Danger of contamination hovers loose over food products

2,March, 2015 Leave a comment

Food is key vehicle in transmission of communicable diseases, which is why it should be safe in nature, in processing, in storage, in packaging as well as in retail premises where it is sold. It should be free from toxins and contaminants which may prove to be potential health hazards. It may be observed that in retail premises, often, food articles like sugar, pulses, rice, wheat, and maize are kept open and is handled by unskilled laborers unaware about the type of contaminants that can cause health hazards for consumers.
The sources of contaminants, how they contaminate and what are their impacts are detailed below for the benefit of the common consumers:
Food handling in retail premises
Food comes in contact with human hands during, transportation, storage and selling. It is very important that people handling food items are free from any communicable diseases like cold, respiratory ailments, and cuts and boils, which could be transferred to open food items, thereby spreading the infection to persons or consumers consuming the food article. Human hair, nasal discharge, and skin can also be source of microorganisms. A number of gastrointestinal disorders, such as diarrhoea, cholera and communicable diseases such as typhoid, septic sore throat, diphtheria, and dysentery are communicated by use of contaminated food articles.
Shopkeeper and food handler
It is the responsibility of the shopkeeper and the engaged labourers in outbreak of food poisoning due to contaminants emanating from various external agents as also food handlers themselves. Due to paucity of space, most of the food articles are transferred to storage and kept without proper coverage where proper hygienic system is not followed. As a result, there is every possibility of transmission of diseases like amoebic dysentery, bacillary dysentery, typhoid and paratyphoid fevers, viral hepatitis, staphylococcal and streptococcal infections, salmonellosis3 and so on.
Contamination by rodents
Rodents are a pest group which can contaminate open food items and are a serious threat to humans for spreading diseases. Rodents include mice, rats and bandicoots. The accumulation of faeces from mice and rats spread bacteria, contaminate open food articles and trigger allergic reactions in humans. Once the faecal matter becomes dry, it can be hazardous to those who breathe it in. Moreover, people are infected through inhalation of infected rodent urine, droppings or saliva in food articles kept open. Hantavirus 4 is a potentially life threatening disease transmitted by rodents.
Contamination by insects
(i) House Fly: One of the most common insects is the housefly. These have minute hair on their legs and thus carry various types of bacteria, viruses, and germs. Normally, in markets these flies are found everywhere and sit on open food articles like sugar and other food articles made of sugar which cannot be cleaned. It has also been observed that flies of both sexes feed on all kinds of human food, garbage and excreta, including sweat and animal dung. The fly picks up disease causing organisms while moving and feeding and transmits it when it makes contact with people and their food. The diseases that flies can transmit are dysentery, diarrhoea, typhoid, cholera, jaundice, poliomyelitis and also certain helminth infections and poliomyelitis. They contaminate open food by carrying/spreading the germs, parasite and bacterium of all the above diseases that are infectious to humans. It is also possible that they may carry faecal matter or from other such sources of pathogenic bacteria and deposit it on the open food articles which contaminate food articles and cause serious damage to human beings. According to study report by a scientist of Kansas State University, fly can contaminate food by E. faecalis, a bacterium that is resistant to antibiotics and causes the majority of intestinal infections. II) Cockroaches: According to a University of Nebraska Lincoln (UNL) publication, cockroaches have been found to be the cause of Salmonella food contamination or food poisoning that can be life threatening noting that other pathogenic bacterium, includes staphylococcus, streptococcus and coliforms, have been found in cockroaches. Cockroaches can contaminate food products by spreading 33 different kinds of bacteria 7 as reported by NPMA vice-president of public affairs. According to a report by World Health Organisation (WHO), cockroach can play a role as carriers of intestinal diseases such as diarrhoea, dysentery, typhoid and cholera and are very fond of sugar and starchy sugary material. Normally, in retail shops the sugars as also materials made of sugar are not properly covered and kept closed inside the shop after the market hours. Cockroaches can contaminate open food articles like sugar and starchy sugary materials as they are carriers of the organisms causing diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera, leprosy, plague, typhoid fever, and viral diseases such as poliomyelitis. In addition, they carry the eggs of parasitic worms and may cause allergic reactions, including dermatitis, itching, swelling of the eyelids and more seriously respiratory conditions.
Possible contaminants in jute sacks
Normally sugars, pulses, rice, and wheat are packed in jute sacks. The contaminant in jute sacks is jute batching oil (JBO) used in the jute industry to make the jute fibre. There are two varieties of JBO generally used in jute industries in India; the first one is called JBO having lower viscosity and lower boiling point and the second one called JBO (P), with comparatively higher viscosity and higher boiling point ( Mahapatra-1977). So far there have been a very limited number of experimental studies on the toxic effect of JBO. Roe et al. 1967 have described the carcinogenic effect of mineral oil used in the processing of jute fibres on mouse skin and showed the presence of benzo (a) pyrene (BaP) in the tested oil in traces. A study conducted by Mehrotra and Saxena 1979 has indicated the carcinogenic effect of JBO (C) on albino mice.
It is an established fact that unhygienic food processing and improper packaging can create hazards like salmonella, microbes, endotoxins, migration of toxins from packing material, adhesive & inks and so on and can render the food unfit for human consumption. Other contaminants due to packaging could be physical and chemical changes, migration of chemicals, off flavours, colour and texture change, moisture and oxygen transfer and the effects of light and temperature changes on account of lack of proper barrier properties of packing materials.
All these contaminants found in loose food products are there due to unhygienic food handling. Rodents also cause contamination of food and food products by droppings as also accumulating faeces and faecal matters and making urine in food and food products. House flies contaminate loose food products by spreading germs, parasites and bacterium. Cockroaches can contaminate food by spreading 33 types of bacteria in food and food products. Jute batching oil is another contaminant used in jute processing which has carcinogenic effect as reported by Mehrotra and Saxena.
Given the above argument it is extremely important that we purchase food items that are well packaged and sealed to ensure they are free of toxins and contamination.

Categories: NEWS

பண்ருட்டியில் உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரி திடீர் ஆய்வு

2,March, 2015 Leave a comment


பண்ருட்டியில் உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரி திடீரென ஆய்வு மேற்கொண்டார்.


பண்ருட்டி பகுதியில் உள்ள பல்வேறு கடைகளில் மாவட்ட உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரி டாக்டர் ராஜா திடீர் ஆய்வு மேற்கொண்டார். பண்ருட்டி வட்டார வளர்ச்சி அலுவலகம் எதிரில் உள்ள டாஸ்மாக் கடையில் ஆய்வு செய்தார். அதில் காலாவதியான மதுபானங்கள் விற்பனை செய்யப்படுகிறதா? என்று பாட்டில்களை பார்த்தார். மேலும் அருகில் இருந்த பாருக்குள் சென்ற டாக்டர் ராஜா, அங்கு சுகாதாரமற்ற நிலையில் கிடந்ததை கண்டு அதிர்ச்சி அடைந்தார். உடனே அங்கிருந்தவர்களிடம், சுகாதாரமாக வைத்துக்கொள்ள வேண்டும் என்று கூறினார்.

மேலும் குடியிருப்பு பகுதிகளில் டெங்கு காய்ச்சலை ஏற்படுத்தக்கூடிய அளவில் தேங்கி கிடந்த பிளாஸ்டிக் பொருட்களையும், வடிகால் வாய்க்காலில் கிடந்த பொருட்களையும் உடனே அகற்ற அவர் உத்தரவிட்டார்.

சுகாதார உணவு

இதையடுத்து பண்ருட்டியில் உள்ள பல்வேறு ஓட்டல்களில் உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரி சோதனை நடத்தினார். அப்போது கடையின் உரிமையாளரிடம், சுகாதாரமான முறையில் உணவு சமைத்து கொடுக்க வேண்டும் என்று அறிவுறுத்தினார். ஆய்வின்போது அண்ணாகிராம வட்டார உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரி கந்தசாமி உடன் இருந்தார்.

Categories: Cuddalore, DISTRICT-NEWS

மதிப்பு கூட்டிய மீன் உணவு பொருட்கள் தயாரித்தல் பயிற்சி

2,March, 2015 Leave a comment

Categories: Cuddalore, DISTRICT-NEWS

உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரி ஆய்வு

1,March, 2015 1 comment


பண்ருட்டி: பண்ருட்டியில் டாஸ்மாக் கடையில் மாவட்ட உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரி ராஜா திடீர் சோதனை மேற்கொண்டார். சோதனையின் போது, பி.டி.ஓ., அலுவலகம் எதிரில் உள்ள டாஸ்மாக் பார்களில் சுகாதார மற்ற நிலையில் இருந்தைப் பார்த்து எச்சரிக்கை விடுத்தார். மேலும், டெங்கு காய்ச்சல் ஏற்படுத்தக்கூடிய அளவில் பிளாஸ்டிக் தண்ணீர் கப்புகள் கீழே கிடந்தை உடனடியாக அகற்றி உத்தரவிட்டார். மேலும் கடலூர் சாலையில் உள்ள ஒட்டல்களிலும் சோதனை நடத்தினார். ஆய்வின் போது அண்ணாகிராமம் வட்டார உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அலுவலர் கந்தசாமி உள்ளிட்டோர் உடனிருந்தனர்.

Categories: Cuddalore, DISTRICT-NEWS

விழிப்புணர்வு பேரணி

28,February, 2015 Leave a comment

வாடிப்பட்டி. : தமிழ் நாடு உணவு பாதுகாப்பு மற்றும் மருந்து நிர்வாகத்துறை, பரவை மீனாட்சிமில்ஸ் மற்றும் மங்கையர்கரசி கலைக்கல்லூரி சார்பில் சமயநல்லூரில் பறவைக்காய்ச்சல், பன்றிக்காய்ச்சல் மற்றும் டெங்குகாய்ச்சல் தொடர்பான விழிப்புணர்வு பேரணி நடைபெற்றது. இந்நிகழ்ச்சிக்கு உணவுப்பாதுகாப்பு துறை மதுரை மாவட்ட நியமன அலுவலர் சுகுணா தலைமை தாங்கி னார். சமயநல்லூர் டிஎஸ்பி வேல்முருகன், சமயநல்லூர் ஊராட்சி மன்ற தலைவர் சுசித்ரா ஆகியோர் முன் னிலை வகித்தனர்,பேரணி யை மதுரை மாவட்ட கூடுதல் எஸ்.பி.ஜான் கொடியசைத்து துவக்கிவைத்தார். பின்னர் மாணவர்களும் அதிகாரிகளும் பறவை காய்ச்சல், டெங்கு காய்ச்சல்  தொடர்பான முன்னெச்சரிக்கை நடவடிக்கை குறித்து உறுதிமொழி எடுத்துக்கொண்டனர்.

Categories: NEWS

போடி: தடை செய்யப்பட்ட புகையிலை பொருள்கள் பறிமுதல்

28,February, 2015 Leave a comment

போடியில் ரூ.70 ஆயிரம் மதிப்புள்ள தடை செய்யப்பட்ட புகையிலை பொருள்களை வெள்ளிக்கிழமை உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரிகள் பறிமுதல் செய்தனர்.

போடியில் தடை செய்யப்பட்ட புகையிலை, குட்கா பொருள்கள் விற்கப்படுவதாக வந்த தகவலையடுத்து, உணவு பாதுகாப்புத் துறை மாவட்ட நியமன அலுவலர் மீனாட்சிசுந்தரம், போடி உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அலுவலர் பாலமுருகன், போடி நகராட்சி சுகாதார ஆய்வாளர்கள் சுல்தான், தர்மராஜ், கோபாலகிருஷ்ணன் ஆகியோர் கடைகளில் திடீர் சோதனை நடத்தினர்.

இதில் போடி நகராட்சிப் பகுதிகளில் 30க்கும் மேற்பட்ட கடைகளில் அரசால் தடை செய்யப்பட்ட புகையிலை மற்றும் குட்கா பொருள்கள் விற்கப்படுவது தெரியவந்தது. இவற்றை அதிகாரிகள் பறிமுதல் செய்தனர். இவற்றின் மதிப்பு ரூ.70 ஆயிரம் இருக்கும்.

பறிமுதல் செய்யப்பட்ட புகையிலை மற்றும் குட்கா பொருள்களை அதிகாரிகள் தீ வைத்து அழித்தனர்.

Categories: DISTRICT-NEWS, Theni

FDA penalises Royal Corn Flour for misbranding

28,February, 2015 Leave a comment

PANAJI: Under the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, the Adjudicating Officer cum District Magistrate, North Goa has imposed a penalty of ` 25,000 on National Food Products, Mumbai for the manufacture and distribution of a misbranded food article in the name of Royal Corn Flour.

The label wrapper of the product did not bear the date of manufacture, lot numbers as well as date of packing which is in contravention of Section 26 (2) and 26 (2) (v) of the Food Safety Act that reads with the Chapter, 8 and 9 of the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulation 2011, states a FDA press release.

The sample of the food article was drawn during a complaint inspection of the Goa University faculty canteen operated at Taleigao plateau by John Menezes. The canteen was found to be unhygienic and during the inspection visit, FDA’s food safety officer Shailesh Shenvi had drawn a sample of Royal Corn Flour which was sent to the FDA laboratory in Bambolim for analysis.

The release also states that the analysis declared the said sample to be misbranded, whereby the label declaration on the product was not available and the misbranded product was purchased by the canteen person from Miramar-based food distributor Quick Marketing Bureau owned by Erasmo Araoujo who had in turn obtained the same from the main manufacturer National Food Products, Mumbai.

The food safety officer filed a civil proceeding before the District Magistrate cum Adjudicating Officer, North Goa under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, who after examining the said matter imposed a penalty fine of 25,000 on the manufacturer, whilst the distributor, Quick Marketing Bureau, and Goa University faculty canteen contractor John Menezes were imposed penalty fine of ` 10,000 each for dealing and selling a misbranded food article.

Categories: NEWS

Toxic beverages hazardous for human health

28,February, 2015 Leave a comment

Various additives and contaminants, particularly the non-permitted substances, are often found in beverages. These substances and associated health hazards are discussed and some precautionary measures are suggested.

Drinking water may contain excess fluoride, a common cause of fluorosis. The nitrites or nitrates in the beverages can come from fields where chemical fertilisers are applied to soil. These chemicals can cause methaemoglobianemia and even cancer. Cyanide (a nerve poison) has been found in May 2014 in packaged drinking water by Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Maharashtra, at two bottling plants in the state. In other samples, contamination of coliform bacteria in high proportion was detected.

Milk and tea

Milk is diluted with water or mixed with boric acid, glucose, starch, wheat flour, arrowroot, rice flour, urea, skimmed milk powder and harmful detergents. Milk was found adulterated with gentamycin at a level of 40-80 ug/ml in some samples, and mixing of formalin (40%) helps to preserve milk for a long time. Prohibited neutralisers such as, hydrated lime, sodium hydroxide, sodium carbonate or sodium bicarbonate, are added for uniform consistency.

Milk is contaminated with virus-A which is generally present in human faeces or urine that causes infectious hepatitis. This is most probable in places with poor sanitary conditions. In market samples, milk contained a mycotoxin aflatoxin-1 and traces of chlorpyriphos. Improperly processed milk contains bacteria and Shigellosis is the outcome of bacterial contamination. Animal feed contaminated with mycotoxins can result in the carry-over of toxins through milk to consumers.

Commercial tea is mixed with used tea or coloured leaves, sawdust, husk of chick pea or black gram. These adulterants can produce cancer. A synthetic pyrethroid (propathrin) was found beyond limited content (4.3 ppm versus permitted 2 ppm) in market samples. Coffee powder is mixed with chicory, cereal starch or scorched persimmon stones.

Other drinks

Popular soft drinks include several branded products marketed by private firms. These drinks may contain caffeine, taurine, sweeteners and supplements without energy providers. It is proved that the obesity in USA is increasing with cola consumption. In India, the great worry for school authorities and parents is that school children prefer soft drinks. Unfortunately, the powerful business firms convince consumers through TV programmes and attractive advertisements in local media for their products often sponsored by the celebrities. There is however interesting news that coca cola sales have come down by 7% due to awareness of its effect on human health. An overdose of cola results in morbidity fat and serious sickness. There is need to ban sugary beverages that often contain addictive chemicals. Recently there have been reports from Africa that cola production is decreasing fast and the cost of such drinks may shoot up by mega proportions. Brominated vegetable oils if present in cold drink can cause anaemia. The allura red colour is added to soft drinks which can produce hypersensitivity.

Street drinks may contain cadmium that causes acute gastritis, kidney damage and prostate cancer. Cardiac insufficiency or myocardial failure can be a result of cobalt content. Vendors sell juices and prepare candies on the street. Water, used in juice of sugarcane or lime and ice put in juices can contain bacteria (Staphylococcus, Bacillus and faecal coliforms). Lemonade soda contains mineral acid. The roadside ice gola, popular amongst children, may contain rhodamine B colour.

In urban and rural areas, local wine based on fermented mahua or millet grains is a common scenario. It is cheap and satisfies poor man’s giddiness. This drink containing crude alcohol/methanol or spirit is dangerous to liver and digestive system and can produce blurred vision or even blindness.. Nevertheless, for the sake of taxes, government allows these shops to sell these liquors openly.

Safety measures

Since beverages can be contaminated during their journey from the factory to the consumers, handling plays an important role in spreading contamination. In any case, precaution is necessary to avoid poisoning of chemicals. For this, consumers should check expiry date on the packet label and should reject unpermitted beverages for the content of chemicals. This can be done through demonstration of the detection of additives and contaminants. In the past, there have been complaints by consumers that commercials follow for soft drinks. Therefore, the Central Consumer Protection Council, the apex body for consumer protection , has set up a committee to deal with false claims made in advertisements appearing on TV, radio and in print e.g., milk supplement including Complan (Heinz), Horlicks (GlaxoSmithKline).

Similarly, under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issues notices from time to time to companies. In future, the government would have to amend the Consumer Protection Act of 1986 which holds only manufacturers responsible for making false claims. Thus, there is need to prepare guidelines for social and economic responsibilities of business firms because it is not easy to settle matters through the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission. Regulations for transportation of beverages should be made stringent so that advertisers do not exploit loopholes and display boards on vehicles because consumers may prefer the greatly advertised drinks without knowing their long-term health impact.

Analysis of surveillance data

Misuse and illegal use of additives creating food safety problems can lead to health hazards. However, link of chemical hazards with illness if often difficult as this may take a long time after consumption. Consumers therefore must be stimulated for risk-based approach backed by information. The health authorities should keep watch on illegal activity. In few states, policy-makers have, however, made certain changes and the public health department is scrupulously supervising application of laws and regulations with an objective to get healthy and safe beverages. Recently, formation of the National Food Quality Control Board has been muted and the ministry of health and family welfare has constituted a National Codex Committee and established the National Food Science and Risk Assessment Centre for carrying out analysis of food surveillance data. Sampling and verification of the content at the recommended analytical laboratories is another way. The system of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) is also available in India to identify, and evaluate health hazards. Concept of the food safety objectives developed by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) and WHO

Categories: NEWS

Minutes of the 12th meeting Central Advisory Committee of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India held on 01st August, 2014 at New Delhi. (Dated: 26.02.2015).

27,February, 2015 Leave a comment

Pages from 12th_CAC_Meeting-2Pages from 12th_CAC_Meeting


Categories: MINUTES

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 607 other followers