Archive for 27,October, 2015

Aquafina Admits That It’s Just Selling Tap Water Bottled & Labelled As Mineral Water In US

27,October, 2015 2 comments

Brand loyalty is a phenomenon that has gripped the modern world and has led people to believe that they must pay a certain decided price just for a label. But what if people were to discover that apart from the labels, the product they are paying from is no different from something they procure anywhere else?

There’s some interesting news for all those people who insist on drinking "bottled mineral water" for the sake of personal health and hygiene. As per a recent admission by Aquafina in the US, reported by ABC News, it’s just tap water behind those labels showing glorious mountains.

The revelation comes after Aquafina in the US was forced to specify PWS (Public Water Source) on its labels, under pressure from Accountability International. The company said it was reasonable to make people understand that they were paying for water that is easily available in their bathroom sink.

The development has also sparked off a debate about tap water being unhealthy. Making people pay more for nothing is one thing, but the tonnes of plastic waste generated from the billion dollar industry, which is floating in the sea and polluting the environment, is a major cause of concern.

On its part PepsiCo India issued a statement saying, “As stated on the label, Aquafina is packaged drinking water with purity guaranteed. As per PepsiCo’s standard process, water used in Aquafina goes through stringent quality checks and treatment to ensure that it is potable. Once this process is complete, the water is further treated through a rigorous, five-step state-of-the-art purification process to ensure that all physical and chemical impurities and harmful microbes are removed. We at PepsiCo, rigorously adhere to the requirements set out in applicable Indian Food Safety and Standards Regulations and Bureau of Indian Standards requirement for packaged drinking water. That’s how we ensure that you get a clean, pure taste every time you open a bottle of Aquafina.”

Of course, tap water in the US is drinkable. So in no way was this endangering the drinkers. And this issue is restricted to the US alone. The water sold in India is pure and much, much cleaner than what we get in our taps.

Categories: NEWS

Nestle to resume sales of Maggi by November

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Swiss food giant Nestle has begun production of Maggi from three of its plants in India and the popular noodle can be expected to be back on shop shelves in a few weeks.The final date, however, has not been fixed yet, the company said on Monday .

The move to start production of Maggi comes after all 90 samples, covering six variants, tested by three laboratories mandated by the Bombay high court, were found to be safe, with lead content much below the permissible limits.

The imminent resumption of Maggi’s sales marks an end of nearly six months of turmoil for the brand which has remained a favourite with consumers for years.

In June, Maggi was ordered off the shelves as the country’s food regulator found high lead content in some of the samples of Maggi. The tough stance of the regulator triggered a scare among food companies and foreign investors.

“We have resumed manufacturing of Maggi noodles at three of our plants, at Nanjangud (Karnataka), Moga (Punjab) and Bicholim (Goa). In compliance with the orders of the Hon’ble High Court of Bombay , fresh samples from these batches will be sent for testing to the three accredited laboratories designated by the HC,“ said a Nestle spokeswoman. Nestle will commence sale of Maggi only after the samples are cleared by these laboratories, said a company spokesman. “We are engaging with the relevant State authorities and other stakeholders at our other manufacturing locations to commence manufacture at the earliest,“ she said.

The controversy over Maggi had dealt a huge blow to the com pany , its suppliers, factories, employees, truckers and distributors. “Consumers love Maggi the way it is and it’s my job to give them Maggi the way it is,“ Nestle India managing director Suresh Narayanan had told TOI in an interview last month.

The company had planned to bring Maggi back in the market by the end of the year but with the results of the tests they would want to hit the shelves in the festival season and seek to help nurse the brand which has been a comfort snack for millions.

Nestle India has conducted over 3,500 tests representing over 200 million packs in both national as well as international accredited laboratories and all reports are clear. In addition to these, various countries including USA, UK, Singapore, Australia and others have found Maggi noodles manufactured in India safe for consumption.

Categories: NEWS

FSDA launches drive against adulterated sweets in festive season

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Agra: With the festive season in progress, cases of adulteration of food items are increasing. Keeping this in mind, the Food Safety and Drug Administration (FSDA) Agra is taking action against adulterers and is conducting regular food checking and testing at different places around the city.

The department after receiving information about adulteration in milk, spices, tomato sauce and paneer, has seized 40 sacks of powder used in making sweets. Shops were found offering sweets and petha with aluminum foil dressing in place of silver foil. In the name of pistachio sweets, groundnut flakes excessively coloured with hazardouse green food pigment was being used, officials alleged.

"On Monday two petha samples collected along NH-2 from two locations were found unsafe. One sample had aluminium dressing in place of silver, while another had excessive synthetic food colouring (288 parts per million). The shops belonged to Roopkishore Agarwal and Santosh Singh," said Ram Naresh Yadav, designated officer, FSDA Agra. "Sweet samples from Shri Ram Traders, Peepal Mandi, collected on Sunday, were found to have aluminium foil dressing foil dressing and coloured groundnut flakes in place of pistachio. The samples collected will be tested at our laboratory and further action will be taken based on report findings," Yadav added.

The FSDA official explained that the law allows silver to be used in its edible form on sweets for decoration, but use of aluminium is not allowed as it can lead to serious health hazards. As per the food safety norms, colours up to 100 parts per million, a way of expressing very diluted concentrations of substances, are allowed in food items, beyond which they are harmful to humans.

Adulteration causes serious risk to health. Presence of harmful starch, urea-mixed milk, caustic soda, artificial sweetening chemicals, non-approved colored sweets and unhygienic cooking conditions lead to acute gastritis, serious diarrhoea, dysentery, dehydration and kidney inflammation among others, officials pointed out.

"On a complaint of adulterated sweet-making powder brand, two men had been arrested for copyright violation. A joint team of local police and FSDA seized 40 sacks of sweet-making powders. Samples collected are being sent for laboratory testing," FSDA officials added.

Categories: NEWS

Diwali delicacies may be unsafe as food safety officers’ crunch hits testing

27,October, 2015 Comments off

Beware before you plan to buy sweets and chocolates for your family this festive season. For more than a year now, 60 per cent posts of food inspectors have been lying vacant.

Beware before you plan to buy sweets and chocolates for your family this festive season. For more than a year now, 60 per cent posts of food inspectors have been lying vacant. This is the peak season when the food department conducts rigorous checks on the shops selling milk and milk products. Lack of these inspectors might hamper the overall sampling process.

There are 32 sanctioned posts of food safety officers of which 20 posts have been lying vacant for more than a year now. The food safety officer assists the designated officer in all matters related to field inspections, including collection of samples and instituting prosecution proceedings in a court of law in defaulting cases.

The department has been waiting to get food inspectors for long but nothing has happened. The Food and Drug department of Delhi keeps surveillance over the market by organising surprise inspections and raids and collecting samples of such food articles which can be potentially adulterated, sub-standard or misbranded.

The department, on an average, receives 125 food samples in a month for testing. Sources in the health department added that due to the vacant posts, the overall process gets hampered.

Officials added that due to large number of food business operators in Delhi, the role and availability of such officers is extremely important. In 2014-2015, the department collected 1,480 samples of food items and sent them for testing.

"The posts have been lying vacant for more than a year now. We have escalated the matter to Delhi government and soon new people will be hired. Such posts should not remain vacant for long, as these officers have a direct link to people’s health," Dr Mrinalini Darswal, Commissioner, Department of Food Safety, Delhi government told Mail Today.

The food inspectors are hired by Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board (DSSSB). There are 11 districts in the capital, for which there are 12 food safety officers. Interestingly, apart from conducting regular inspections, these food officers have other duties.

With these 12 officers, the department has begun the rigorous checking of the food items. "Our focus is to check the raw materials. During this season, the shopkeepers mix the old and stale food with the new packets and try to sell it to the customers," added Dr Darswal.

The department is also working on getting a hi-tech upgraded lab for testing food samples. Experts add that the lab will have better infrastructure, more people and upgraded equipment.

As per the official process, the food department receives a complaint about an adulterated food item, the report is then marked to the designated district officer, who along with the food safety officer visits the shop to collect the samples. The samples are then sent for testing where the food analyst supervises the work and sends the reports back to the concerned department.

Categories: NEWS