Reused oil? synthetic colours? Food safety officials step up vigil
Madurai: As homemade sweets have become a thing of the past with people plumping for sweet manufacturers, bakeries and private caterers to place orders, Food Safety authorities are leaving nothing to chance to ensure that people get good quality products.
Madurai Food Safety designated officer Dr S Lakshmi Narayanan while cautioning against violation of norms said they were conducting surprise inspections on food business operators, savoury makers and bakers to check on hygiene and sanitation in production.
During the festival season, many catering units take bulk orders from households often flouting hygiene and sanitation rules during preparations. The quality of oil used leaves much to be desired, synthetic colours are used and as preparations are done over a long period, there are incidents of the sweets becoming stale when they reach the customers.
Lakshmi Narayanan said that they were educating the sweets makers on the importance of adhering to Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Rules of 2011. Initially, all sweet manufacturers are being informed about the rules during the first visit and an appeal is made to follow them."If they continue to violate, they would be slapped with a penalty as per the rules,” he said.
One of the main things being stressed during these visits is to refrain from reusing cooking oil in any form. In many cases, predominantly the making of savouries, the oil is continuously reused. Sources said that the oil used for frying snacks like, ‘Murukku’ was rarely replaced but was only replenished by adding new oil when the quantity gets reduced in the pan. All raw materials for the manufacture of food products should meet food grade standards. Packed products should have details of the day of manufacture, expiry date, best before and lot number.
Public can also register their complaints on the phone number 04522640036, he added.