Food Safety Enforcement News – India updates – July 23-2017


Plastic eggs, rice, sugar being sold? LS members raise concerns, govt says no specific case yet

New Delhi: Members in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday flagged concerns over reports that plastic eggs, rice and sugar are being sold in some parts of the country, to which the government said no specific case detected so far but states have been told to be alert.

The government said that the reports of plastic eggs had come to the notice of food safety regulator FSSAI. Also, the International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) had alerted about plastic rice and sugar.

“Consequently, FSSAI has asked commissioners of food safety of all states/UTs to ensure that there is no production/distribution of fake/aritifical eggs,” Junior Agriculture Minister Sudarshan Bhagat in the Lower House responding to the query raised by Malla Reddy (TRS).












The Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) has also urged the state food commissioners to take strict enforcement action, he said in a written reply.
“However, no specific instance of presence of fake eggs in any parts of the country has been received,” he said, adding that the random sampling and testing of all types of food production is done by the FSSAI officials


Food safety officials raid Vijayawada candy unit, seize stocks

VIJAYAWADA: Food safety officials seized the stocks at Gokul Foods on the Kabela Road in the city after discovering during an inspection conducted on Tuesday that the confectionery factory is not adhering to quality norms.
Owned by S Purnachandra Rao, Gokul Foods manufactures a variety of sugar candies that are mostly consumed by children. The 200-litre drums of liquid glucose, the main ingredient used in the candies, was found without company labels showing the name of the manufacturer, date of manufacture or the ‘best before dates’. The owner just claimed that he had brought the drums from Hyderabad.
Another violation observed by the food safety officials is the mismatch between FSSAI licence numbers on the labels. They have printed different numbers on different labels.
Assistant controller of food safety N Poornachandra Rao said that efforts are being made to ascertain the genuineness of the licence of the confectionery unit. Labels on the food products under the brand name of Gokul Foods were with a fake FSSAI licence number, he disclosed.
Poornachandra Rao observed that the liquid glucose, if adulterated, can cause intestinal disorders in children which, in turn, leads to many other health complications. He said the very process of making candies at the unit is faulty as there is a mismatch between the ingredients used by the manufacturer and those printed on the product labels. For instance, the manufacturer claimed to have been using citric acid in the making of candies but there is no trace of it either on the label or on the factory premises.
“We have seized the stocks and served notices on Gokul Foods management. The samples are being sent to the lab for a detailed analysis. Legal action would be initiated on the confectionery factory based on the lab report,” said Poornachandra Rao.


Noida will not give nod for meat shops in slums

The Noida authority has written to the district magistrate to resolve the issue at their level
Meat sellers can only be issued licences if the shops are in areas where municipal services are provided
A group of meat sellers on Monday met Noida authority’s deputy chief executive officer (DCEO) Saumya Srivastava seeking his help in obtaining licences for meat shops in slum areas.
As per norms, the food safety and drug administration (FSDA) can issue a licence only if the applicant produces before them all required documents, including a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Noida authority.
However, the authority made it clear to the meat sellers that it will only issue NOC for a shop if it fulfils all requirements and is located on land where municipal services are provided.
“We can issue NOC to a shop if it is located in a sector or a village. We will not be able to issue NOC for a meat shop located in a slum because we do not provide municipal services there,” said the DCEO.
Following the meat sellers’ demand, the authority has written to the Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate (DM) regarding the issue.
“I have written to the district administration and also spoken to the additional DM. We have requested them to deal with licence applications in slums at their own level on the basis of merits or demerits of the applications. The Noida authority will not issue NOCs, so the administration will exercise its powers and take a call as per law,” said Srivastava.
Among the norms set by the authority for an NOC, the shop will have to be located 100 metres from a place of worship, 50 metres from a residential area and have access to municipal facilities.
“We will issue NOC for five shops in a village if the population is less than 4,000 and 10 shops if the population is more than that. In urban areas, licence will be issued to a meat shop only if it was originally allotted for this purpose and is located in a commercial area,” said Raghunandan Singh Yadav, senior project engineer of the Noida authority.


J & K

Food Safety Commissioner

By not appointing the Food Safety Commissioner and leaving the department headless, the message that the Government intends to convey is that it does not attach much importance to the organization. It is ironic that on the one hand the Government pledges resources to the improvement of health facilities and on the other hand it is not willing to ensure safety of food that is meant for the consumption of the people. Actually, a case has been brought before the High Court questioning why the Food Safety Commissioner is not appointed. The Commission has other vacancies also to make up its manpower, but the court’s observation is that first the Commissioner should be appointed and other appointments will follow.
The essential component of Food Safety Commissioner is the existence of food testing laboratories. There are only two such laboratories in the State. However, these laboratories need to be accredited by National Accreditation Board of Laboratories (NABL) Government of India so that result of lifted samples is done here without referring the samples to referral laboratories outside the state. Besides, the two food testing laboratories one each in Jammu and Srinagar are lacking adequate manpower as well as equipment. Consequently accreditation of these laboratories cannot be possible unless these are brought up to the established standards in all respects.
What one gathers from the story is that the Government and particularly the Health Department have never shown seriousness about maintaining high standard of food which the people of the State are supposed to consume. It is intriguing that the State is soft-paddling with the matter instead of expediting it. It is not good governance that the court has to intervene on such administrative matters as can be handled by the administrative machinery itself easily but with a sense of urgency and responsibility. Hospital records show that the number of patients of malnutrition is fast increasing in the State. It is a clear warning that food quality has to be improved to save the people from various diseases emanating from malnutrition.

HC grants week’s time to appoint FSC

Asks authorities to upgrade food testing laboratories
Srinagar, July 17: The State High Court today directed Finance Department to clear proposal for the appointment of Food Safety Commissioner within a week.
The direction by the division bench of Chief Justice Badar Durez Ahmad and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey followed submission by Commissioner Secretary Health Department, who was present in the court.
On being asked by the court why the appointment FSC has not been made, the Commissioner Secretary submitted that the proposal for creation of post has been sent to Finance Department and after approval, it would be placed before the state cabinet.
Subsequently, the court directed the Finance Department to conclude the exercise with one week. “Till the full time (FSC0 is made, Commissioner Secretary shall have the additional charge of the post,” the court said.
Last week, the court had pulled up government for not putting in place FSC and had directed commissioner secretary to be personally present before to inform it about the steps taken to appoint the FSC. 
The direction had followed perusal of a report by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), highlighting deficiencies in food testing laboratories, both at Srinagar and Jammu. 
Subsequently, the court directed the concerned authorities to upgrade the laboratories by NABL so that prosecution can be launched against the violators. 
Pertinently, as per the FSSAI report, both the laboratories are currently equipped with minor equipment, which are in working condition. These include electronic balance, muffle furnace, butyro-refractometer and tintometer etc.
“Both labs do not carry out any tests for contaminant such pesticide residues, heavy metals, veterinary drug residues, crop contaminants and naturally occurring toxic substances,” the report said.
Currently, the report said, both the labs neither have in place state-of-the -art equipment necessary for pesticide, heavy metals and drug residues etc nor competent and trained manpower to operate the equipment. A major limiting factor towards fulfilling the requirements of testing of food samples is the non-availability of sophisticated instruments, the report said.

Seven months since FSSAI advisory, Karnataka yet to ban newspaper food packaging

BENGALURU: Foods contaminated by newspaper ink raise serious health concerns since printing ink, besides containing chemical contaminants, may have pathogenic microorganisms. Kerala Food Safety Commissioner prohibited the use of newspapers for packing food last week. Karnataka is yet to wake up though.
This comes seven months after the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued a circular to food safety commissioners of all states and union territories to initiate a campaign for creating awareness amongst all stakeholders to discourage the use of newspapers for packing, serving and storing of food items.
Dr Shivappa, Joint Director, Food Safety, said, “We had issued a circular to all designated officers to create awareness about this but are unable to find the circular. It hasn’t been uploaded on our website either.”
Kerala Food Safety Commissioner in his notification dated July 11 pointed out that wrapping food in printed paper would cause chemical and microbiological contamination of food. “This practice is equal to slow poisoning,” the order observes. The FSSAI in December last year had advised to ban newspaper packaging that can lead to cancer.
The order was issued as per Section 30(2)(a) of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which enables the commissioner to prohibit in the interest of public health, the manufacture, storage, distribution or sale of any article of food, either in the whole of the state or any area, not exceeding one year.
Shivappa said that other alternatives available are ceramic plates, areca, steel plates, banana leaves and thick polythene paper. “Ceramic plates are not cost effective and steel plates need to be washed. Banana leaf is easily available and cost effective too. Plastic is banned so it cannot be used. Another alternative is recovering additional cost from customers,” he said.
Dr Harshvardan B, Deputy Commissioner (Squad), Food Safety, said that though designated officers in districts had been told to disallow wrapping of bajji and bonda in newspapers during monthly meetings no notification had been issued yet.
Unless a notification is issued, it is not legally binding, it will merely remain a circular, said K Srinivasa Gowda, Joint Commissioner, Food Safety. Karnataka Food Safety Commissioner Subodh Yadav said that a similar notification will be issued soon. 
What FSSAI says
“Indians are being slowly poisoned due to newspapers being widely used as food packaging material by small hotels, vendors and also in homes in lieu of absorbent paper. The ink contains multiple bioactive materials. Printing ink may also contain harmful colours, pigments, binders, additives, and preservatives. They may be contaminated with metallic contaminants, mineral oils and harmful chemicals like phthalates which can cause digestive problems and also lead to severe toxicity. Older people, teenagers, children and people with compromised vital organs and immune systems are at a greater risk of acquiring cancer-related health complications, if they are exposed to food packed in such material. Newspapers should not be used to wrap, cover and serve food or to absorb excess oil from fried food.”

Expired oil, green gram stock seized; report confirms sub-standard quality

Expired oil and green gram stocked at godowns for dispatching to PDS shops being seized in Kalaburagi on Tuesday. 
Flouting norms, the Food and Civil Supplies Department has stocked vegetable oil and green gram past the expiry dates for supplying to Public Distribution Shops in the district under the Anna Bhagya Scheme.
Speaking with The Hindu on Tuesday, District Food Safety Officer R.S. Biradar said that based on a complaint both the Department godowns on the outskirts of the city has been raided and the expired stocks were seized in the first week of July. The matter had been reported to the Deputy Commissioner Ujjwalkumar Ghosh. He directed the concerned authorities to immediately stop the distribution of expired stocks from last week.
Around 70,000 expired vegetable oil packets and around 525 kg of green grams with expired dates were seized. Mr. Biradar said the manufactured date mentioned on a few oil packets was December 2016 and on others it was February 2017, valid for four months from the date of packing.
Meanwhile, the Divisional Food Laboratory in its report had recorded the oil as sub-standard as the acid value of tested oil is 1.02%. As per the Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) the acid value should be less than 0.5%, Mr. Biradar added.
Similarly, the samples of green gram stocked in godowns were also recorded as sub-standard. The grains contain 6.97% weevilled grain and 1.86% foreign matter, and do not conform to the standards.
Vijayanand Diggikar, Assistant Director for Food and Civil Supplies, speaking to The Hindu over the phone said that though the products were expired and lab reports clearly confirmed the samples of vegetable oil and green gram were sub-standard, the samples would be sent to the Food Laboratory in Hyderabad for tests.
Based on the lab reports, senior officials would take a further decision.

375 cases registered under Food Safety Act

Ludhiana, July 20 In all, 375 cases of the violation of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 have been registered for selling food items not adhering to the required standards in the district. More than Rs 11 lakh have been collected as the fine money. This was stated by Deputy Commissioner Pardeep Aggarwal. 
He said 375 cases have been registered from January 1, 2011, to June 31, 2017. “Anybody sub-standard food will not be spared,” he said.The Jodhewal police have booked two persons on the charge of raping a girl. The accused have been identified as Varinder of Jonewal village and Baljit Kumar of the same locality.


Tobacco products being supplied from Karnataka

Prohibited tobacco products seized by FSSAI officials from a private bus from Bengaluru to Coimbatore on Thursday.
The banned items reach Coimbatore in private buses
Despite repeated crackdowns by various agencies, sale of banned tobacco products is yet to come under control in Coimbatore.
According to some of the sellers, demand for tobacco products from migrant population is increasing as against the demand from users here.
“Demand for gutkha from migrant workers has increased. Demand from users in the city has not seen an increase or fall,” says a seller from the city who did not want to be named.
But, recent seizures indicate a well-oiled supply chain network of prohibited tobacco products, mainly from Karnataka.
Banned items seized in the recent past by the Police Department, Railway Police and Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) were mainly sourced from Karnataka. Wholesale dealers get the supply through private bus services from Karnataka to Coimbatore, most of them arriving here in the small hours.
“Private buses depend on parcels to generate revenue in off-seasons. Agents give fake declarations on the consignments that are neatly packed so that the smell of tobacco does not come out,” says a police officer.
Following reports of the gutkha scam linking top officials in the Police Department in Chennai, the City Police had conducted a day-long drive against banned tobacco products in Coimbatore recently.
However, supply of tobacco products is not affected as shown in the seizure of contraband worth around Rs. 1 lakh on Thursday. The banned items were seized from a private bus that arrived the city from Bengaluru in the early hours on Thursday.
“The bus was checked based on specific information. Banned tobacco products were found in 13 cartons that were parcelled to an agent named Ganapathy. We have lifted samples from the seized consignment for laboratory examination,” said O.L.S. Vijay, Desiganted Officer, FSSAI.
The agent was identified by FSSAI officials as he came to collect the parcel at Karumathampatti.
Mr. Vijay said that action would be taken against the agent based on the laboratory result.
The seized items would also be destroyed.

34 cases registered for selling banned tobacco products

Superintendent of Police R. Sivakumar has said that a total of 34 cases were registered against persons for selling banned tobacco items in the past six months in the district.
Addressing reporters here on Wednesday, he said the Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department along with the police department conducted raids and seized the products. As many as 19 cases were registered and two kg products were seized in 2013 while two cases were registered and 150 gram tobacco products were seized in 2014.
In 2015, 22 cases were registered and 1.5 kg products were seized while 138 cases were registered in 2016 and 21 kg were seized. In the past six months 34 cases were registered against sellers and 4.5 kg tobacco products were seized, he added.
An official from FSSAI checking water stored at a hotel in the city on Wednesday. 
FSSAI officials check whether storage of water is done in proper manner
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has swung into action to back the efforts by the Health Department to combat dengue.
FSSAI officials have started inspecting restaurants and small hotels to ensure that storage of water is done in proper manner.
Officials are also checking to ensure contaminated water is not used for cooking and drinking purposes.
“Based on directions from superiors, food safety officers are conducting inspections at hotels, mainly to ensure safe storage of water. Other than aiding mosquito breeding, contaminated water can cause for other illnesses,” said O.L.S. Vijay, Designated Officer, FSSAI, Coimbatore.
Hotels have been asked to not to store water for longer days as it may lead to contamination. During visits, hoteliers have been instructed to store the water in containers covering them with a fitting lid.
“Hoteliers have been asked to clean underground water storage tanks at frequent intervals. Use of bleaching powder is advised for cleaning. They are also instructed not to serve water stored for more than three days for drinking and cooking purposes,” said Dr. Vijay.
Food safety officers are also checking whether storage systems are turning breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
As part of increasing awareness among public, food safety officials are also pasting posters in hotels on safe storage of water and prevention of mosquito breeding.

Canned water under threat

Authorities accuse a few packaged water units of flouting norms to draw groundwater; manufacturers flag clearance certificates.

Though the Tamil Nadu packaged drinking water manufacturers have withdrawn their strike, authorities are said to be at loggerheads with them over depleting groundwater level, putting the availability of canned drinking water in question in the long run.
While the association members say that a total of 350 packaged drinking water manufacturing units operate in Chennai, Tiruvallur and Kancheepuram districts, sources claim that around 200 illegal units are also run by people with political clout. However, V Murali, president of Greater Tamil Nadu Packaged Drinking Water Manufacturers Association, told DTNext that all the units have obtained the environmental clearance apart from certificates from Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
“In such a condition, why should the concerned officials pressurise us to close the units. Lakhs of people rely on canned water not only in the city, but across the state. Is curbing the availablity of a life essential to save groundwater level justified?” he asks. While the officials claim that they have only instructed some units that overexploit groundwater and flout the norms to abide by, the association members accuse officials of being discriminatory and claim that they are being threatened to shut down the units without a valid reason.
According to Murali, manufacturers draw water of about 300 million litres a day from 350 units in Chennai region. “Though we have necessary licences from all the departments, sometimes the officials try to close down units for reasons best known to them,” he says. However, Shankar, Chief Engineer of Ground and Surface Water Resources Wing, justifies the department’s action.
“There are some norms, which the drinking water manufactureres do not conform to. We have been periodically instructing such units not to overexploit groundwater beyond prescribed levels and it is monitored through a water meter. But some companies flout the rules and we along with Revenue officials insist the manufacturers to close such units,” he elaborates. He also adds that the PWD is preparing to monitor the units in Chennai region and would ask the manufacturers without a licence not to tap water anymore. 
Shankar says the groundwater level can be maintained if such units located near lakes and rivers without licences are closed. R Kathiravan, Designated Officer, FSSAI, Chennai, says that there are 17 packaged water manufacturing units in the city alone. “We regularly monitor them and if we find the water to be unfit for consumption, we immediately ask the manufacturers to stop processing. After tapping the water, the manufacturers should do the purification process promptly. Some companies would not maintain the equipment properly and in such a scenario there is a possibility for water contamination. So, the manufacturers should be careful during the entire process of purification,” he says. 
Kathiravan adds that regular inspections are conducted to check potability of canned water.
7 to 10 lakh cans of water are supplied to Chennai households on a daily basis
Total number of units in Chennai region: 350
50% of drawn water goes waste in the purification
No of illegal unit: 200


Food Safety Enforcement News – Tamilnadu updates – July – 23 -2017










உணவுத்துறை அதிகாரிகள் ஆய்வுக்கு பின் அன்னதானம் :ஸ்ரீவி.,யில் கலந்தாய்வு கூட்டத்தில் ஆர்.டி.ஓ., வலியுறுத்தல்

ஸ்ரீவில்லிபுத்துார்;”ஆண்டாள்கோயில் ஆடிப்பூர தோரோட்டத்தில் அன்னதானம், நீர், மோர் போன்றவை உணவுத்துறை அதிகாரிகள் ஆய்வு செய்த பின் தான் வழங்கவேண்டும்” என அனைத்து அரசுத்துறை அதிகாரிகள் கலந்தாய்வு கூட்டத்தில் முத்துக்குமரன் டி.ஆர்.ஓ., பேசினார். ஸ்ரீவில்லிபுத்துார் தனியார் திருமண மண்டபத்தில் நடந்த கூட்டத்திற்கு தக்கார் ரவிச்சந்திரன் தலைமை வகித்தார். அறநிலையத்துறை உதவி ஆணையர் ஹரிஹரன் முன்னிலை வகித்தார். செயல் அலுவலர் ராமராஜா வரவேற்றார். மாவட்ட வருவாய் அலுவலர் முத்துகுமரன் பேசியதாவது: தேரோட்ட தினத்தன்று பல்வேறு பொதுஅமைப்புகளால் வழங்கப்படும் அன்னதானம்,தண்ணீர், மோர், நீர் ஆகாரங்களை உணவுத்துறை அதிகாரிகள் ஆய்வு செய்த பின்னர் தான் வழங்க அனுமதிக்கப்படும். கோயில் பாதுகாப்பில் ஈடுபடும் போலீசார், என்.எஸ்.எஸ். மாணவர்கள் சுழற்சி முறையில் பணியாற்றவேண்டும். தேரில் ஒரு அர்ச்சகர் உட்பட 15 பேர் மட்டுமே அனுமதிக்கப்படுவர். ராஜபாளையம், ஸ்ரீவில்லிபுத்துார் தீயணைப்பு வாகனங்களை மட்டுமே பயன்படுத்தவேண்டும். சிவகாசி, சாத்துார், வெம்பகோட்டை, விருதுநகர் ஊர்களை சேர்ந்த தீயணைப்பு வாகனங்களை அழைக்கவேண்டாம். கோயிலை சுற்றியுள்ள பகுதிகளில் பக்தர்களுக்கு தேவையான கழிப்பறை, தண்ணீர் வசதிகளை நகராட்சி செய்யவேண்டும். சிறப்பு பஸ்களை அரசுபோக்குவரத்து கழகம் இயக்கவேண்டும்.
பொதுநல அமைப்புகள் மாடவீதிகள், ரதவீதிகளில் தண்ணீர் பந்தல்கள் அமைக்ககூடாது. பஸ் ஸ்டாண்ட் மற்றும் போக்குவரத்திற்கு இடையூறு இல்லாத பகுதிகளில் தண்ணீர் வழங்கலாம். நான்கு ரத வீதிகளில் கட்டட பொருட்கள் ரோட்டில் கொட்டக்கூடாது. பொதுமக்கள் நலனை பாதுகாப்பதில் எவ்வித சமரசத்திற்கு இடமின்றி போலீஸ், வருவாய், நகராட்சி துறைகள் செயல்படவேண்டும். ரதவீதிகளில் போடப்படும் இரும்பு பிளேட்டுகள் தேர் கடந்தவுடன் உடனுக்குடன் அப்புறப்படுத்த வேண்டும். புதுபட்டி விலக்கிலிருந்து மம்சாபுரம் வரையுள்ள ரோடு தற்காலிகமாக சீரமைக்கப்படும். தினமும் அனைத்து அரசுத்துறைகளும் இணைந்து ரத வீதிகளில் கண்காணித்து, தேவையான முன்னெச்சரிக்கை நடவடிக்கைகள் மேற்கொள்ளவேண்டும், என்றார்.
சிவகாசி சப்-கலெக்டர் சங்கரநாராயணன், தாசில்தார் சரஸ்வதி, சங்கரேஸ்வரன் டி.எஸ்.பி., டவுன் இன்ஸ்பெக்டர் மகேஸ்குமார், நகராட்சி ஆணையாளர் முகமதுமுகைதீன், தீயணைப்பு அலுவலர் பழனிசாமி, அரசு மருத்துவர் காளிராஜ், புலவர் பாலகிருஷ்ணன், ராம்கோ நிறுவன அலுவலர்கள் மற்றும் பல்வேறு அரசுத்துறை அதிகாரிகள் பங்கேற்றனர். கண்காணிப்பாளர் வெள்ளைச்சாமி நன்றி கூறினார்.



Food Safety Enforcement News – India updates – July 16




DB directs Health Secy to appear in person

JAMMU : In a suo-moto PIL, Division Bench of State High Court comprising Chief Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey today directed Commissioner-Secretary, Health to remain present in the court on the next date of hearing to explain as to why no steps have been taken for creation of post of Commissioner Food Safety and for appointing a person to that post in spite of clear directions given in previous order.
When the PIL was taken-up for hearing, Division Bench impleaded Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) as respondent. The DB also took on record report of Dr Lalitha R Gowda and Shailender Kumar dated July 3, 2017 submitted on behalf of FSSAI.
After going through the report, Division Bench observed, “there are various deficiencies which need to be addressed immediately. The State shall provide adequate answers to the deficiencies pointed out in the report before the next date of hearing”.
“One of the major concerns in PIL is that there is no Commissioner of Food Safety, which is the requirement under Section 30 of the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006”, the DB said and directed Commissioner-Secretary, Health, to remain present in the court on the next date of hearing to explain as to why no steps have been taken for creation of post of Commissioner, Food Safety and for appointing a person to that post in spite of clear directions given in previous order.

30 quintals of milk destroyed, 4 restaurants fined in Srinagar

About 30 quinatlas of adulterated milk was destroyed and four restaurants were fined today in Srinagar, an official spokesperson said here this evening. He said in order to curb the menace of milk adulteration, the department of Food Safety Srinagar today put in service the mobile Food testing van to check the quality parameters of milk. 
A team of Food Safety Officers headed by Assistant Commissioner Food Safety Srinagar laid Naka at Parimpora Srinagar. He said on the spot testing of milk and milk products was carried and around 30 quintals of milk not confirming to the legal standards were destroyed on spot. Some bakery products, Juices were also tested at Bemina and Qamarwari where some bakery products failed in testing were destroyed on spot. 
He said the Department of Legal Metrology received complaints against four restaurants operating in the City for overcharging on packaged drinking water and soft drinks. Under Legal Metrology laws, no restaurant and hotel can charge more than MRP on the bottle water and soft drinks or other packaged products. The Legal Metrology officer booked all the four restaurants for overcharging. A penal sum of Rs 6500 was collected from the offenders for violation.

JK Food Testing Labs substandard – Experts 

Hearing a Public Interest Litigation on food adulteration, a division bench of Chief Justice Baddar Durrez Ahmad and Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey took the report on record.
An expert two-member panel from Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has informed the High Court that state’s food testing laboratories are not functioning to provide desired results. 
In compliance to court directions, a team of FSSAI comprising Dr Lalith R Gowda, former chief Scientist and Director Referral Food Lab, Mysore and Shailender Kumar, Assistant, director, quality Assurance, FSSAI, New Delhi visited the two state labs and filed its report in High Court. 
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation on food adulteration, a division bench of Chief Justice Baddar Durrez Ahmad and Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey took the report on record. 
The report divulges that in both labs– Public Health Lab Patoli, Jammu and Public Health lab, Dalgate here— do not carry out any tests for contaminant such pesticide residues, heavy metals, veterinary drug residues, crop contaminants and naturally occurring toxic substances.
The report unveils that a wide spectrum of food categories listed in the Food Safety and Standard Rules( FSS) and regulations, are tested, but the testing parameters are limited.
The two labs, the report indicates, are with minor equipment which includes electronic balance, muffle furnace, butyro-refractometer and tintometer. “The current analytical facilities and chemical testing capabilities of the labs do not fulfill the requirements of the FSS act and rules”. 
The court was informed that currently both the labs have no state-of-the –art equipment necessary for pesticide, heavy metals and drug residues analysis in place nor a competent trained manpower to operate the equipment.
The court was apprised that a major limiting factor towards fulfilling the requirements of testing of food samples is the non-availability of sophisticated instruments. 
While the report indicated that a major constraint observed by the team is the space required for installing high-end equipment at Srinagar lab, it added the required space is available in the adjacent Forensic Science Laboratory that now belongs to Drugs and Food Control Organization. 
“However, the lab is constrained from using this space owing to the unauthorized occupation by the belt forces,” the report said. 
The report indicates that neither of the labs carries out Microbiology testing of foods for any of the hygiene and safety parameters listed by FSSAI. 
It says “there exists neither a functional microbiology lab nor a qualified microbiologist to carry out the microbiology testing”. 
Another major constraint, the report said, is the lack of a qualified food microbiologist. The FSSAI recommends qualified food microbiologists to be appointed for both the labs at the earliest. 
The report, however, indicates that with the available instruments, the labs undertake preliminary food analysis such as moisture, crude fiber, ash, milk analysis and qualitative tests for added color, sweeteners and adulterants of milk and spices and BRR of oils and fats.
At Srinagar lab five Food Safety Officers (FSOs) have been inducted into the lab and there are two certified Food analysts. Both labs have technically competent analysts but insufficient in number to meet the quantum of samples received for analysis.
While the court made FSSAI as party in the PIL, it directed Commissioner Secretary Health and Medical Education to file compliance on the steps taken for appointment of Food Safety Commissioner FSC on next date of hearing , seeking his personal appearance also.

Food safety department bans use of newspaper for wrapping food items

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Food safety department has come up with an order that will make all wayside eateries change the way they serve food. In a latest order, Food safety commissioner Navjot Khosa has imposed a one-year ban on using newspapers and other printed material for wrapping, packing and serving of food.
The Food safety and standard authority had in December last year issued an advisory to food safety commissioners in all states to restrict use of newspaper as food packaging material. The advisory was issued after conducting a risk analysis study.
The Food safety department has invoked section 18 (1)(a), section 26(2)(i), section 29(3), section 30(2)(d) and section 30(1) of the food safety and standards act to impose a ban on use of newspapers or other printed materials for storage, distribution or sale of food.

Minister calls for thrust on food safety

Minister for Agriculture V.S. Sunil Kumar has stressed the need to ensure food safety while striving to achieve food security.
Speaking after inaugurating a function at the College of Agriculture, Vellayani, to honour the winners of the awards instituted by the Kerala Agricultural University, he told researchers to aim higher. VC P. Rajendran presided. Dean A. Anil Kumar, Associate Director K. Umamaheswaran, Kalliyur grama panchayat president R. Jayalakshmi, block panchayat member J.Girija, and panchayat member Pravinakumari spoke. While Himaparvathi and Deepa R. Chandran won the best student award, P. Aparna and Allen Thomas received the best teacher award.
The prize for the best department went to the Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry department. The awards have been instituted in memory of former professor N.P. Kumari Sushama.


Money pumped into food testing and standardisation for State

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has agreed to give special assistance of Rs 8.50 crore to the Food and Drugs Administration, Maharashtra to its existing laboratories by procuring new equipment to test food samples as per the FSSAI norms.
The above assurance was given by FSSAI CEO Pawan Kumar Agarwal to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr.Pallavi Darade in a recent meeting of high powered committee held in New Delhi. The FDA has sought an assistance of Rs 10 crore, including Rs 8.2 crore to procure new equipments and Rs. 1.8 crore to strengthen infrastructure. Eventually the FISSI agreed to give Rs 8.50 crore and also permitted the FDA to open separate ban account since this is a special central assistance.
The assistance will be used for procuring three ultra equipments to test the food as per the standards. They will be used to check the metal content in food, component of pesticides, organic content in non-vegetarian food etc. The pesticides are widely used in producing food to control pests such as insects, rodents, weeds, bacteria and fungus.
For testing of Drugs & Cosmetics as stated under section 20 and 33 F of Drugs & Cosmetics Act 1940 & Rules there under, Maharashtra State has established Drugs Control Laboratory at Bandra(Mumbai) and at Aurangabad, under the Administrative control of the Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Maharashtra State. The existing capacity of testing food samples is 1200 at Mumbai and 720 in Aurangabad. Both the Laboratories are well equipped with sophisticated instruments.
In addition to FDA’s laboratories in Mumbai and Aurangabad, The food analytical laboratories are in existence also under department of public health, at different places. They include: 1. State Public Health Laboratory, Pune( this is the apex Laboratory of the state & is also declared as Central Food laboratory for state), 2. Regional Public Health Laboratories are at Aurangabad, Nagpur and Amaravati, 3. District Public Health Laboratories at: New Mumbai, Satara, Sangli, Kolhapur, Solapur, Beed, Nanded, Jalgaon, Ahmednagar, Nashik and Akola. In addition to the BMC also has laboratory in Mumbai.
Public Analysts have been appointed in above laboratories¸ who analyses the samples and deliver report¸within 40 days from date of receipt. The Public analysts are required to verify sealed portion and analyze the food article, keeping in mind that the analysis has been done as per the methodologies laid down by Director General of Health Services.
FSSAI has been established under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which consolidates various acts & orders that have hitherto handled food related issues in various Ministries and Departments. FSSAI has been created for laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.
FSSAI has been mandated by the FSS Act, 2006 to frame regulations to lay down the standards and guidelines in relation to articles of food and specifying appropriate system of enforcing various standards thus notified, to lay down mechanisms and guidelines for accreditation of certification bodies engaged in certification of food safety management system for food businesses, to lay down procedure and guidelines for accreditation of laboratories and notification of the accredited laboratories, to provide scientific advice and technical support to Central Government and State Governments in the matters of framing the policy and rules in areas which have a direct or indirect bearing of food safety and nutrition, to collect and collate data regarding food consumption, incidence and prevalence of biological risk, contaminants in food, residues of various, contaminants in foods products, identification of emerging risks and introduction of rapid alert system and to create an information network across the country so that the public, consumers, Panchayats etc receive reliable and objective information about food safety and food standards.

Test on 20 eggs to find ‘plastic eggs’ yields negative result

In light of the recent report in this paper regarding fake eggs entering the market, the state public health food testing laboratory conducted tests on egg samples procured from whole-sellers.
The report given by the state food analyst, Ch. Sanajaoba Meitei deemed that all necessary tests have been conducted on the samples and it has been deemed safe for human consumption. The lab tested 20 eggs only.
According to the report, the samples were received on July 6 and the physical, chemical and structural tests were conducted. As per the National Egg Co-ordination Committee (NECC) recommendation, the shelf life of a normal egg is 17 days in winter and 7 days in summer.
During transportation, the ideal temperature of transporting eggs is at 20 degree celsius but the temperature during transportation is at 32 to 34 degrees. It said that higher temperature is observed during transportation and may cause a structural change in the albumin from liquid to slightly rubbery but doesn’t mean that it is a ‘fake’ egg.
The analyst recommended that a manufacturing date/packaging/collection of the egg should be given for public awareness and a storage temperature should be maintained. It may be mentioned that the Kolkota Municipal Council in May last had seized 97,000 eggs for testing of artificial eggs.
Analyst speaks
Regarding the tests of plastic eggs and plastic rice and other adulteration reports , the state food testing lab is currently conducting tests and there is no sign of any plastic rice or eggs found as of yet, Dr S Bimalkumari, food safety consultant of the Food Safety Administration told Imphal Free Press.
She, however, did not rule out the possibility of plastic eggs and rice entering the market. She said that the easiest way to test an egg is to feel the surface of the egg, it is slightly rough and this cannot be replicated in an artificial egg.
For testing rice, a small amount can be put in a transparent glass with water and plastic rice will float up.
“If there is doubt, don’t eat it,” Bimalkumari stated, adding that there is serious adulteration going on in various edible food products. She said that if the public eat adulterated foodstuff for a long time, it becomes a form of slow poisoning.
She warned that most of the processed food coming from Myanmar is unsafe as it has no Food Safety and Standard Authority of India licensing.
She mentioned further that there may be adulteration and preservatives may be added in meat and fish items. The use of pesticides in vegetables, using carbide to ripen bananas is a major health hazard. Spoiled bananas are sometimes used in making banana cake, rotten eggs used to make cake etc.
Formaldehyde in fish
On May 5 last, samples of sareng, pengba, rohu, ngahei, ahila and mackerel from seventeen different retailers were collected for testing to check if any preservative has been added. The samples have been handed over to the state public health laboratory located at Lamphelpat, MACS complex.
The fish are being brought mainly from Andhra Pradesh. The report from the lab is still pending whereas under section 46 of the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006, the results should be given within 14 days.
The problem of the state food lab not being able to conduct the test is due to lack of a particular scientific apparatus (a condenser) which costs approximately Rs. 5000. The matter of the unavailability of the lab equipment was put up to the chief minister during a press meet held recently.
Designated officer of Imphal West, Y. Satyajeet said that there is high suspicion that preservatives like formaldehyde may be present but the test results are yet to arrive. He added that all samples of rice, noodles, salt and sugar are being tested for adulteration presently.


Chandel : A combined team of Chandel district police and Food Safety and Administration Department under the supervision of SP, Chandel Angam Kamei Romanus carried out a special drive against tobacco and banned food items at the district headquarters today .

The team seized a huge quantity of tobacco items along with many banned food items imported from Myanmar which was later handed to Food Safety officer .

Meanwhile, Chandel district police personnel pulled up four persons and seized 60 litres of local made liquor and two bottles of Indian Made Foreign Liquor during a drive conducted at the DHQs yesterday


Punjab govt announces Rs 5 crore for modernisation of food safety department

Chandigarh :
The Punjab Government today announced Rs five crore for modernisation of the food safety department and also launched its first mobile testing lab facility to check adulterated food products in the state.
“By ensuring the supply of nutritious and unadulterated food products, many deadly diseases such as cancer, Hepatitis and gastric disorders could be curbed,” Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Brahm Mohindra said in a statement.
The state government has also decided to organise capability building programme-cum-special training for assistant food commissioners, food safety officers and designated officers of the health department to provide them with relevant and practical insights into food safety standards, and related legal provisions under the Food Safety Standards and Regulations Act 2006 and 2011.
Mohindra said the state government will also recruit 20 food safety officers for the smooth functioning of food safety branch.
He said the drive has already been intensified in the state with “zero tolerance” against adulteration of food articles.
He said 1,458 samples of food items were found unsafe and adulterated in the state during 2016, and alleged in the past 10 years, the quality of food had deteriorated

FSDA brings food in kanwar camps under scanner

Meerut: To keep an eye on the food being prepared at the camps, hotels and dhabas in the city for kanwar yatra, the Food Safety and Drugs Administration (FSDA) has brought the food being served to the devotees under the scanner.
Concerned about the food being prepared and served to the pilgrims, the FSDA authorities have issued a set of guidelines to the kanwar camp owners and divided the district into 15 zones so as to keep a tab on the food quality being served.
“A huge number of kanwariyas will be passing through the city till Shivratri on July 21. Various city-based NGOs and religious groups have set up camps and temporary food stalls in the city to provide food to the kanwariyas. Considering the huge number of people who will be eating this food, we are keeping a scanner on the food being prepared at these camps,” said Archana Deeran, designated food officer, FSDA, Meerut district.
“The district has been divided into 15 zones and duties of various food safety officers finalised for each zone. They will keep a check on the food being sold.
“Also, instructions have been given to send the rate list of food items being sold at these food outlets and also to ensure that only branded spices are used for preparation of food,” said Sarvesh Mishra, chief food safety officer.
The samples will be sent to the food testing laboratory in Lucknow and their results will arrive in a month’s period. The samples will be sent to the state capital to avoid any tampering at the lab in Meerut.
“We have also issued instructions to the kanwar camp owners to ensure that no guideline is flouted and no stale food is provided at this time, especially because the speed of food deterioration increases in monsoon season,” said Deeran.
Meanwhile, the authorities of drug administration, a wing of FSDA, have set up a 24-hour service van, which will remain on wheels and will provide free medicines to the kanwariyas.


Chamber plea to clear the air on milk controversy

The Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore, has appealed to the TN government to put an end to the controversy over milk adulteration.
The farmers, milk industry and consumers are all under great pressure, said Vanitha Mohan, President, ICCIC.
“It is time to put an end to this controversy which has been going on for weeks now in the interest of all. The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 gives enough powers to the state government to set standards for various varieties of milk. It also has the machinery to enforce these standards and issue certificates of compliance,” she said and pointed out that the recent videos on milk adulteration coupled with the Dairy Development Minister’s statement on the issue had increased the apprehensions in the minds of the public.

FSDA finds various pan masala brands substandard

Bareilly: Food safety and drug administration (FSDA) officials on Thursday claimed that several food samples, including chewing tobacco, turmeric and snack items, sold in the city were found sub-standard and unsafe for human health. They said samples of these items were collected over the past four months and were sent to the lab for testing. FSDA officer Mamta Kumari said that the lab reports confirmed that these samples were substandard and that they would submit their report to the city magistrate to initiate lodging of FIRs against shopkeepers selling substandard edible items.
Chief food safety officer Akshay Pradhan said various samples of pan masala, gutkha, cigarette, etc were collected from the various shops. Besides these, turmeric powder and snack samples (fryums) were also collected from shops located in Meerganj and Navabganj areas.
“Samples of tobacco products have been found substandard by the lab. The lab reports also indicate that several samples of turmeric powder and fryums were found unsafe for human health. We will submit our report to the city magistrate. A case will also be lodged against some shopkeepers at Navabganj and Meerganj in the court of additional chief judicial magistrate. In the matter of substandard tobacco products, we will file a case in the court of additional district magistrate,” Pradhan said.
FSDA officials said that samples various pan masala brands were collected from Kutubkhana, Chaupala and Kudeshia Fatak. The officials also said that such items had been seized and licence of the accused traders would be cancelled.

No momos, burgers, patties for kanwar yatris

BAREILLY: The district administration has issued instructions to the owners of eateries on the kanwar yatra route not to sell junk food to devotees in the Shravan month. Some of the food items that have been specifically mentioned include burgers, noodles, patties, pastries, momos and manchurian.
Food safety and drug administration (FSDA) officials said that sale of junk food, eggs and meat has been prohibited even on highways covered by the kanwar yatris.
District magistrates of Bareilly and Muzaffarnagar have issued directions to administrative officials to ensure that sale of food items that can cause health-related problems to the yatris must be curbed immediately.
Officials said that during the Shravan month, over four crore devotees are likely to pass through Muzaffarnagar on their way to Haridwar. “The district has been divided into 16 zones, 47 sub zones and 83 sectors. FSDA officials have been told to carry out inspections to check the quality of food being sold in eateries along the yatra route,” Muzaffarnagar DM GS Priyadarshi said.
Chief food safety officer Akshay Pradhan said, “Since most junk food items have a small shelf life, often, owners of eateries sell them even after their expiry date. Besides, due to the current weather conditions, it is not safe to have spicy and oily food. We have been regularly collecting food samples from eateries to ensure that substandard items are not being sold to the devotees. Restaurants, dhabas and roadside eateries are being covered in the exercise.”

Food Safety Enforcement News – India updates – July 09


FSSAI rejects National Anti-Doping Agency’s request to frame food supplement standards

Concerned about the burgeoning range of off-the-shelf food supplements and the possibility of at least some of them containing banned performance enhancing substances, NADA had recently approached the FSSAI with a request to frame standards for these supplements.
Concerned about the burgeoning range of off-the-shelf food supplements and the possibility of at least some of them containing banned performance enhancing substances, the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) had recently approached the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) with a request to frame standards for these supplements.
But after several meetings between the two, FSSAI declined the request, maintaining that given the nature of expertise and sports medicine knowledge required to do so is beyond their mandate. NADA officials approached FSSAI over concerns that mushrooming gyms not only in urban but also in rural areas were pushing some of these supplements and there is no control or monitoring over what they contain. Hence, FSSAI should frame standards.
Though FSSAI agreed in principle with the concerns expressed by NADA and a section of the authority was keen to go ahead with the exercise, in the end the authority decided not to. A senior official told The Indian Express that though the NADA’s concerns were genuine, there were several other hurdles that eventually made them decide against helping NADA.
“The concerns they raised were genuine. Food supplements that are sold over the counter and often pushed by gym instructors may contain performance enhancing substances banned for athletes or substances that are just generally harmful for people if used indiscriminately. There may even be prescription drugs that ordinarily cannot be bought over the counter but have an anabolic (body-building) effect on the body,” he said.
After much deliberation and several meetings with the NADA, FSSAI concluded that they couldn’t frame standards from NADA’s perspectives and yardsticks. It was beyond their mandate.
“We deliberated over the matter, had two-three meetings with NADA and decided that we cannot frame standards from the perspective they want us to. It is beyond our mandate — there is a long list of banned substances, some that are not to be used during competitions but can be used otherwise, others that can never be used,” the official said, “Then there is also the matter of dosage. So we told them that it is beyond our mandate,” he added.
Incidentally, FSSAI had, last year notified standards for health supplements, nutraceuticals, foods for special dietary use, food for special medical purpose, functional food and novel foods. “The articles of food with standard nutrient or nutritionally complete formulation shall consist of a composition delivering the desired level of energy, protein, vitamins and minerals, and other essential nutrients required for respective age group, gender and physiological stage in accordance with the guidelines made by the Indian Council of Medical Research,” reads the regulations stipulated by the FSSAI.
Ingredient purity is mandated to be in accordance with the FSSAI standards for those categories of food — in cases where standards are not specified, purity criteria generally accepted by the various pharmacopoeias — Indian Pharmacopoeia, Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of Indian Medicinal Plants, Indian Council of Medical Research, British Pharmacopoeia, US Pharmacopoeia etc are to be used.

Fisheries department moots action plan to check quality

KANNUR: Faced with the threat of indiscriminate use of chemical preservatives, the fisheries department is planning to strengthen its vigil and use modern technologies to test fish consignments. Also, testing would be strengthened at checkposts to prevent the use of hazardous chemicals like sodium benzoate to preserve fish when it is brought from other states.
“As of now we don’t have a lab to single out chemicals used to preserve fish, a perishable item. We cannot withhold sales till the chemical analysis report is ready. This often becomes a hurdle and our task is left incomplete,” said an official with the department.
However, the scientists at the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT) in Kochi are in the process of developing a handheld device to test chemical levels in fish. Once this device is made available, checking squads can take it to markets or checkposts to test consignment quality, he said.
Though there is an inspection team (comprising officials from the food safety and fisheries department) in every district, the plan is to strengthen its operations, said department officials.
If a consignment is found to be adulterated with toxic substances, sales can be stopped and if it is imported from other states, it would be sent back after taking samples for further testing. “We had conducted workshops at a few places, including Kozhikode, to gather inputs from officials, boat owners, fishermen and trade union leaders to formulate an action plan,” said Satheeshkumar, joint director, fisheries department.
According to officials, the problem before fishermen is that fish is brought directly to the harbour from other states. If there is a stringent measure to curb the sale of fish laced with toxic preservatives, this flooding can be regulated, thus giving better marketing opportunity to local fishermen.
Officials also said there was a plan to introduce permit system for auctioning fish so that middlemen influence can be restricted. The plan is to conduct auction through fishermen cooperative societies so that they would get better earnings.
The permits would be given to those people recommended by the cooperative societies, said officials, adding that proposal was being discussed.

Stale food seized from star hotels

Food items found stored in unhygienic conditions
An inspection team designated by the Director of Health Services seized stale food from five-star and three-star hotels in the city on Saturday.
Major discrepancies were found at Hotel Taj Gateway and Hotel Emerald, while minor offences were detected at Hotel Raviz, Big Bazaar, and MIMS Hospital canteen.
The Gateway and Emerald managements were issued summons, while fine was levied on the others under the Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act (COPTA).
The team led by Kozhikode Municipal Corporation health officer R.S. Gopakumar and District Legal Services Authority secretary R.L. Baiju seized 5 kg of cake mixture, 6 kg of ghee rice, and masala mixtures from the kitchen of Hotel Taj Gateway on P.T. Usha Road. Dr. Gopakumar said the cake mixture had fungal coating on it, and that ghee rice and masala were days old. The food items were kept in the refrigerator.
According to the inspection team, the hotels that were surveyed did not follow the rule that dates should be marked on food items while refrigerating them.
“Moreover, food was found stored in unhygienic conditions at Hotel Emerald. Meat and fish were kept together. Some hotels were fined for not keeping the statutory warning against smoking,” it said.
The team also consisted of District Medical Officer Asha Devi, veterinary surgeon Linoop, technical assistant K.T. Mohan, and corporation health inspector Abdul Khader.
Inspections will be conducted at hospitals, government and private offices, schools, and apartment complexes in the city in the coming days.

Ban on gutkha, panmasala sale

Office of the chief medical officer (CMO) Dimapur has notified all the tobacco and panmasala dealers (wholesale or retail) in Dimapur district to immediately stop distribution and sale of gutkha or panmasala.
In a press release, chief medical officer Dimapur, Dr. K Vikato Kinimi, reminded that in compliance of the Supreme Court order dated September 23, 2016, the food safety commissioner, government of Nagaland had issued a notification dated May 16, 2017 prohibiting distribution and sale of gutkha or panmasala (containing tobacco or nicotine) and any other products marketed separately having nicotine or tobacco in the final products by whatever name called whether packaged or unpackaged or sold as one product or through packaged as separate products sold or distributed in such a manner so as to easily facilitate mixing by the consumers.
In view of this, the CMO Dimapur has informed all the tobacco and panmasala dealers (wholesale or retail) in Dimapur district to immediately adhere to this order.
CMO Dimapur cautioned that non-compliance of the notification would be an offence punishable under section 59 of Food Safety and Standards Act 2006.

Kohima Food Safety Officer asks people not to panic for fake eggs

Kohima,:  After the detection of suspected artificial eggs in the state, the Food Safety Officer (FSO) of Kohima Mr Kezha has appealed 
to public not to panic as there was no concrete evidence so far to suggest presence of artificial eggs. 
According to a statement by the FSO that following the complaint, KMC and food safety officials collected the egg sample from the shop and 
sent to a laboratory for test. He said the officials also collected samples from other egg dealers yesterday. 
Kezha also said some eggs suspected to be artificial were broken for inspection, but they were found to be natural eggs. He added that only 
laboratory tests results will determine whether the eggs are natural, artificial, deformed or partially rotten. 

1.5 tonnes of tobacco products seized

Coimbatore: Tirupur food safety officials seized 1.5 tonnes of tobacco products hidden at a house near Avinashi on Friday morning.
Based on a tip-off, Tirupur designated food safety officer Thamilselvan and team raided small and large tea shops, petty shops and bakeries in the area and warned them not to sell tobacco products.
Based on yet another tip-off, they also raided a house on P S Sundaram Street and found 1.5 tonnes of tobacco products valued at around Rs 5 lakh. The seized products included packets of hans, gutkha and tobacco leaves. Officials said they would continue to investigate the entry, distribution and sale of tobacco in the district, and crackdown on people involved in the trade.

Tobacco products destroyed

The Food Safety Department destroyed gutka and other products containing tobacco and nicotine seized from several shops in the city earlier this week.
During the raids supervised by the Designated Officer for Food Safety and Drug Administration Kalaivani, the banned products worth Rs. 3.5 lakh that were seized from shops were burnt.
The shop owners were warned that they would face action under the Food Safety & Standards Act, 2006, if they were caught selling the banned products henceforth.
District Collector S. Prabakar said in a press release that the public could pass on information about surreptitious sale of the banned products to the office of Food Safety Department over phone: 0424-2223545.
The banned products include gutka, pan masala, zarda and tobacco-based flavoured mouth fresheners. The Central Government issued the ban order last December following a Supreme Court order dated September 23, 2016, banning chewing tobacco products.
According to the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on sales) Regulations, 2011, issued by the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), tobacco and nicotine shall not be used as ingredients in any food products.
The order prohibiting manufacture, storage, distribution or sale of gutka and pan masala containing tobacco or nicotine, or any other product marketed separately containing tobacco or nicotine, was issued by the Central Government taking cognisance of the Global Audit Tobacco Survey — India (GATS) 2010, that mortality and morbidity due to consumption of smokeless tobacco was very high in India.
The survey stated that India shares the maximum burden of oral cancer in the world.

Godown sealed

In a joint raid conducted by the Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department and the corporation, officials found Rs. 5.70 lakh banned pan masala items stocked in godown in Shevapet here. Recently, the police arrested a gang that was involved in intercepting a lorry carrying pan masala and gutka items. 
Though four persons were arrested, the goods cannot be recovered. It is said that the goods were stocked in a godown in Shevapet. Officials raided the godown and found the banned items. Samples were taken and sent for laboratory tests in Chennai. The godown was sealed by the officials. 

Check adulteration of sago: farmers

Sago unit owners should be included in vigilance committees
A plea to the district administration to take effective steps for checking adulteration in sago manufacturing process was made at the farmers grievances redress day meeting held here on Friday.
M. Asia Mariam, District Collector, presided over the meeting.
K. Sundaram, general secretary of the Tamilaga Vivasayigal Sangam raised this issue and alleged that makka cholam flour is used in the preparation of sago. The government should take effective steps to check this adulteration by setting up vigilance committees in the district.
The farmers representatives and sago unit owners too should be included in the vigilance committees. He also pleaded for awareness meetings to check this illegal practice.
Mr. Sundaram said that the government should issue a GO that sago should be prepared only after peeling the skin from tapioca root. The officials of the Food Safety and Drug Administration Department should conduct surprise checks regularly in these mills and initiate stringent action against the erring mills.
The farmers representatives also pleaded for a survey for identifying the organic farmers in the district and impart specialised training to them, besides extending adequate subsidy linked financial assistance.
Such an initiative will go a long in promoting the interest of organic farmers and also in maintaining sustainability, enhancement of soil fertility and biological diversity and in prohibiting synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, and antibiotics.
Some farmers took exception to the presence of a sand quarry in River Cauvery bed near Mohanur, despite the stiff opposition by the local people and farming community.
The continuance of the quarry will badly affect the farm operation and drinking water sources.
The farmers and other sections of the society have already organised various agitations to express their opposition to this quarry. The government should at once close this quarry, they added.
There is still confusion on the issue of getting permission for the lifting of silt free of cost from the dry beds of water bodies in the district. The farmers are still not aware on whom to approach for submitting their applications and getting permission. They also sought clarification from the authorities whether the farmers were entitled to lift the silt only from their respective villages.
Ms. Asia Mariam said that farmers should submit their application for lifting to the tahsildar through the VAO. The concerned tahsildar will take decision based on prevailing circumstances on according permission for the lifting of silt in the water bodies of other villages.
The animal husbandry department is providing fodder at subsidised rate to all the farmers who have registered for the same. The district is expected about 100 tonnes of dry fodder soon, the Collector added.

Gutka and tobacco products worth Rs 3.70 lakh seized in Erode

Erode Nearly Rs 3.70 lakh worth of banned gutka and tobacco products were seized during raids conducted here.
In a press communication, Food Safety and Standard Authority of India today said, a team of officials carried out surprise raids in shops in Kongalamman Koil street and surrounding areas and confiscated Rs 3.70 lakh worth of banned tobacco and gutka products.
All the seized items were taken to Erode Municipal Corporation garbage yard and destroyed, it said.
The shop keepers who were in possession of the same were warned.
No cases were registered, it added.

Food Safety Enforcement News – India updates-July 02-2017

J & K 

Central team finds J&K food labs ‘partially’ fit

The inspection happened after the High Court directed the government to ascertain whether food safety measures were being taken in the state.
A two-member team of experts from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) inspected the two Food Testing Laboratories in Jammu and Kashmir on Thursday for assessing their facilities and the quality of food testing.
The inspection happened after the High Court directed the government to ascertain whether food safety measures were being taken in the state.
An official, who witnessed the inspection at the Srinagar lab, told Greater Kashmir on the condition of anonymity that food safety standards were being met partially in the state because the labs lacked microbiological testing facilities.
“The team also pointed out shortcomings in sample storage and the legal issues involved,” he said.
The team comprised Lalitha R Gowda, member scientific committee FSSAI, and Shailendra Kumar, assistant director Quality Assurance at FSSAI’s central division, who also is in charge of empanelment and accreditation of food testing laboratories.
Controller Food and Drugs (J&K) Lotika Khajuria said the inspection report will be submitted by the team to the High Court soon. 
“The team will share a sealed report with the High Court only. We do not know the results of inspection ourselves,” she said.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation, the High Court had directed the chief executive officer of the FSSAI to depute a qualified team for inspecting the two food labs in J&K and whether they met the criteria laid out in the Food Safety and Standard Act 2006.
In March last year, after Greater Kashmir published a series of reports about food safety in Kashmir, the High Court took suo moto cognisance of the issue.

CMO Dimapur issues caution to tobacco and pan masala traders

DIMAPUR, : The Chief Medical Officer, Dimapur today informed tobacco and pan masala dealers (wholesale or retail) in Dimapur district to immediately adhere to the Supreme Court order dated September 23, 2016. The order prohibits distribution and sale of guthka or pan masala (containing tobacco or nicotine) and any other product marketed separately having nicotine or tobacco in the final products by whatever name called, whether packaged or unpackaged, or sold as one product or through packaged as separate products in such a manner so as to easily facilitate mixing by the consumers. The CMO informed that the Food Safety Commissioner, Government of Nagaland had issued a notification dated May 16, 2017 in compliance of this order. A press release from the CMO, Dimapur cautioned that non compliance of this notification will be an offence punishable under Section 59 of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006.


Punjab gears up for Food Safety Training

The Punjab government will organise special training programme regarding Food Safety Standards and Regulation Act, 2006 next month.

The training programme will be organised for assistant food commissioners, food inspectors, and designated officers of the health department.

Giving details, Health and Family Welfare Minister Brahm Mohindra said today the training intends to provide the relevant and practical insights about food safety, standards, food safety management systems and related legal provisions under the Act.

He said the training would also impart a complete understanding of Schedule 4 of FSSR Act 2006 besides an overview of Rules & Regulations, 2011.

Mohindra said it has been brought to his notice that the health department had never imparted any such vocational training to the officers of food safety department.

After the training, the officers would attain a uniform pattern of effective compliance of Food Safety and Standards Act across the state.

He said it is the prime duty of the department to ensure health and hygiene of the citizens, which could be ensured through supply of nutritious and unadulterated food items.

The training programme would also cover food operations and control, management and supervision, food testing, prevention of cross contamination besides consumer information.

As many as 30 officers of health department would be provided training in first phase, he said.


With lax enforcement, gutkha sale continues silently

Despite prompt bans and reports of seizures, banned tobacco and other addictive products continue to be widely available
The Tamil Nadu government banned the sale of gutkha and pan masala as early as in 2001, but the measure was bogged down in litigation.
Then invoking the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, the Commissioner of Food Safety of the State of Tamil Nadu issued orders prohibiting the manufacture, storage, distribution or sale of gutkha and and pan masala and any other food products containing tobacco or nicotine as ingredients, by whatsoever name it is available in the market, in the whole of the State of Tamil Nadu for one year.
Since then, the ban has been extended through notifications time and again.
Even as enforcement agencies have been cracking down on hubs in the city, the sale is continuing without any interruption.
Here, there, everywhere
A quick survey by The Hindu showed that the banned tobacco products are available across the counter in petty shops all over Chennai.
Gutkha sachets can be bought like candy from shops just outside the Police Commissioner’s office, the Madras High Court, the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Egmore and campuses of government offices.
From Neelangarai up to Tiruvanmiyur, street vendors and petty shops proudly display the array of sachets selling banned tobacco products. A shopkeeper in Tiruvallur Salai, Tiruvanmiyur, said, “There is a huge demand for these products because of the increase in migrant labourers. We receive supply from north Chennai and are getting substantial profits from the sale.”
Near educational institutions
Things are not different near educational institutions. For instance, tobacco products are on sale near the entrance of the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. Multiple raids have not deterred traders from stocking such banned tobacco products in the city.
Reports of arrests
On Thursday, a police press release, listing that day’s developments, said a special team under Pallikaranai Inspector arrested Neeraj Shukla, 21, of Nanmangalam for possessing banned products — ‘mava’ weighing 2kg. Vepery police nabbed a person who was selling Hans near a school on Bricklin Road, besides seizing banned products. Vignesh was caught with ‘mava’ in Koyambedu and Madhan Kumar of Jafferkhanpet was arrested with 20 packs of Hans. T.P. Chatram police held three persons who were in possession of 10 kg of mava.
A senior police officer on condition of anonymity said in most cases, manufacturers and stockists were let off with a fine and a few days in jail. The banned products are either locally produced or transported from other States. Sowcarpet and other adjoining areas are the hubs for the products. Police also received information some time ago that products were being smuggled into the city through container lorries and then distributed.

Food Safety department cracks whip on edible oil sellers

The Food Safety department has confiscated 4030 litres of oil, supposed to be food grade, after detecting shortcomings in details furnished on labels.
In raids conducted across the district, the department took 298 edible oil samples from manufacturers and traders in re-packaging business and, after finding 121 to be defective, registered 24 cases against offenders.
At a recent review meeting chaired by District Collector S.Prabakar in the wake of the raids by Food Safety officials and follow-up action, edible oil manufacturers and traders in re-packaging business in the district were warned of stringent action if they were caught conducting business without obtaining license under Food Safety and Standards Act 2006.
Printed labels on the oil packets must contain complete details of brand, oil type, vegetarian symbol, address of manufacturer, batch number, quantity, price, use by date, and break up of nutrition, Dr. Prabakar said, adding that two types of oil could be blended and sold only with Agmark certification.
Designated Officer for Food Safety and Drug Administration T.Kalaivani and subordinate officials took stock of the extent of conformity of manufacturers and traders to the requirement of prominently displaying the inscription on packets containing lamp oil that it is not fit for consumption.
There was no need to mention the FSSAI license number for lamp oil, the officials explained.
In the event of detection of malpractices, the department has invited the public to pass on information over Whatsapp (9444042322) and landline 0424 2223545.

2 months after crackdown, very few licences for meat shops issued in UP

Agra: Two months after crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses and meat shops in UP soon after chief minister Yogi Adityanath took over the reins of the state, opening a meat shop is still proving to be an uphill task in the state. Of 562 applications received in the past two months in Agra, only 26 have been granted licences so far. Officials said over 250 applications had been rejected outright given the strict rules required for setting shops.
“We cannot take risk of granting licence to shops even if there are minor glitches and invite the wrath of the government later,” said a municipal corporation official.
“In many cases, there is a religious place within the 50-metre radius of the shop for which the permission is being sought, in other cases, shop owners are not able to procure deep-freezers, geysers and knives and choppers made of steel. The NOC can be granted only after all the parameters laid in the rules are met,” said Yogesh Sharma, chief veterinary officer of Agra municipal corporation.
On April 24, the administration had introduced a single-window system at the office of food safety and drug administration (FSDA) to reduce delay and assist applicants in getting the approval in a hassle-free manner, but that has not fetched the desired results. On the other hand, applicants are now alleging harassments at the hand of officials.
Sarvadaliya Muslim Sangharsh Samiti (SMSS) national president Haji Jaleemuddin Qureshi said, “The agencies involved in granting NOCs and licences are raising objections on flimsy grounds. The Allahabad high court in an order has fixed July 17 as the deadline to grant licences to deserving shops and slaughterhouses, but going by the pace of the work, it will take many months before licences would be issued.”
“We have been demanding that people should be allowed to open shops near mosques, as we do not have any objections. This rule of not opening shops with 50 metre of religious places should be applicable for temples and other religious places which have objections,” he added.
FSDA-designated officer Devashish Upadhayay told TOI, “A month’s time is required to grant licence which involve no-objection certificate from the civic body and police. A spot visit by the FSDA is also required to check whether shops are adhering to the prescribed rules or not. For some time in past, the drive slowed down due to other departmental work, but now the work is going on at the required pace.”
The system had raised hopes of meat sellers as they were no longer required to make rounds of different offices to obtain no-objection certificates. The administration mandated that instead of applicants visiting offices of circle officers and the municipal corporation to get requisite NOCs, the FSDA officials would internally conduct this process on their behalf after receiving the applications.

Food Safety Enforcement News – Tamilnadu updates -26-06-2017






ஓட்டல்களில் பிளாஸ்டிக் பேப்பர் பயன்படுத்துவதை தடுக்க வேண்டும்

தலைவாசல்: ஓட்டல்களில், பிளாஸ்டிக் பேப்பர் பயன்படுத்துவதை தடுக்க வேண்டும். தலைவாசல், வீரகனூர் சுற்றுவட்டார பகுதிகளில், 100க்கும் மேற்பட்ட சாலையோர ஓட்டல்கள் செயல்படுகின்றன. அவற்றில், வாழை இலைக்கு பதில், பெரும்பாலும் பிளாஸ்டிக் பேப்பர்களே பயன்படுத்தப்படுகின்றன. அதில், சூடான உணவு பொருட்கள் வைக்கும்போது, பேப்பர் வாசம் வீசுகிறது. குழந்தைகள் சாப்பிடும்போது, வாந்தி உள்ளிட்ட உபாதை ஏற்படுகிறது. மேலும், பேப்பர்களை சாக்கடையில் வீசுவதால், அடைப்பு ஏற்பட்டு கழிவுநீர் தேங்கி நிற்கிறது. பிளாஸ்டிக் பேப்பர் பயன்படுத்துவதை தடுக்க, அதிகாரிகள் நடவடிக்கை எடுக்க வேண்டும் என, மக்கள் வலியுறுத்தினர்.


Food Safety Enforcement News – Tamilnadu this week – June 25-2017





Food traders warned against operating without licence

The district administration has warned operation of businesses in food commodities without the requisite licence mandated by the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulation, 2011.
All traders in food commodities, grocers, hotel owners, tea stalls, sweet and savoury manufacturers and retailers, roadside shopkeepers, bakeries, meat sellers, vegetable and fruit stalls milk producers, and traders, canteens running in schools, college, industrial units, caterers to wedding halls, wholesale and retailers among others are now required to be licensed with permit to operate under the Act.
According to the administration, enough time had been accorded since the coming into force of the Act in May 2011.
Therefore, it is illegal to operate business without permits. Businesses with an annual turnover of Rs. 12 lakh shall pay Rs. 100 per annum in the district treasury and register on along with a photo and valid identity.
The affidavit may be downloaded and submitted to the Food Safety Officer in person or through post.
Alternatively, business operators may take the assistance of Common Service Centres.
Further, for those with an annual turnover exceeding Rs. 12 lakh, the annual fee towards permit is Rs. 2,000. Details regarding registration may be obtained from the District Food Safety and Drug Administration Department, Collectorate; 04342-230385.
Those already with existing permits are required to verify the validity and renew their licence before their validity expires. Renewal of licences before the expiry of validity will prevent levy of penalty and also enable the manufacturers to retain the same registration number printed on the packets of their food products.
Any complaints on food standards may be forwarded to the Food Safety Department’s whatsapp 94440 42322.