Fungus found in branded food products, FDA initiates action
Acting on the complaints of fungus being found in two food items — Amul Amrakhand and Britannia Nut and Raisin Romance Cake — sold from two different stores in the city, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials have collected samples of one item and sent them for analysis in the laboratory. The FDA is in the process of collecting samples of the other product for lab analysis.
Tushar Jaiswal and Anjan Chatterjee from the city had found fungus in the Amul Amrakhand and Britannia Cake, respectively, they had bought from two stores. They have filed complaints with the FDA and also mailed the same to TOI about the inferior quality of the two food items.
"We can’t level any charges as of now on any manufacturer as the laboratory results are yet to come. However, FDA would not hesitate in conducting investigations on products based on citizens’ complaints," said Shivaji Desai, joint commissioner FDA (Food), Nagpur division.
Jaiswal had bought a 200gm pack of Amrakhand and found a patch of green fungi on the upper layer. He called up the customer care number mentioned on the container but got no response. So he wrote a mail to TOI saying that the product still had 30 days before expiry. His mail said that it was disturbing to have fungi in such renowned brands.
Food safety officer (FSO) Pravin Umap, who initiated action in the two cases, toldTOI that he had gone to Purti Super Bazar to collect sample of the Amrakhand on February 15 based on the complaint of Tushar Jaiswal. But the shop had no stock as after the customer’s complaint the management had returned all the stock to the distributor Shri Yogiraj Provisions in Laxmi Nagar. "We collected 18 samples of Amul Amrakhand batch number CRF-267/2 from the distributor and sent them for analysis," he said.
In the second case in which Chatterjee lodged a complaint about fungus in Britannia Cake, the FDA couldn’t find any stock with Shri Sai Food Shopee in Tilkar Nagar. Based on the bill, distributor Mahavir Agency in Ram Nagar was also searched for the stock, but to no avail. "We have found out that a stockist Tinup Trade Link is based at Nimji in Kalmeshwar taluka. Hence, we have told the rural SP to trace and collect samples," said Umap.
Chatterjee told TOI that he was highly impressed by the FDA officials who attended to his complaint immediately. He particular praised Desai for his promptness. "The packaging date on the cake was January 14 and the wrapper said it was best before use for three months from packaging. Despite this, it is sad that such established brands could also have fungus," he said.