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மாவட்டத்தில் உள்ள கரும்பு ஆலைகளில் ரசாயன கலப்படம் இல்லாத நாட்டு சர்க்கரை தயாரிப்பு

22,August, 2018 1 comment

தர்மபுரி மாவட்டத்தில், பாப்பாரப்பட்டி, கடகத்தூர், முத்துக்கவுண்டன் கொட்டாய், முக்கல்நாயக்கன்பட்டி, புலிகரை, பாலக்கோடு உள்ளிட்ட இடங்களில் 50க்கும் மேற்பட்ட கரும்பு ஆலைகள் செயல்படுகின்றன. கடகத்தூர் செல்லும் சாலையில் முத்துகவுண்டன் கொட்டாய் கிராமத்தில் உள்ள ரசாயனம் கலக்காத நாட்டு சர்க்கரை உற்பத்தி செய்யப்படுகிறது. இவை பாக்கெட்டுகளில் அடைத்து கடைகளுக்கு மொத்த விற்பனைக்கு அனுப்பப்படுகிறது.
   ஆலை உரிமையாளர்கள் கூறுகையில், கரும்பில் இருந்து நாட்டு சர்க்கரை, மண்டை வெல்லம், அச்சு வெல்லம் போன்றவை தயாரிக்கப்படுகிறது. தர்மபுரி மாவட்டத்தில் கடகத்தூர் பகுதியில் 20க்கும் மேற்பட்ட கரும்பு ஆலைகள் உள்ளன. இதில் நாங்கள் கரும்பில் இருந்து நாட்டு சர்க்கரை தயாரிக்கிறோம். தற்போது மக்கள் ரசாயனம் கலக்காத இயற்கையான சர்க்கரையை விரும்புகின்றனர். தர்மபுரி மாவட்டத்தில் பல டீக்கடைகளில் இந்த சர்க்கரையை தான் பயன்படுத்துகின்றனர்.
மக்கள் விருப்பத்திற்கேற்ப நாட்டு சர்க்கரையை தயாரிக்கிறோம். தற்போது மாவட்டத்தில் கரும்பு விளைச்சல் போதிய அளவிற்கு இல்லாததால் கர்நாடக மாநிலம் மைசூரு, மாண்டியாவில் இருந்து கரும்புகளை வாங்கி வருகிறோம். கர்நாடகாவில் இருந்து தர்மபுரிக்கு கரும்பு கொண்டு வந்து சேர்க்க ஆள் கூலியுடன் ஒரு டன்னுக்கு ₹3,600 வரை செலவாகிறது. இந்த ஆலையில் 10 பேர் வரை பணியாற்றுகின்றனர். தினமும் 5 டன் கரும்பில் இருந்து பால் பிழிந்து அதை பெரிய சட்டியில் ஊற்றி காய்ச்சுகிறோம். கரும்பு பாகு பதத்திற்கு வந்ததும் அதனுடன் எலுமிச்சை மற்றும் சுண்ணாம்பு கலக்கிறோம்.
இதனால் கரும்பு பாகு உதிரியாக பிரிந்து விடுகிறது. வேறு ரசாயண பொருட்கள் கலக்க உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரிகளும் கடுமையாக எச்சரிப்பதாலும், மக்களும் இயற்கையை விரும்புவதால் ரசாயன கலப்பின்றி இயற்கையான நாட்டு சர்க்கரை தயாரிக்கிறோம். தினமும் 5 டன் கரும்பில் இருந்து 500 கிலோ சர்க்கரை தயாரிக்கிறோம். நாட்டு சர்க்கரையை மொத்த வியாபாரிகள் இங்கேயே வந்து வாங்கி செல்கின்றனர். இது தவிர நாங்கள் பல்வேறு மாவட்டங்களுக்கும் அனுப்பி வைக்கிறோம். இது தவிர உள்ளூர் வியாபாரத்திற்காக அரை கிலோ ஒரு கிலோவாக பாக்கெட்டுகளில் அடைத்து விற்பனைக்கு அனுப்பப்படுகிறது, என்றனர்.

Categories: Dharmapuri, DISTRICT-NEWS

மாவட்டத்தில் உள்ள கரும்பு ஆலைகளில் ரசாயன கலப்படம் இல்லாத நாட்டு சர்க்கரை தயாரிப்பு

22,August, 2018 Comments off

தர்மபுரி மாவட்டத்தில், பாப்பாரப்பட்டி, கடகத்தூர், முத்துக்கவுண்டன் கொட்டாய், முக்கல்நாயக்கன்பட்டி, புலிகரை, பாலக்கோடு உள்ளிட்ட இடங்களில் 50க்கும் மேற்பட்ட கரும்பு ஆலைகள் செயல்படுகின்றன. கடகத்தூர் செல்லும் சாலையில் முத்துகவுண்டன் கொட்டாய் கிராமத்தில் உள்ள ரசாயனம் கலக்காத நாட்டு சர்க்கரை உற்பத்தி செய்யப்படுகிறது. இவை பாக்கெட்டுகளில் அடைத்து கடைகளுக்கு மொத்த விற்பனைக்கு அனுப்பப்படுகிறது.
   ஆலை உரிமையாளர்கள் கூறுகையில், கரும்பில் இருந்து நாட்டு சர்க்கரை, மண்டை வெல்லம், அச்சு வெல்லம் போன்றவை தயாரிக்கப்படுகிறது. தர்மபுரி மாவட்டத்தில் கடகத்தூர் பகுதியில் 20க்கும் மேற்பட்ட கரும்பு ஆலைகள் உள்ளன. இதில் நாங்கள் கரும்பில் இருந்து நாட்டு சர்க்கரை தயாரிக்கிறோம். தற்போது மக்கள் ரசாயனம் கலக்காத இயற்கையான சர்க்கரையை விரும்புகின்றனர். தர்மபுரி மாவட்டத்தில் பல டீக்கடைகளில் இந்த சர்க்கரையை தான் பயன்படுத்துகின்றனர்.
மக்கள் விருப்பத்திற்கேற்ப நாட்டு சர்க்கரையை தயாரிக்கிறோம். தற்போது மாவட்டத்தில் கரும்பு விளைச்சல் போதிய அளவிற்கு இல்லாததால் கர்நாடக மாநிலம் மைசூரு, மாண்டியாவில் இருந்து கரும்புகளை வாங்கி வருகிறோம். கர்நாடகாவில் இருந்து தர்மபுரிக்கு கரும்பு கொண்டு வந்து சேர்க்க ஆள் கூலியுடன் ஒரு டன்னுக்கு ₹3,600 வரை செலவாகிறது. இந்த ஆலையில் 10 பேர் வரை பணியாற்றுகின்றனர். தினமும் 5 டன் கரும்பில் இருந்து பால் பிழிந்து அதை பெரிய சட்டியில் ஊற்றி காய்ச்சுகிறோம். கரும்பு பாகு பதத்திற்கு வந்ததும் அதனுடன் எலுமிச்சை மற்றும் சுண்ணாம்பு கலக்கிறோம்.
இதனால் கரும்பு பாகு உதிரியாக பிரிந்து விடுகிறது. வேறு ரசாயண பொருட்கள் கலக்க உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரிகளும் கடுமையாக எச்சரிப்பதாலும், மக்களும் இயற்கையை விரும்புவதால் ரசாயன கலப்பின்றி இயற்கையான நாட்டு சர்க்கரை தயாரிக்கிறோம். தினமும் 5 டன் கரும்பில் இருந்து 500 கிலோ சர்க்கரை தயாரிக்கிறோம். நாட்டு சர்க்கரையை மொத்த வியாபாரிகள் இங்கேயே வந்து வாங்கி செல்கின்றனர். இது தவிர நாங்கள் பல்வேறு மாவட்டங்களுக்கும் அனுப்பி வைக்கிறோம். இது தவிர உள்ளூர் வியாபாரத்திற்காக அரை கிலோ ஒரு கிலோவாக பாக்கெட்டுகளில் அடைத்து விற்பனைக்கு அனுப்பப்படுகிறது, என்றனர்.

Categories: Dharmapuri, DISTRICT-NEWS

FSSAI notifies Food Fortification Regulations; FBOs must comply by Jan 1

22,August, 2018 1 comment

FSSAI has notified the Food Fortification Regulations, 2018, while food business operators (FBOs) need to comply with the provisions of these regulations by January 1, 2019.
“The provisions of these regulations shall supersede the standards for fortification of food set out in any regulations, orders, or guidelines issued under the Act,” said the notification.  
The new standards now provide a minimum and maximum range for fortification of staples like wheat flour (atta), maida, rice, salt, vegetable oil and milk, while the dosage of the micronutrients has been adjusted to provide 30 to 50 per cent of the daily requirements.
In milk and oil, the unit of dosage has been changed to microgram Retinol Equivalent for Vitamin A and microgram for Vitamin D from IU. In wheat flour and rice fortification, other sources of iron have been added, while vanaspati fortification has been excluded.
According to the country’s apex food regulator, since the adoption of the standards, 62 top companies and their 110 brands of all five fortified staples are available in the open market across the nation. Leading the movement, the oil and milk industry, with 47 per cent packaged refined edible oil industry and 21 per cent of the organised milk industry is fortifying their products as per FSSAI standards.
“Over two years since the operationalisation of the standards, edible vegetable oil industry has adopted fortification as a best practice. Following this, mandatory oil fortification is proposed to be the way forward,” said Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, FSSAI.  
“As a result of massive advocacy launched by FSSAI and Food Fortification Resource Centre (FFRC), fortified staples (wheat flour, oil and DFS) are being used in Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and the Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Scheme,” he added.
“It has been made mandatory since 2017 by Ministry of Women and Child Development and Ministry of Human Resource Development, respectively,” Agarwal said.
“As of today, 15 states, like Odisha, Karnataka, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, West Bengal, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh and three Union Territories (UTs) have now adopted fortification of their chosen commodities at the district or at scale in the government safety net programmes (SNP), namely ICDS, MDM and the public distribution system (PDS),” he told.
FSSAI set up FFRC with the support of TATA Trusts to promote and support large scale implementation of food fortification in the SNP as well as ensure availability of fortified products in the open market. FFRC provides end-to-end technical support as well as advocacy in collaboration with development partners, like TATA Trusts, GAIN, PATH, the World Food Programme (WFP), World Bank and NI.  
Welcoming the move, Rachit Kumar, senior consultant, food and beverages, Future Market Insights, said that several governments and non-governmental organisations across the world had already successfully implemented food fortification initiatives at various scales with the help of key stakeholders.
“Considering that fortified food products of all food staples, such as rice, wheat, oil, salt, and milk, are already available on retail shelves and to food processing companies in India, it is only a matter of formality to acknowledge the regulations and promote the use of fortified food products,” he said.
“Companies in the packaging business are likely to partner with small- and mid-tier food producers to offer solutions for incorporating the new packaging and labelling requirements,” he added.
“Initiatives by foundations such as TATA Trusts, PATH, GAIN, FFI, etc. have already established fortified food as a requisite for developing a sustainable nutrition strategy in India” Kumar said.
In October 2016, FSSAI operationalised the Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, for fortifying staples, namely wheat flour and rice (with iron, Vitamin B12 and folic acid), milk and edible oil (with Vitamins A and D) and double-fortified salt (with iodine and iron) to reduce the high burden of micronutrient malnutrition in India.
Meanwhile, the +F logo also has been notified to identify fortified foods, while scientific health claims for label declaration of fortified foods approved by the scientific panel on nutrition and fortification were also released.

Categories: NEWS

FSSAI permits FBOs to use ethephon for artificial ripening of fruits

22,August, 2018 Comments off

FSSAI has clarified that food business operators (FBOs) can use ethephon as a source of ethylene gas for artificial ripening of fruits. In addition to this, the country’s apex food regulator has also issued a detailed guidance note for traders on artificial ripening of fruits.
Lately, it had come to FSSAI’s notice that stakeholders were not abiding by the provision to use ethylene gas. Several issues have been raised relating to the modalities of using ethylene gas to ripen fruits.
The regulator has been actively considering an alternate to calcium carbide use for ripening process. Traders, in order to avoid spoilage during transportation, harvest raw fruits and ripen them before sale.
Further, FSSAI received several representation on whether ethephon can be used to ripen fruits. After taking due consideration, FSSAI clarified ethephon in powder form could be used, provided that it is packed in sachets, and these sachets do not come in direct contact with the fruit.
Guidance note on artificial ripening
After issuing guidance notes on spices, eggs and formalin in fish, the regulator has now come up with a guidance note on artificial ripening to create awareness among all the concerned stakeholders related to the different aspects of artificial ripening of fruits. It includes standard operating procedures (SOPs) detailing all facets using ethylene gas and its reliable source.

The guidance note provided the consumers some key takeaway points to keep in mind for ethylene gas. Ethylene, being a hormone produced naturally within the fruits to stimulate the ripening process, does not pose any health hazard to consumers.

It can be used for ripening at a concentration up to 100 parts per million (ppm) (100ul/L). The use of carbide gas or acetylene gas is not permitted for artificial ripening under the Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011, due to the potential health hazards. The source of ethlyene gas should not come in direct contact with fruits.

Besides, the note issued by the FSSAI provided SOP details like the requirement for the ethylene ripening system and the chamber should be an air-tight room with a temperature and humidity regulation system, suggested handling conditions for stacking of fruits and air circulation. Fruits should not occupy more than 75 per cent of the volume of the chamber during the treatment.

Requirement of exposure time and ripening temperature for different fruits

Fruit

Ethylene exposure time (hours)

Ripening temperature (degree Celsius)

Relative humidity (RH) %

Banana

24-48

15–18

90-95

Mango

24-48

20-22

90-95

Papaya

24-48

20–25

90-95

Pear

24-48

18–22

90-95

Tomato

24-48

18-20

90-95

As per the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, artificial ripening by acetylene gas (known as carbide) is prohibited under the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011, as it contains traces of arsenic and phosphorus, which is harmful for humans, and thus, banned in India.

It is pertinent to mention here that considering the issue of the rampant use of banned calcium carbide and the non-availability of alternative ripening agent, FSSAI, via a notification in 2016, permitted the use of ethylene gas for ripening of fruits. It permitted the use of ethylene gas at 100ppm (100ul/L) depending upon the crop, variety and maturity for artificial ripening of fruits.

As per the regulator, the guidance note also cautioned traders, as ethylene gas was highly inflammable. Concentrations above 27,000ppm are explosive, hence smoking is prohibited around the premises. Consumers should avoid fruits with black blotches on the skin, as there are chances that these fruits are being ripened by acetylene gas.

As for the food safety officials, they are directed to monitored the illegal use of calcium carbide in mandis and markets and check the labels at source for the composition, the name of the manufacturer, the instructions for use, etc.

Taking a positive note, Prerna Gupta, assistant professor, food technology and nutrition, Lovely Professional University, said, “Ethephon is being used as a source for artificial ripening in plants. Earlier its use was limited to various cereal products, mainly wheat, tobacco, coffee, cotton and rice.”

“In the United States, it is currently registered for use on apples, barley, blackberries, bromeliads, cantaloupes, grapes, guava, nuts, tobacco, cotton, rye, sugarcane, wheat, walnuts, pineapples cucumbers, cherries, tomatoes, etc.,” she added.

“Ethephon is a good substitute for calcium carbide which is banned by FSSAI. In India, most of the small-scale vendors use calcium carbide and should be encouraged to use ethephon/ethrel for ripening of fruits, because these small vendors do not have access to commercial ripening facilities like ethylene-based ripening chambers owned by big traders/companies. Thorough care has to be taken to select a proper stage of fruit for artificial ripening process,” Gupta said.
She added, “I believe that as we are shifting towards organic farming and look for more of organic products, in that case organic buyers might not like this idea of adding any external hormones to what they eat.”
“Being a pesticide (GUP), its use in the ripening of plants should be checked, and a limit for its use on plants should be maintained. Moreover, certain perishable plant products should be allowed to grow by natural ripening process,” Gupta said.
Sharing his opinion, Khalid Parwez, expert, Food Safety Knowledge Assimilation Network (FSKAN), a body under FSSAI, said, “The direction and guidance note will be helpful for farmers, traders and consumers.”
“The farmer should harvest the fruits at its optimum maturity. Traders should use the prescribed limit of ethylene for ripening, and consumers should buy from the authentic seller in the market,” he added.
Parwez said, “Further, I would like to bring a notice to FSSAI about smart packaging, where the access ethylene can be absorbed before it reaches to consumers.”
“Activated carbon-based scavengers with various metal catalysts can also effectively remove ethylene,” he added.
“They have been used to scavenge ethylene from produce warehouses or are incorporated into sachets for inclusion into produce pack, and embedded into paper bags or corrugated board boxes for produce storage,” Parwez said.
“The activated earth-type minerals, like clays, pumice, zeolites, coral, ceramics and even Japanese Oya stone, can be embedded or blended into polyethylene film bags, which are then used to package as well as excess ethylene scavenging,” he added.

Categories: NEWS

FSSAI constitutes expert panel to look into draft labelling regulations

22,August, 2018 Comments off

FSSAI has announced the formation of an expert panel to look into the draft Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2018, which were announced by the country’s apex food regulator in April 2018.
The regulations currently are at the stage of consideration by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, FSSAI, said that labels formed an important part of the packaging and are required for people to make aware choices about food, while addressing a stakeholders’ consultation meet organised by CUTS International in participation with FSSAI.
Stating that India was still at a comfortable stage where it could control the menace of unhealthy eating by working on public policy, unlike countries like the United States, where a huge amount of money is spent just on tackling diseases like obesity in public health, Agarwal highlighted the fact that India was the only developing country where industry representatives have come forward and taken voluntary pledges to work for healthy and safe food for all.
“To push the industry to meet their voluntary commitments, FSSAI will be coming up with a monitoring system. The details of this will be disclosed later,” he added.
George Cheriyan, director, CUTS International, opined on how the front-of-package label (FoPL) designs, which are clear and impactful, play an important role in increasing awareness and shifting food-eating norms.
“Mandatory FoPLs are considered by governments around the globe as an effective and evidence-based way to improve diets. At least 16 FoPL systems are operating in 23 countries, with another 14 schemes proposed,” he added.
Cheriyan also stressed how India can learn from best practices from Nordic countries with Keyhole Labels, Iran with Apple Labels and countries like Denmark, Chile, Norway, Singapore, South Africa and Ecuador, which are leading the fight against trans-fats, foods with a high fat, sugar and salt (HFSS) content and unhealthy food consumption.
The panellists who participated in the consultation put forward various recommendations on how the final regulations shall look like, keeping in mind the interests of the consumers. Their common demand was that simple, interpretive and understandable FoPLs, taking into consideration the consumer behaviour, literacy level, regional diversity and buying patterns, be put on food products.
FSSAI was represented in the consultation by Rajeev Kumar, director, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government of India; Anil Kumar, advisor, standards, and N Bhaskar, advisor, quality assurance.
Other panellists included Satish Kulkarni, former head, National Dairy Institute, Bengaluru; Dr Nikhil Tandon, head, department of endocrinology, All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS); G M Subha Rao, scientist E and deputy director, National Institute of Nutrition (Indian Council of Medical Research) [NIN (ICMR)], MoHFW; Kanchan Zutshi, secretary, Federation of Biscuit Manufacturers of India, Amit Khurana, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), and Raj Kapoor, managing director, Assocom Institute of Bakery Technology and Management (AIBTM).

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Parliamentary committee puts FSSAI in dock for not ensuring food safety

22,August, 2018 Comments off

The Parliamentary Committee on Health has put FSSAI in the dock for allegedly not ensuring food safety in India. The committee, while examining the functioning of the country’s apex regulator, said that there was weak enforcement in the country, and that food adulteration was rampant. The committee also recommended that there should be a uniform system of administration for food safety.
The committee presented the report to Parliament recently. It has recommended that FSSAI should be restructured to include more people with scientific backgrounds, even at the top positions of chairman and chief executive officer.
The Committee, in the report, stated that the indicators of food safety showed that the objective of formation of FSSAI had not been fulfilled, as the quality of foodstuff was deteriorating and the use of contaminants is increasing day by day. The report said that adulteration and the use of hazardous chemicals for artificial ripening of fruits and vegetables had witnessed a tremendous increase in the recent past.  
In its assessment, it added that the policies and the existing food laws were inadequate and weakly enforced. This poor implementation of the food law resulted in rampant food adulteration and various food scandals.  
“Substandard quality food has been reaching the market and causing irreparable damage to public health. The fundamental right to pure food has been compromised and long since forgotten. Food Safety, nutrition and food security are intricately interlinked. Poor food safety infrastructure inadvertently poses a threat to public health, as nutritious and safe food is fundamental to good health,” the report stated.
However, the committee also recognised the fact that many state governments lacked food safety departments, which resulted in a lacklustre approach to food safety.
The report stated that the implementation and enforcement of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 rested primarily with the State/Union Territory (UT) governments, for which regular surveillance, monitoring and inspection are required to be undertaken by them.  
“The Committee however notes that many states do not have a separate food safety department. Food adulteration, lack of quality checks, misleading labelling, sale of defective food products, etc. that have become the norm these days are primarily an offshoot of the absence of a dedicated and robust food safety apparatus at the state level,” the report said.  
Further, the committee noted that there was no uniformity in the food safety infrastructure across the country. Some states did not even have a food safety department and a food safety appellate tribunal. The food testing laboratories lack functional equipment as well as technical manpower.
“This inadequate arrangement has failed to control food adulteration in the country,” said the report.
The Committee recommended the removal of this existing inconsistency and introduction of a uniform structure across the country.
“The Central Government should work in cooperation with the state governments to establish a uniform food safety regulatory regime in the country. It is also very important for the food testing laboratories across states and UTs to follow a uniform procedure, methodology and guidelines so that consistent results are obtained,” the report said.

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Major haul of gutkha in Krishnagiri

22,August, 2018 Comments off
 

Police personnel with the seized gutkha in Krishnagiri.

In a major haul, police seized three trucks and a container of gutkha in Krishnagiri and Thoppur toll gates on Tuesday.

The trucks were commissioned to take the tobacco products from Bengaluru to Chidambaram and Nagercoil.

Krishnagiri taluk police were put on alert after the office of the Superintendent of Police was tipped off on the consignment.

Past midnight, three trucks were intercepted near the toll gate. The trucks were found stacked with 50 sacks of gutkha each.

On being questioned, the drivers –Arumugam (30) of Tivannamalai, Arun Kumar (25) of Villupuram, and Mani(30) of Krishnagiri — revealed that another container truck with a higher stack of contraband substance had already crossed Krishnagiri. Thoppur police were alerted and the truck was intercepted at the toll gate in Thoppur.

The container had 90 sacks of gutka and tobacco, reportedly worth Rs. 15 lakh. The driver of the container truck, Ramesh Babu (40) of Krishnagiri, was arrested by Dharmapuri police.

More seizure

Food Safety officials seized 450 kg of gutkha from a godown at Town Hall here. While inspecting shops and godowns, a food safety team led by designated officer Brinda found the gutkha in one of the godowns. It was said to be worth over Rs. 10 lakh.

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Four of 21 panipuri samples found to be substandard: Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation

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After a food sampling session, the civic authority declared four of 21 samples substandard. After banning the sale of panipuri in Vadodara, the health officials of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation collected panipuri samples randomly across the city.

Two samples of mithi chutney, the watery mix served with panipuris, and ragda were found to be substandard, declared a report complied by the health department. Mithi chutney of Mahalakshmi Panipuri and an unnamed stall located at Lal Darwaja, ragda of Mita Panipuri in Odhav, and the water of an unnamed stall near Apna Bazar were found to be substandard.

Dr Bhavin Solanki, in-charge, medical officer of health, said, "Taking cognizance of health hazards, we are taking food samples and sending them for laboratory testing. We want to ensure that people eat safe and hygienic food, as per the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India."

What does substandard mean?

According to food inspector Rakesh Gamit, the department collects random samples of food items around the year to check for adulteration. "There are food safety norms defined under section 3 (a) of Food Safety & Standard Act, 2006. As per that, a food can be safe, unsafe, substandard, or misbranded," said Gamit.

The samples are categorised as follows:

Unsafe – Food sample that contains non-permitted ingredients, addictive colours and flavours. If insects are found in any sample that is also considered unsafe.

Substandard – Food sample that does not meet standards as laid down by the regulation, but which may not really be unsafe. For example, milk should contain a certain amount of fat; if the sample doesn’t have the required amount of fat, it is declared as substandard.

Misbranded – Food sample making false claims on its package labels or for advertisements. If dates are not mentioned or address is not mentioned on a packet, that is also called misbranded.

EATERIES INSPECTED

AMC collected Rs 66,000 in fines from 8 units for not maintaining sanitation standards. Nini’s Kitchen, HK Foods, Shri Marutinandan, Singaporian Hotel, Dakshinayan, Barbecue Nation, and We Deshi were inspected by the health squad.

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2,060kg of paneer made with sulphuric acid seized

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MOHALI: Your favourite paneer may well be made with detergent and urea and processed with sulphuric acid. That’s how an illegal factory was suspected to be producing the food item till a joint team of the health department, police and Progressive Dairy Farmers Association raided the joint at Ballomajra village in Mohali in the early hours of Tuesday. And, the haul was alarming: 2,060kg of spurious paneer, 120 litres of sulphuric acid, 135 bags each of 25kg of skimmed milk powder, 89kg of butter and 25kg of khoya.

K S Pannu, commissioner, food and drug administration, Punjab, said the factory was producing spurious paneer. The factory was sealed and the owner, Ashok Kumar, arrested on charges of adulteration of food or drink, sale of noxious food or drink and cheating.

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The detection of illegal units manufacturing synthetic milk and milk products has brought to fore how adulteration has become a big business. The perpetrators are unmindful of how injurious for human consumption their products are, or that they are likely to cause grievous hurt. Their eye is only on profit. People who cause so much harm to people’s health, need to be dealt with a tough hand. The proposed amendments in the food safety act mandating stiff penalty, including life term and heavy fines, for people involved in adulteration should be brought in quickly so that such people can be punished.

District health officer Rajbir Singh Kang said following directions of the minster for animal husbandry and dairy development Balbir Singh Sidhu, the team raided the factory at 4 am.

Samples of desi ghee, skimmed milk powder, paneer, milk and curd suspected to be prepared from adulterants were sent for analysis to a food lab in Kharar. An FIR (first information report) was registered under Sections 272, 273, 336 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the accused at Balongi police station.

Kang said, “The factory was operating without any licence and the unit was unhygienic. The utensils used to compress paneer slabs were fungusinfected. We have sealed the factory and booked the owner.”

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