Step-Up Food Tech Solutions

6,August, 2020 Leave a comment

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MOOSA-Representation regarding edible oil loose sale in Tamilnadu

5,August, 2020 Leave a comment

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Categories: NEWS

Covid-19: Food trade body wants to do away with FSSAI licence for 2020

5,August, 2020 Leave a comment
 

The Food Safety and Standard Authority Of India on June 18 had allowed extension in renewal of FSSAI licence till July 31

With the novel coronavirus induced disruption showing no major sign of easing, a trade body has urged food regulator FSSAI to do away with renewal of licence for food business for the current fiscal.

The Food Safety and Standard Authority Of India (FSSAI) on June 18 had allowed extension in renewal of FSSAI licence till July 31.

Federation of All India Vyapar Mandal, national general secretary, V K Bansal told PTI, "The last date of renewal of FSSAI licence is approaching and half of the country is still under lockdown declared by the local district administrations. Compliance of renewal of FSSAI licence is on the lower side. In such a scenario, renewal for one year against actual working for 3-4 months is not justified.

"We requested the FSSAI to do away with the renewal of FSSAI licence for the current financial year."

In December, 2019 it was agreed in the presence of FSSAI officials that a suitable amendment will be brought in the FSS (Licensing and registration of Food Businesses) Regulation, 2011 to make the following amendments – removal of provisions for renewal of licence/registration with one-time fee, easy/online submission of annual returns and reduction in licence fee.

Categories: NEWS

Food inspectors pull up sweet shop staff for not wearing masks

5,August, 2020 Leave a comment
 

Edibles safe, officers on vigil before Rakshabandhan say they’re impressed

Food safety officials did not find adulteration in any of the milk products sold by sweet shops in the capital during an inspection on Sunday, but some staffers at the shops weren’t wearing face masks, a practice that risks coronavirus infection of customers.

Ranchi food safety officer S.S. Kullu headed the inspection in the wake of Rakshabandhan, which will be celebrated on Monday. “There was no adulteration in food items. While I was impressed by the purity of the food, missing masks from faces of some staff members was a serious problem,” he said.

Kullu asked staff members and shop owners to religiously follow safety guidelines related to the Covid-19 pandemic, and warned them of consequences if any staffer was found not wearing face masks the next time.

“Almost all of them (staff) were carrying face masks, but some of them kept their masks in their pocket. Barring this practice, no other anomaly was found,” said Kullu.

Food safety officials conducted on-the-spot tests of edibles at more than a dozen popular sweet shops across the state capital on Sunday as the process of sending food samples to laboratories for test and getting the results takes at least 15 days, officials said.

Categories: NEWS

Centre plans to restrict margarine in edible items, boost manufacture of butter instead

5,August, 2020 Leave a comment
 

Margarine, an emulsion of edible vegetable oil, water, and not having less than 80% of fat is a health hazard for the consumer. The PMO has asked FSSAI to issue directives, clarification, and directives, on the future use of margarine in edible items.

The use of the ‘margarine’, an emulsion of edible vegetable oil, water, and not having less than 80% of fat, has increased immensely in hotels, restaurants, and the places where edibles are prepared and served. This is affecting adversely the health of the people and the sale of the butter made from the cow milk, fetching financial loss to the farmers. The government needs to have control over the sale of margarine, demanded Union Minister Nitin Gadkari.

Gadkari, the current Minister for Road Transport & Highways, Minister of Shipping and the Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, had recently written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the matter.

Taking immediate cognizance of the demand, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) directed the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) which immediately issued a clarification, directives, and future courses of action to control the use of the margarine in edible items.

The butter made from cow milk is nourishing for health whereas the margarine has a negative impact on human health due to the presence of the huge trans fat in it.

Besides, being cheap, margarine is used as a substitute for butter, which has a negative impact on the dairy farmers and the milk collection has been affected unfavorably.

FSSAI has clarified that limit of trans fats is fixed at not more than 5% in bakery and industrial Margarine. The process is on for reducing the limit of Trans Fats in edible oils and fats not more than 3% by 2021 and not more than 2% by 2022. It has been made mandatory to declare the number of Trans Fats and Saturated Fats on the labels of the margarine products where Margarine is used.

In order to prevent any possibility of manufacturers of dairy analogs, including margarine, to mislead the consumers, FSSAI is amending the FSS (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 by including a specific definition for dairy analog as margarine is also a dairy analog and specifying the additional labeling criterion for such products.

The name of the product shall be clear as regards to the true nature of the product, dairy term, or phonetically similar or spell alike terms shall not be used in the nomenclature of the product and a declaration "This Is Not A Dairy Product" shall be made on the label. Along with this, a provision is being introduced for use of a specific logo exclusively on the label of dairy product (e.g. Butter) to differentiate the same from dairy analog.

The use of the Margarine and other dairy analogs in prepared food and serving such products at eating places or take – away joints without knowledge of the customers is a challenge as the product packaging (label) is removed from the product before use or serving. To address the challenge the FSSAI is also working and exploring the options to ensure the consumers.

The restaurants and other eating joints must declare the use of dairy analog, an enforcement drive to check for non-compliance by restaurants will be held, eating joints will be asked to inform the consumers about the use of dairy analogs in prepared food, creating awareness through guidance documents / FAQS, some other specific compositional, labeling requirements which may help consumers to differentiate between butter and Margarine will be taken in.

The initiative of Nitin Gadkari and immediate intervention by PMO will give respite to the consumers, save from health hazards and will increase the use of the butter made from cow milk helping the farmers as the procurement of the milk will increase for manufacturing the Butter and its use instead of Margarine as its use is going to be restricted in an upcoming couple of years.

Categories: NEWS

Is that milk safe?

5,August, 2020 Leave a comment
 

India is the world’s largest milk producer; it produced a massive 188 million tonnes in 2018-19. Urban areas consume 52 per cent of this milk, and the unorganised sector, comprising milkmen and contractors, caters to 60 per cent of this consumer base; the remaining demand is met by dairy cooperatives and private dairies which represent the organised sector.

But how healthy is the milk that we consume?

An online meeting and consultation of key stakeholders, organisedhere on July 28 by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE)on the subject of antibiotic use in the Indian dairy sector, put the spotlight on this question and its answers. The event was attended by a wide spectrum of experts and participants from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI); the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB); the World Health Organization (WHO); the Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying; the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation;and representatives from specialised educational and research institutions, civil society bodies, and concerned departments from different states.

CSE has recently published its assessment of antibiotic use in the country’s dairy industry and its findings are disturbing.“We have found that antibiotics are extensively misused in the dairy sector; antibiotic residues remain largely untested in milk, an integral part of Indian diets, particularly of children.We are concerned. While we continue to struggle against COVID-19, we are staring at another pandemic like situation – that of antibiotic resistance fueled by the way we are producing our food, which has become chemical-intensive,” said CSE director general SunitaNarain, speaking at the meeting.

CSE’s assessment shows that dairy farmers indiscriminately use antibiotics for diseases such as mastitis (infection/inflammation of the udder), a common ailment in dairy animals. Often, these include critically important antibiotics (CIAs) for humans – the World Health Organization (WHO)has warned that these antibiotics should be preserved in view of the growing crisis of antibiotic resistance. These CIAs include aminoglycosides and penicillins as well as third-generation cephalosporins and fluroquinolones, which are considered highest priority critically important antibiotics (HPCIAs).

These antibiotics – despite a law against it – are easily available without the prescription of a registered veterinarian and stocked at farms. Farmers often inject animals based on their own judgement of signs and symptoms of a disease without any veterinary supervision.

CSE researchers also pointtowards inadequate focus on testing for antibiotic residues in the milk collected by some state milk federations, which process it and sell packaged milk and dairy products under popular brands.

“Farmers often sell milk while the animal is under treatment, which increases the chances of antibiotic residues in the milk. While milk sold directly to consumers is not tested, contrary to what one would expect, processed milk sold in packets is also largely unchecked for antibiotic residues,” says Amit Khurana, programmedirector, food safety and toxins programme, CSE.

He adds: “This explains why despite pooling and processing, packed milk samples from several states had antibiotic residues in the FSSAI’s milk quality survey of 2018.”

Encouraging: Dairy sector acknowledges the problem, resolves to act

CSE researchers note that the online consultation brought forth signs that were very encouraging. Says Khurana: “The issues highlighted by the CSE assessment have been well recognised by the experts and stakeholders. These experts have also recommended several measures for minimisingantibiotic misuse in the Indian dairy sector.”

He points out that “preventative aspects” are showing some success. “Information shared by various organisations, agencies and experts suggest that ethno-veterinary medicines, better management of sub-clinical mastitis and good farm management are contributing towards reducing antibiotic misuse,” Khurana says.

CSE has suggested a series of measures such as limiting misuse of antibiotics, particularly CIAs, and no-use of HPCIAs; modifying existing standards for antibiotic residues in milk accordingly; ensuring antibiotics are not available without prescription; and undertaking routine surveillance of antibiotic residues in milk.

Summing up, Narainsaid: “What is really remarkable and significant is that India is now talking about antibiotic resistance in the one-health perspective. There is a shared concern, and all voices are now together in expressing that concern. The agenda should now move forward. We must ramp up surveillance and testing, put a complete stop to the use of critically important antibiotics and penalise their use and work with farmers and the agriculture-dairy sectors to innovate on solutions.”

Categories: NEWS

Food adulteration: How to test quality of food products? FSSAI releases booklets for students

5,August, 2020 Leave a comment
 

FSSAI releases booklets on food adulteration! In a bid to spread awareness about food adulteration, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has prepared lesson plan booklets for school students to detect adulteration of food. As part of the project, separate small booklets have been prepared by a team of experts for the students from class III to class Xth which detail various ways to detect adulteration and impurities in their food. The booklets can be downloaded from the website of Eat Right School, an initiative adopted by the government in the year 2016 to spread awareness about food safety amongst school children.

The booklets which have been released vary in size and content for students of different classes. While the booklet released for class III contains 45 pages, the size of the booklets of class Xth students increases to 68 pages. Far from being just a self-awareness kit for students to get aware about adulteration and its evils, the book is replete with tests, experiments along with their manual procedures which the students can undertake to actually detect adulterated food. The team of experts also appear to have factored in the need of trained teachers and school laboratories while preparing the course book as the lessons are detailed and need the infrastructure of a functional science lab to be undertaken. Apart from detailing the types of adulteration and resulting harms, the booklets consist of major lab tests to test the quality of various food products. For instance, the booklet for class 3 grade consists of tests to check the quality of food products like milk, egg, honey, pulses, salt, butter, icecream among others.

Each test is accompanied by a manual procedure to be adopted and various steps to be followed to ascertain the quality of the food products. At the beginning of the book, a note to teachers has also been appended along with general lab safety rules to be complied by the students and teachers. The booklets have also been interspersed with various coloured photographs to help students learn better and also keep them hooked to the experiments. While the initiative is laudable as leave aside students, even adults are devoid of any functional knowledge to test adulteration in various food products, the real success will only come if such experiments are conducted on a large scale in various schools spanning across different parts of the country.

Categories: NEWS

FSSAI-Advisories / Orders–june and july 2020

30,July, 2020 Leave a comment
Categories: Advisory

FSSAI for building awareness as mfg date display on sweets now by Oct 1

30,July, 2020 Leave a comment

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has urged food associations in the country to conduct awareness workshops and capacity building for FBOs involved in manufacturing and sale of unpacked sweets, as the implementation date of the order seeking display of ‘date of manufacturing’ and ‘best before’ on containers, is coming closer.
Giving a month extra, the order will now come into force from October 1, 2020. The earlier date was August 1, which was extended from June 1, 2020, due to Covid-19 pandemic.
“Sweets associations are advised to sensitise and build capacity of their members to implement the order from October 1, 2020,” reads the order issued by FSSAI.
The FSSAI through an order has given the final extension for the implementation, saying, ‘in view of disruption and lockdown due to Covid pandemic and representation received from sweets associations and stakeholders, it has been decided to give final extension to the date of enforcement for display of ‘Date of Manufacturing’ and ‘Best Before Date’ of non-packaged/loose sweets on their container/try at the outlet for the sale from August 1 to October 1, 2020.’
FSSAI has extended the date for complying with directions regarding display of ‘Date of Manufacturing’ and ‘Best Before Date’ for sweets sold loose, thrice thus far.
An official with the FSSAI said, “Keeping in view the general public health and food safety, it was decided not to further extend the dates for implementation of this order seeking non-packaged or loosely sold sweets, carrying ‘Date of Manufacturing’ and ‘Best Before Date’ of the product.”
The decision to ask FBOs to carry ‘Date of Manufacturing and Best Before’ was taken after the food authority got complaints about stale sweets sold to customers in many parts of the country.
FSSAI has maintained that while in case of pre-packaged sweets, the ‘Date of Manufacturing’ and ‘Best Before Date’ of the products must be mentioned on their labels as per the FSS (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, however there was no such provision for products such as sweets sold loose. Therefore to ensure food safety of the loosely sold sweets, it was decided that non-packaged sweets should also carry Date of Manufacturing and Best Before Date on the container.
It is pertinent to mention here that in March this year, FSSAI had also issued a ‘Guidance Note’ for food businesses to ensure hygiene and sanitation in manufacturing and sale of milk products particularly sweets. This was done after a survey conducted by FSSAI in Delhi NCR found issues of sanitation and hygiene in manufacturing and sale of unpacked sweets and savouries.
The ‘note’ stated that ‘The packaging and labelling requirements are often neglected by FBOs selling unpacked sweets.
It was suggested in the guidance note that in case of non-packaged/loose sweets, the container/tray holding the items at the outlet should display the following information: ‘Best before or use by date and whether Oil/Ghee/Vanaspati’ is used.

Categories: NEWS