Food safety checks to be stepped up
Food safety inspections will be stepped up across the State for New Year celebrations following directivess issued by the government.
Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar has instructed Food Safety Commissioner T.V. Anupama to organise surprise raids on bakeries, hotels, restaurants, and outdoor eateries.
Night-time inspections will be carried out at tourist centres.
Fruit stalls will also be checked to verify reports about the use of calcium carbide for artificial ripening of oranges. Ms. Anupama informed the Minister that inspections so far had failed to establish the use of calcium carbide.
A pressnote issued by the Minister’s office said an amount of Rs.5.95 lakh had been levied from bakeries and other food outlets for violation of food safety regulations during the Christmas season. One unit in Kollam manufacturing bakery items was closed down.
The pressnote said the new laboratories set up by the Food Safety department at Thiruvananthapuram and Ernakulam had stepped up analytical tests of samples to detect pesticide residue in vegetables.