State ranks 2nd in food adulteration
- Most food samplestaken from the state were found adulterated
- Adulteration is rampantas the Health Department doesn’t conductfrequent checks
Food adulteration the state is the second highest in the country. As per the Food Safety and Standards Authority in India, 1,458 food samples were found to be adulterated, unsafe and misbranded in the state. Uttar Pradesh with 4,119 failed food samples has the poorest record.
Health Department officials said except certain fruits, most food items in the state were found adulterated. Milk products, cheese, ghee, tea, bottled water, chillies, garlic, turmeric and black pepper are some of the food items that are usually found adulterated in the state.
Harmful chemicals are reportedly found in numerous food items and adulteration is rampant as the Health Department doesn’t conduct frequent checks.
“Shopkeepers too promote such products in a bid to make a killing,” said a Health Department official. He further said the highest percentage of milk samples fail in the state with the rate having doubled from 22 per cent to 44.3 per cent last year.
On Friday, the Bathinda police raided a factory that mixed fake ghee with desi ghee. Similar incidents have also been reported in other parts of the state. There are also reports of pulses and apples being coloured with harmful chemicals.
Commissioner of Food Safety, Hussan Lal, said the government had devised a mechanism wherein a person with a particular quantity of milk would be given a licence to sell. “Similarly, 50 designated food safety officers have been deployed across the state.
Soon, their number will be raised to 60,” he said. Lal further said they would focus on active surveillance to stop the sale and manufacture of adulterated food.