual number of street food joints is not clear. Both the state-level and district-level officials said that they did not know the actual number. When asked whether the current number of FSOs was sufficient, a district-level official said they would not be able to talk to the media about it. Under Kerala Vyapari-Vyavasayi Samithi’s Fast Food Owners’ Association, there are 786 food truck owners as members in the district, according to its district president P Stanley. 
Some truck owners own more than one food truck. So the actual number of food trucks in the district could be more than 786. He says that the number of ‘Thattukada owners’ under KVVS in Kovalam area alone is around 450. When asked if the officials will be doing the rounds to check the safety of food given out by the vendors, an official at the state office said that they would focus on their respective health circles. The FSOs are supported by the Food Safety intelligence wing. Still the total number of officials would not be adequate to cover the thousands of food vendors in the district.
 

FDA seizes substandard betel nut costing Rs 3.87 cr

Nagpur: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials have seized sub-standard betel nut costing Rs3.87 crore in raids conducted in last two days in various city godowns and cold godowns following information from public sources. FDA has sent 12 samples for testing.
FDA joint commissioner Shashikant Kekare told TOI that the biggest seizure costing over Rs2.5 crore was made from a single godown near Surabardi from Shri Vidyasagar Roadways. “Since the publication of the news of adulterated and substandard betel nut in newspapers, in last one month, FDA has been getting many calls from citizens informing about the storage at various places. We have seized only betel nuts. We are sure it will prove substandard and adulterated,” he said.
The other seizures were made at Jaiswal Trading Company, Chikli Lay Out Kalamna, Bhopal Indore Roadlines, Bhandara road, Royal Marketing, Itwari, PPP Enterprise, Telipura, Trimurti Traders, Maskasath, PM Company, Telipura, ST Traders, Itwari and Nandi Gruh Udyog, Chikli Lay Out.
The raids were conducted under the supervision of Kekare and assistant commissioners FDA (food) Milind Deshpande and Sharad Kolte. The other team members included Abhay Deshpande, Manoj Tiwari, Vindo Dhawad, Praful Tople, Amit Uplap, Seema Surkar, Akhilesh Raut, Anand Mahajan, Bhaskar Nandanwar, Lalit Soyam, Anant Chaudhary and Pravin Umap from the vigilance wing of FDA.
The raids were conducted under the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Act and the 2011 rules.

PUNJAB

Moga: Health department raided juice shops

 
Moga – Food Team of District Health Department raided the food selling shops at various places including Amritsar Road, Ludhiana-Ferozepur Road, under the leadership of Additional Food Commissioner Madam Harpreet Kaur and District Food Safety Officer Abhinav Khosla. The team was raided on the streets and stalls of fruit Juice especially in the city, during which the fruit for serving to customer was get destroyed by the team on the spot.
Meanwhile, the authorities instructed the vendors to use fresh and good quality fruits to prepare the juice. Mr. Khosla informed that they must registered immediate, who do not have the licence to sell. Apart from this, samples of food items like dal, bakery biscuits and a sample of other food, from various suspected shops were taken. They said that because of the Festival season, they will continue the process of inspection.
TAMILNADU
Kerala gets packaged milk from Dindugal with Hydrogen Per oxide
Dindigul: Presence of hydrogen peroxide has been detected in packaged milk that arrived from Dindigul in Tamil Nadu. The milk, meant for distribution in parts of Kerala, was subjected to regular test at a Dairy Development Project Society at Meenakshipuram on Tuesday evening when the compound was detected.

The vehicles which transported the milk carried the name of Dindigul A R Dairyfood Private Limited. The milk packets were distributed under the brand Malabar Milk. Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) was found in packets of toned and double toned milk. The compound was found in 2,700 one-litre packets of toned milk, 2640 packets of double-toned milk (500 ml) and 280 packets of regular milk (1 litre). Though the trucks had brought cow milk and full -cream milk along with these packets, H2O2 was not found in those packs. The trucks and the milk have been handed over to the Food Safety Department. Food Safety Assistant Commissioner George Varghese K M said the milk will be returned to the company and will not be allowed to be marketed in Kerala.

Hydrogen peroxide is normally used as an oxidizer, bleaching agent and disinfectant.

Food Safety Enforcement News – India updates – Sept 3

GENERAL

FSSAI asks States to inspect units manufacturing, processing edible oil over compliance of max 5% trans fatty acids norm

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
 

Soon, food biz will require staff certified in safety, hygiene practices

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.

ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS

AP / TELENGANA

‘Expired’ milk products seized in raid

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

Food Safety in city – a myth

It’s a precarious position with only three food inspectors for 30 circles
When Bobbili Kiran Goud, a customer to a high profile restaurant complained about finding an insect in the food to the GHMC Food Safety wing, the answer he received was bemusing. The official concerned replied that he was busy at the moment, and could inspect the food joint only after two days.
In fact, the corporation officials who are to monitor food standards have their hands too busy and overflowing with work to take prompt action as soon as the complaint is received.
For the 30 circles in five zones of the corporation, there are only three food inspectors, and one among them is burdened with multiple responsibilities. This leaves food safety in numerous joints, hotels, restaurants and hospitals in a precarious position. “I have to handle cases pertaining to three zones and within 47 police station areas. Is it humanly possible to conduct field inspections in such wide geographical range ?” an official questions. Apart from ensuring food safety, the officials are also laden with additional responsibilities of attending court cases and RTI queries.
A deputy food controller has been appointed on deputation from Institute of Preventive Medicine to handle two more zones. Nevertheless, the official admits that food served by many restaurants and food joints does not match up to the standards, and at quite a few places, the conditions are “appalling”. It has been more than three months since the Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao has sanctioned 26 posts of Food Inspectors, among the total 226 posts which received the nod.
However, the notification for filling up the posts has not been issued so far by the Telangana State Public Service Commission which is the recruiting authority. “After the notification is issued, it will take a minimum of eight to nine months for the recruitment process to be completed. After that, training of the candidates will take a few more months,” says the official.
The file pertaining to recruitments has reportedly been already sent to the TSPSC by the Municipal Administration and Urban Development Department.

Police raids hotels to check food adulteration

 
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.

J & K

Market checking team realizes Rs 5000 as fine

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.

High Court seeks updated info on accreditation of Food Testing Laboratories

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.
KERALA

Improvement notices served to city restaurants

 
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.

Food safety inspections at hotels

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.
 

Online registration for FBOs

Imphal : Designated Officer/Chief Medical Officer, Tamenglong district, in a statement informed all the Food Business Operators (FBOs) in the district that Online Licensing/Registration may be available on the website http://www.foodlicensing.fssai.gov.in.
It asked the FBOs to comply with the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, Rules and Regulations, 2011

PUNJAB

Midday Meal Authority asks FSDA to inspect food being served in schools

Meerut: In an attempt to check adulteration in food being served as midday meal to government school students, the Midday Meal (MDM) Authority has instructed the Food Safety and Drugs Administration (FSDA) to inspect cooked meals in schools and take samples of the same to ensure that children are not served substandard food.
While FSDA is supposed to carry out these checks routinely, the fresh set instructions have been issued as some of the districts were found to be not complying with the set guidelines.
“FSDA has been instructed to take samples of cooked food prepared as midday meals to check its quality and submit a report to the task force formed for this purpose and also to the respective basic shiksha adhikaris,” read the order issued by Abdul Samad, director, Midday Meal Authority.
It should be noted that the state’s annual work plan submitted to the Centre also includes a report on the quality of midday meals prepared in government schools.
“All food safety officers are instructed to take samples of cooked meals from schools. These samples should be taken in a way that in one month at least 10 schools are covered. The report should be presented before the basic shiksha adhikari and the task force set up for this purpose,” read the order issued by Samad.
The letter further stated that food samples should be checked for adulterants and biological contamination.
Virendra Kumar, divisional midday meal coordinator, said, “The main problem with FSDA officials in Meerut is that though they take samples of food prepared in midday meals, their reports are delayed. For instance, the report of a sample of food that was taken in December has not arrived even till date.”
WEST BENGAL
 

Food Safety Enforcement News – India Updates – Aug 28

ANADAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS

AP / TELENGANA

Adulterated ghee seized

Amid growing concerns over adulteration of food items in the city, the Ibrahimpatnam police on Sunday seized a huge quantity of adulterated ghee, that was made in the city, at Ibrahimpatnam.
According to the police, a trader in Autonagar of the city was allegedly making adulterated ghee by mixing cooking oil in a small quantity of original ghee. The trader was on his way to deliver an order of 5,800 litres of ghee at Jaggaiahpeta of the district and was transporting the adulterated ghee in a transport van from his unit.
When the van reached Ibrahimpatnam, the police found the unpacked ghee in unhygienic condition and seized the product. Samples were sent to food safety authorities.
GOA

FDA raids sweet shop in Betim

Panaji: Officials from the directorate of food and drugs administration (FDA) stopped operations of Sunrise sweet manufacturing unit at Malim, Betim, on Thursday as most of the sweets were being prepared in unhygienic conditions. During the raid, FDA officials also found 15 bags of mava stored in unclean surroundings. The unit was later sealed by officials in the evening.
Officials told reporters that the raid was conducted as part of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival and added that FDA is targeting sweet manufacturing units as some of the mixtures used to prepare sweets are stored in unhygienic conditions. FDA officials also told reporters that the mava bags were misbranded. They also found packets of farsan without proper manufacturing and expiry dates which were being stored in unsanitary conditions.
The raiding team comprised of senior FDA officer, Richard Noronha, food safety officer Atul Dessai and others.
ORISSA

Orissa food safety dept may get a facelift

 
New Delhi, August 26: The Orissa food safety department, often marred with shortage of staff and infrastructure, is likely to get some assistance from the Central government which can help it work towards food safety.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) plans to assist Orissa and other states by boosting their infrastructure and also help them in fulfilling their staff crunch issue.
According to the FSSAI plan, it is likely to infuse more junior food analyst and food analysts’ posts October to fill the gaps in the states which can help increase the food safety magnitude and quality in the state.
As per records, a number of food safety officers’ posts are reportedly lying vacant in the state which makes the work of food testing and action against the guilty a tough task. 
The state also suffers from shortage of food analysts who can check the food samples for safety of human consumption.
Moreover, the FSSAI has also planned to start ‘food safety on wheels’ in the state where they can act as multi-purpose vans for food testing, public awareness and other purposes which can help towards ensuring food safety in the state besides linking all the state labs with a Central system termed as Indian Food Laboratory Network.
Meanwhile, plans are also underway to strengthen 45 state food labs by providing state-of-the-art high-end food testing equipment, including microbiology labs.
As per the FSSAI records, Orissa is said to have recorded 61 cases of food safety violations in one single year in 2015-16 and 112 cases in 2014-15.
TAMILNADU

Tobacco products seized

Officials of Food Safety and Drug Administration department seized one tonne of banned tobacco products from a house situated along Palladam – Manickapuram Road on Sunday evening.
K. Tamilselvan, the Food Safety Designated Officer, told The Hindu that the tobacco products were kept in the house which was used as a makeshift godown. “We have sent the samples of the items seized to government-recognised laboratories to officially ascertain that the materials were tobacco products,” he said.
Once the report was received, criminal prosecution would be initiated against the house owner, he added.

Food Safety Enforcement News – India updates – August 27-2017

GENERAL

FSSAI plans food safety index to measure performance of States

Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI
Regulator proposes to deploy 62 mobile food lab units across the country
NEW DELHI, AUGUST 22: 
In a bid to encourage States to have a robust food safety ecosystem, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) will soon launch a food safety index to measure their performance on various parameters.
In addition, the food regulator has asked the Indian Railways, which had been earlier slammed by the Comptroller and Auditor General for serving poor quality food, to conduct an internal audit. This will be followed by a third party audit.
Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI, said here on Tuesday: “We are developing an index that will measure the performance of States on various parameters of food safety to promote positive competition among them. All the States are in agreement on this and we hope to launch this soon.” The various parameters will include status of food safety infrastructure, manpower, enforcement, training capacity and steps to address consumer grievances, among others.
Replying to a query on food safety issues concerning the Railways, he said: “We have asked them to conduct an internal audit first and then we will conduct a third party audit of food safety system in the Railways.”
Agarwal was speaking at an FSSAI event to launch key initiatives, including “Food Safety on Wheels”, to strengthen the country’s food testing infrastructure.Mobile food labs
Under the Food Safety on Wheels initiative, 62 mobile food lab units will be deployed across the country for food testing, public education and awareness and for conducting training and certification programmes. The mobile labs will help officials of various States and Union Territories to enhance their surveillance activities and outreach even in far-flung areas.
The multi-purpose vehicles will have a fully functional laboratory equipped with basic infrastructure for quick testing for detection of common adulterants in various food commodities, FSSAI said in a statement. Nine mobile units were flagged off on Tuesday. The regulator has also launched a digital solution to connect all the government and private food labs to a centralised lab management system called InFolNet (Indian Food Laboratory Network).High-end testing
The regulator is also working on further strengthening 45 State food labs by providing them high-end testing equipment. Other initiatives include conducting Junior Analyst Examination to attract young talent and plans to set up an international training centre in Mumbai in collaboration with the Export Inspection Council.
“We are making a holistic effort by using digital solutions, strengthening food safety infrastructure, enhancing testing and training capacities as well as growing the pool of trained food analysts to give a big push to country’s food testing system,” Agarwal added.

AP / TELENGANA

Food testing lab likely in Vijayawada

Collector says investigation into food adulteration cases will be speeded up
A food sample testing laboratory is likely to be established in Vijayawada to maintain better food standards as prescribed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.
“We are now relying on the laboratory in Hyderabad for testing the food samples collected during the raids. We have recently proposed to the State government to set up the laboratory in Vijayawada,” District Collector B. Lakshmikantam told The Hindu . “The investigation into the food adulteration cases will be speeded up if the results are released early,” Mr. Lakshmikantam added.
GOA

FDA continues its food safety drive

10 food outlets in Calangute issued closure notices
MAPUSA: Food & Drug Administration continued its food safety drive where in the team along with Calangute Panchayat conducted joint inspection at Calangute Market area on Monday.
During this inspection, 16 food outlets were inspected of which around 10 joints were issued closure notices till the next FDA order. These 10 outlets were found operating in extremely unhygienic conditions with dirty utensils. FDA team also collected food samples for further testing.
The issue of unhygienic food joints in Calangute was raised during last gram sabha by Calangute Panchayat where the locals had complained about poor quality of food.
The FDA headed by Richard Noronha comprised of Abel Rodrigues, Amit Mandrekar, Madhav Kavlekar, Shruti Pilarnekar, Rohidas Gawas and Sainath Mandrekar.
J & K 

Dy CM for effective enforcement of food safety rules

Srinagar :
Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh today directed the officers concerned to put in place a vibrant and robust mechanism in order to check the food adulteration and ensure strict enforcement of food safety and standard rules. 
The Deputy Chief Minister was addressing officers during a meeting regarding delegation of powers to food safety officers of urban local bodies. 
Dr Singh asked the officers to ensure that the requisite parameters already enshrined in the rules should be strictly enforced so that the adulteration of food and other related items is checked. 
He also asked for putting in place the requisite mechanism so that regular checks are conducted and necessary feedback obtained from the consumers as well as the market. 
The Deputy Chief Minister also directed for utilising the services of trained human resource so that the desired results are obtained. 
He said that this would go a long way in improving the quality of food items and other related things to the consumers. 
Dr Singh said ensuring safe food is a priority of the government. 
He said it is the collective responsibility of all to work together for creating awareness among the people about safe and nutritious food. 
The Deputy Chief Minister said safe and nutritious food is essential to ensure public health as taking unsafe and spurious food can create critical problems and negative impact on the public health. 
He said we have to change our mentality to ensure environment-friendly safe food and added that an effective mechanism is vital in taking proper steps for overcoming different problems in food production, import, processing, preserving, supplying and marketing. 
KARNATAKA
KERALA

Food safety: 17 establishments served closure notice

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In a raid conducted by department of food safety as part of Bakrid-Onam festival season, 17 establishments were served closure notices with had serious violation of food safety norms.
Food safety commissionrate has started raids in food business establishment in the state from Sunday. In the raids conducted in the past two days, the food safety department has slapped a total fine of Rs 17.82 lakhs and served notices on 510 establishments. It has conducted inspections in 1019 establishments.
In Thiruvananthapuram, a fine of Rs 1.7 lakh was slapped and notices were served to 21 establishments. In Kollam, Rs 1.5 lakh fine was slapped on various establishments. Notices were served to 46 establishments.
In Pathanamthitta and Alappuzha, 30 and 29 establishments were served improvement notices. Thirty five establishments were served notices in Kottayam. Closure notice was served to one establishment each in Idukki, Ernakulam and Pathanamthitta districts. Operations of five establishments were stopped in Kollam.
The raids will continue in the coming days. For the first time, food safety department has started 40 squads for raids.
MANIPUR

Online food licence

IMPHAL |
The State Food Safety commissioner, government of Manipur has notified that all the food business operators in eleven districts namely, Ukhrul, Tamenglong, Senapati, Kamjong, Noney, Kangpokpi, Chandel, Pherzwal, Kakching, Tengnoupal and Jiribam to avail the online services for food licence/registration and comply with the provisions of Food Safety Standards Act, 2006 and Rules and Regulations, 2011, said a release.
It said that manual applications will not be entertained by the State Licensing and Registering Authority for food license/registration for the eleven districts of the state in which online services have been launched

FSSAI disposes massive quantity of food products and tobacco items

In a move to raise the safety and food quality bar, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has disposed of a massive quantity of food products and tobacco items. According to the report, these items were imported from Myanmar and were seized from various parts of Manipur.
Officials of Food Safety Administration, Thoubal disposed the items worth Rs 51,441 at the garbage area of Thoubal Municipal Council, Thoubal Khunou . Speaking to the media, Chairperson of Thoubal Municipal Council Th Shyamo stated that several items were seized between May 25- June 24 by a team of Thoubal Municipal Council members and district police and was later handed to Food Safety, Thoubal.
The disposed of items also included expired eatables and tobacco items which were seized by different organisations and police including DESAM Thoubal District Committee, Yairipok police, Khongjom police and Thoubal police along with Food Safety, Thoubal.
He lauded the police teams and organisations for assisting in making the drive successful and sought cooperation and support from the people while conducting the food and tobacco drive.
Designated officer of Food Safety Administration, Thoubal N Debendro, Food Safety officers, Thoubal namely S Surendra, Md Altaff Hussain and A Brojendro, SDC, Thoubal Subinson Sapam, OC of Thoubal, Khongjom and Yairipok witnessed the disposal.
PUNJAB

Health Department seals water-bottling plant

 
Amritsar, August 21 The Health Department sealed a water-bottling plant being run from a home in the Chehharta area here today. The plant selling bottled water under the brand name of G-Aqua did not have requite licences from the Food Safety and Standards Authority and the Bureau of Indian Standards, said the District Health Officer, Dr Lakhbir Singh Baghowalia. 
The DHO said that the plant was using the water supplied by the Municipal Corporation and did not even had any equipment to check the quality of water. The Health Department team also raided another plant, namely Silver Healthy Sip and collected samples. 
“The owners of the plant gave us in writing that they were shutting down the plant. But we have collected samples of water and if the quality is not proper, action will be taken against them,” said the DHO. The water samples from various other water bottling plants were also collected. 
The DHO said that they also inspected two plants which are selling cold water in water coolers to shopkeepers and other commercial establishments. These two units, namely Bharti Enterprises and Silver Bubbles also could not produce any licences. 
However, as the water was not sold in packings, the Health Department has asked the MC to take action. “Unpacked water does not come under our purview and so the MC has been asked to check the quality and take action,” said Dr Baghowalia.
RAJASTHAN

2 more spice units raided, 15,000kg of raw material seized

JAIPUR: On the third day of crackdown on spice units, health authorities on Sunday raided two more units and seized another 15,000 kg of raw material belonging to the Chandpole trader, who is accused of selling adulterated spices.
Officials recovered 54 bags containing 50kg of spices from one unit, and 250 bags from another unit situated in VKI area.
The officials have collected samples of spices from the two units and sent them for testing.
On Friday, health officials had sealed a factory producing spices using inedible colours. The unit was allegedly preparing adulterated spice powders— chilli, turmeric and coriander, by using wheat husk, rice, dried coriander stalks and inedible colours.
A team headed by chief medical health officer (Jaipur-I) Dr Narottam Sharmacomprising food safety officers Virendra Singh, Sushil Chotwani and Shashi Kumarare investigating the matter.
They have so far seized more than 62,000 kg of dried chilli, turmeric, rice, husk, coriander stalks and other material, which was allegedly used for preparing adulterated spices.
One Jai Prakash is the key accused involved in the trade, officials said.
On Saturday, officials had seized 40,000 kg of spices belonging to him, which were kept in three cold storages.
Officials said that Sunday’s raids were in connection with the raids conducted on Friday and Saturday.

TAMILNADU

Adulterated oil seized

The officials of the Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department conducted a surprise check in shops and stalls at the weekly shandy in Karumanthurai on Saturday and seized 1,021 litres of adulterated oil .
The team, led by S. Mariappan, district designated officer of the department, also seized and destroyed outdated eatables and other products worth about Rs. 10,000 on the occasion.
Meanwhile, the Food Safety Department registered cases against five concerns last month on the charges of marketing adulterated goods. The officials conducted surprise checks in shops and manufacturing concerns in Salem city and in the towns of Attur, Sankagiri, Mettur, Edappadi and found adulterated sago, oil, pepper in the market.
The department booked five firms for marketing adulterated products and legal action was initiated against them.
TELENGANA
UTTARKHAND

Food safety dept lodges cases against 17 outlets

DEHRADUN: The food safety department registered cases against 17 shops and restaurant owners in Dehradun for keeping substandard quality food products. Cases have been lodged in the Additional District Magistrate court in Dehradun against the 17 outlets samples from where had been collected in the last three months.
Recently, oil sample collected from a major supermarket in Rajpur Road was tagged as substandard as it didn’t meet the required iodine percentage as mentioned in the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) guidelines.
Ganesh Kandwal, designated food safety officer in Dehradun, said, “Majority of samples that failed the guidelines were from smalltime shopkeepers, who generally do not maintain the cleanliness norm.” He added that the focus will remain on milk samples.
Said to be a significant drive of the department, collection and testing of samples are being affected due to the shoddy infrastructure. Unavailability of electricity, lack of staff at the Rudrapur-based food safety laboratory is causing a major hindrance to the drive.
A officer of the department said, “Even though we try to conduct raids and collect samples as per the set norms, the samples go stale after being kept in the laboratory for days together.”
Though the department has been provided with a special machine from Delhi for checking milk samples, there is still a need for a controlled environment and special arrangements for conducting the tests. Also, just one machine is not sufficient for the entire state.

Food Safety Enforcement News – India updates – Aug 20

AP / TELENGANA

Officials plan crackdown on street food joints

VIJAYAWADA: Food safety officials are bracing up to inspect street food centres in the city as complaints against food carts have been increasing day by day. Officials say that cooking oil and water used at food carts are highly dangerous. Food adulteration or use of unsafe ingredients in food items is quite common in street food joints and push carts.The majority of food carts in the city are unlicensed and they are preparing food using adulterated ingredients at unhygienic places. 
Consuming food from these places may bring serious health problems. 
Food safety officials admit that they are getting many complains against push carts in the city. They claim that at the time of inspections, the push carts will remain shut or or they change their places.Speaking to Express, N Poornachandar Rao, Assistant food controller, said, “In a short span, we are going to raid all the food carts in the city — both licensed and unlicensed. We have received many complaints from the public regarding unhygienic conditions of street food centres. In fact, many of these carts are unlicensed. Many of them are on encroached spaces or on the drains. In many cases, we found that these joints are using adulterated ingredients like used oil, unsafe water and rotten vegetables.”
He warned that people must be careful in choosing a food cart especially when it is not located in a clean environment. 
“Fast food joints like noodles and fried rice stalls generally use adulterated oil and spices. In some cases, noodles and rice are cooked in wastewater. In food carts where they sell bhajji’s, usually the batter and chutneys would have a mix of leftovers, which is highly dangerous.” complained second year student P Sowmya, who was badly affected with food poisoning after eating from a roadside shop. 
“Usually I like to have golgappas and have them at my regular place. But one day, I had with my friend at another place in Satyanarayanapuram, where the cart is just adjacent to an overflowing drain and the food is not that great. Ignoring all this, I started eating. Later, I was admitted to a hospital.”
“It is the worst experience for me, which made me to avoid all roadside foods,” she says.
 

ASSAM

Chemically treated bananas seized

A team of district administration officials seized stalks of chemically treated bananas from two godowns in Kalibari here on Tuesday evening. The crackdown was led by Additional Deputy Commissioner Sanjay Dutta, Assistant Commissioners Runabh Ramsiary, Uday Shankar Dutta and Food Safety Officer Dilip Panging. They seized huge quantity of bananas as those were found unfit for human consumption.

GOA

FDA finds unhygienic conditions at Curlies restaurant, shuts it

Mapusa/Panaji: The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) on Thursday ordered the closure of the restaurant at Curlies Beach Shack at Anjuna after its inspecting team found that it operated under extremely unhygienic conditions.
The FDA noted 30 deficiencies, including food cooked in the open, kitchen having direct access to washrooms and use of food colour in cooking, among others.
FDA director Salim Veljee told TOI that the food handlers were not following basic hygiene. “The storage of food items as well as intermediate items was not hygienic, and while cooking was done in an open area, the kitchen had direct access to toilets,” said Veljee.
The restaurant manager also failed to produce the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) license, Veljee said.
A source said the FDA officials noted that the refrigerators were not only rusted, but were unclean, too. Besides, the right refrigeration temperature was not maintained.
As to the use of food colours, senior food safety officer Rajiv Korde said, “As per the Food Safety Act, use of food colours is not allowed in any food preparation as the food become unsafe. We found food colours used in cooked items and ordered that the food be destroyed.”
The restaurant will remain shut till the compliance report is filed by its operator and deficiencies are not rectified.

KERALA

Special food safety drive during Onam

 
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In order to prevent food safety issues during Onam season, the food safety commissioner has constituted 40 squads to carry out inspections in manufacturing units, restaurants, hotels and wayside shops across the state.
Food safety commissioner Navjot Khosa has also sent letters to food safety commissioners in the neighbouring states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, urging them to increase surveillance during the period.
Being a consumerist state, Kerala depends on these states for its food requirements. Khosa‘s letter has expressed concerns over possible adulteration of products like milk, coconut oil, fruits, vegetables and chicken which are brought from other states.
Khosa requested the neighbouring states to increased surveillance and inspection in the production units there.
Food safety department officials said that manufacturers use innovative methods to hide adulteration. Food safety assistant commissioner Anil Kumar said that cheaper oils like palm oil and palm kernel oil are pushed into the market, instead of coconut oil. “It is difficult to detect this through tests because the manufacturers have found new ways to ensure that the samples meet the parameters of coconut oil,” he said.
PUNJAB

FSDA collects 61 food samples in anti-adulteration drive

Meerut: Food Safety and Drugs Administration (FSDA) officials raided at least 60 different sweet shops and bakeries during a week-long drive around Raksha Bandhan and collected 61 suspected food samples. In a report regarding the same, FSDA said that the results of samples testing are expected within a month after which action will be taken if required.
“Ahead of Raksha Bandhan, we conducted a week-long drive against adulteration and took samples of oil, milk, milk products, sweets, sauce and other suspected items from various food outlets in rural and urban areas. The 61 samples have been sent to Lucknow laboratory for testing,” said Archana Dheeran, designated officer, FSDA.
“We also issued improvement notices to outlets which were found to be preparing food in unhygienic conditions. If they are again found to be doing the same, an inquiry will be ordered against them,” added Dheeran.

TELENGANA

UTTAR PRADESH

UPFDA to tighten its grip on unlicensed, unregistered FBOs

 
Uttar Pradesh, the State Food and Drug Administration has decided to initiate a drive across the state against unlicensed and unregistered Food Business Operators (FBO). The step is taken to ensure high quality and safety in the state’s food business.
One of the officials of the UPFDA informed that FBOs can only operate their business freely if they possess legal license or registration as per the mandate of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. Ramaraj Maurya, Additional Commissioner, UPFDA, stated that the state authority had planned a drive and will check if there is any FBO operating without a valid license or registration.
“It has been mandated by the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 that any FBO found operating without a valid license or registration will be penalised,” he added. 
“We will ensure that every FBO operates with a prescribed license or registration as required. For this, we plan to start a drive,” Maurya reiterated. However, he did not specify a timeline for the drive. Last Year, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has given the deadline of 4th August, 2016 to obtain the license and it has stopped taking the requests after that. The apex body was more keen on educating FBOs about the responsibilities under the act rather than merely providing a license to them.
Commenting on the issue, Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, FSSAI, said, “It is a continuous process, and FSSAI regularly issues directives to the state authorities to make sure that the FBOs operate with valid licenses and registrations.”
“However, no directive has been issued to a particular state. Each state has been given the autonomy to act independently of others. They can take action, including penalising or compounding errant FBOs. The powers have been mentioned in the Act,” he added.
Agarwal said, “To further strengthen the process of licensing and registration, FSSAI plans to use technology-based solutions. For instance, it plans to use mobiles to check whether the licensing and registration regulations are being complied with.”