Archive for December, 2018


31,December, 2018 Comments off


Categories: NEWS

fssai-Extension of timeline dated 27th December 2018

29,December, 2018 Comments off

Extension of timeline dated 27th December 2018 for compliance of labelling provisions for the products "Frozen Dessert or Confection" under FSS (Food Products Standards and Food Addtivies) Thirteenth Amendment Regulation, 2017. (Uploaded on: 27.12.2018)

Categories: NEWS

fssai-Direction under Section 16 (5)

29,December, 2018 Comments off

Direction under Section 16 (5) of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 dated 27th December 2018 regarding extension of time period for the compliance of Notification File No. 11/03/Reg/Fortification/2014 dated 02nd August 2018 relating to Standards for fortification of foods. (Uploaded on: 27.12.2018)


FSSAI may replace traffic light system with keyhole type nutrition logo

29,December, 2018 Comments off

FSSAI is considering replacing its proposed labelling norms which require the use of a traffic light system for representing salt, sugar and fat content on food packaging with a ‘symbol’ of nutrition on the lines of ‘keyhole’ logo.
The change is said to be due to the opposition from the industry to the traffic light system that advocated use of red colour for foods that were high in salt, sugar and fat content.
According to sources, the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) is now considering to propose the use of a ‘symbol’ of nutrition that would help consumers identify the products with less salt, sugar and fat. And this ‘symbol’ would be different from the symbol of fortification.
In this regard, it is learnt that FSSAI is currently studying the ‘keyhole’ logo used in Nordic countries, which signifies healthy food with less of fat, salt and sugar content. First used in Sweden in 1989, the logo got a widespread appreciation from Nordic countries and now all the Nordic countries including Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland use this symbol for representation of healthy food.
The keyhole logo in Nordic countries helps consumers identify the products with less salt, sugar and fat content, of which the limit is set by the food safety agency of these countries, and lets them differentiate them from food products with more fibre and whole grain content. The keyhole logo is currently a trademark owned by the Swedish National Food Agency. Labelling with the symbol is voluntary.
One of the sources, a senior official privy to the development, said that this would be a way by which companies could be nudged to produce healthier food products. “It (the symbol) may be different for India but the aim is to make consumers aware about the content. Like the F+ logo for fortification, which now we were able to push in a major way, this symbol should be able to make consumers aware and satisfy about the nutritional content of the food product.”
He added that a constructive dialogue with the industry would be required for this as well along with a programme to propagate this symbol amongst the masses.
Currently in the above-mentioned four Nordic countries, around 1,500 such unique products are carrying keyhole logo.
Meanwhile, it is learnt that FSSAI may consider lowering of the limit of GM declaration, which it earlier proposed at 5%. The lower limit is not yet agreed as it is a technical call, the FSSAI, however, felt that it may reduce the current threshold.
It is pertinent to mention here that in India, the apex food regulator earlier, proposed a traffic light symbol for representation of the values of salt, sugar and fat and it intended to direct that if the amount exceeded the desired limit, then companies had to show it with red colour.
The industry vociferously opposed the move which led the Health Ministry to intervene and now a committee is looking into the matter, which is expected to make its recommendations soon.

Categories: NEWS

74 coconut oil brands in Kerala found misbranded & substandard; banned

29,December, 2018 Comments off

The Department of Food Safety, Kerala, recently conducted inspection of branded coconut oils wherein 74 of them were found to be either misbranded or substandard. The brands have been banned.
In this regard, Anand Singh, Food Safety Commissioner, Kerala, in an order, has banned the storage, distribution and sale of products of any of the 74 brands.
"In order to protect consumer interest, the manufacture, storage, sales and distribution of the coconut oil brands are prohibited with immediate effect," stated Singh.
According to him, the food safety department deployed 38 special squads to check if any adulterated oils were on sale as part of ongoing festive season. The results of the samples collected proved that they were of sub-standard quality.
Singh added, "Adulteration of food not only decreases the quality of food products but can also lead to a number of ill-effects on human health. The inspection was undertaken as a precautionary step in the state."
Out of the 74 samples collected, four were misbranded and remaining 70 were of substandard quality. Some of the banned brands include Kera Premium Gold (Jithu Oil Mills), Kerala 3 in 1 (Jithu Oil Mills), Parimritham (Jithu Oil Mills), Kera Grace (Sri Murugan Traders), KKD Parishudam (Parisudhan Oils), Brilliant Grade One (AJ & Sons), K S Kerasugandhi (Indian Agencies), Kera Proudy (Bej Traders), Kera Priyam (Bej Traders), Golden Drops (Bej Traders), Kairali Drops Live (Bej Traders), Kerala Cook (Bej Traders), Kera Hira (Bej Traders), Nalikera (St Mary’s Oil Traders), Kera Swadisht (Liya Trading Company), Kitchen Tasty (Kairaly Oil Mills), Kera Sulabha (Pulary Coconut Oil), and Kera Farm (V V Traders).
Under Section 52 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, "Any person who whether by himself or by any other person on his behalf manufactures for sale or stores or sells or distributes or imports any article of food for human consumption which is misbranded, shall be liable to a penalty which may extend to three lakh rupees or the adjudicating officer may issue a direction to a person found guilty of an offence under this section, for taking corrective action to rectify the mistake or such article of food shall be destroyed."
As for the future, a food safety official stated, "The department plans to take strict action against repeat violators."

Categories: NEWS

Chemical, biological and physical contamination of foods – Safety issues

29,December, 2018 Comments off

Food safety is being challenged nowadays by the global dimensions of food supply chains, the need for reduction of food waste and efficient use of natural resources such as clean water. Food safety deals with safeguarding the own national food supply chain from the introduction, growth or survival of hazardous microbial and chemical agents.  
Apart from health, food safety is vital for economic growth and progress as well. In India, the food processing industry holds tremendous opportunity. It has high employment potential, can boost exports of agro-products out of the country, and also provide better returns to farmers for their produce. However, this is possible only if food safety standards are effectively enforced in the country. This brief explores the regulatory and policy aspects around food safety in India, and also analyses potential challenges therein.
Existing and Emerging Food Safety Problems
A variety of chemical, biological and physical hazards are the major causes of food safety problems. Among these the bacterial contaminants, environmental contaminants including pesticide residues, mycotoxins and adulterants have been reported to be responsible for causing large-scale outbreaks of food poisoning and smaller incidents.
Contamination Risk
Food contamination refers to addition or entry of any foreign material into food, which is not a part of it and can be unpalatable, objectionable or harmful. Food may be accidentally or deliberately contaminated. It can be physical, chemical or biological. Physical contamination refers to objects which contaminate food as they can be source of contamination, e.g., hair, glass or metal, fingernails, jewellery, and dirt.
Chemical contamination refers to chemical substances which enter food and are foreign to it, e.g., cleaning agents, detergents, agrochemicals (pesticides, fungicides), environmental contaminants (natural toxins, minerals, metals, rat poison), veterinary medicines, processing contaminants (non-permitted colours, preservatives, chemicals migrated from packaging material, lubricating oil) and so on while biological contamination refers to foreign material obtained from living organisms such as microorganism, insects, rodents, pests and so on.
Besides this, another source of contamination is due to cross-contamination i.e., transfer of contaminants from one source to another e.g., dirty clothes, hands, utensils, improper personal hygiene, pests, mixing of cooked food with raw food, and improper waste and garbage control. Cooking can increase or decrease the toxicity of some of these contaminants but has little effect on most chemicals.
Measures to Control Contamination
There is legislation in place to regulate the levels of several chemicals in the food. Unhealthy additives and adulterants are legally not allowed for use. However, effective surveillance and response systems are required to prevent chemical hazards from entering the food supply and posing harm to the public. Most importantly, the food industries must accept the need to be more honest and upfront in producing safe commercial food products as well as protecting the public from food contamination.
Govt Initiatives on Food Safety
In India, effective food control system is undermined by plethora of fragmented legislation, multiple jurisdictions and weakness in surveillance, monitoring and enforcement, which neither assures safety, hygiene nor quality.
Food contamination can be prevented by properly inspecting the raw materials and food ingredients, following Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) such as removal of jewellery while dealing with food items, eliminating potential sources of food contaminants, practicing sanitary principles of personal hygiene, thorough washing of raw materials and so on.
Tests such as mass spectrometry could be used for detecting presence of chemical contaminants; plating could be done to detect specific microbial contamination, ELISA assay test, sensors and so on. India’s Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), a body formed under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, is working to strengthen the ability of regulators and the government to handle food contamination incidents.
The Preamble to the Act states that it seeks to “consolidate the laws relating to food and to establish the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India for laying down science-based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.” The Act gives statutory powers to the FSSAI.
Key Functions of the FSSAI
Framing of regulations to lay down food safety standards; laying down guidelines for accreditation of laboratories for food testing; providing scientific advice and technical support to the Central government; contributing to the development of international technical standards in food; collecting and collating data regarding food consumption, contamination, emerging risks etc.; disseminating information and promoting awareness about food safety in India.
Food Laws and Regulations in India
The Indian Parliament has passed the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, that overrides all other food related laws. Such as Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954; Fruit Products Order,1955; Meat Food Products Order, 1973; Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947; Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1988; Solvent Extracted Oil, De-Oiled Meal and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967; Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992, and so on are repealed after commencement of FSS Act, 2006.
(The authors are from Herboveda Health Care Pvt Ltd, Uttar Pradesh)

Categories: NEWS

FSSAI planning to have presence in more entry points, especially ports

29,December, 2018 Comments off

With matter related to food safety taking centre stage in the country, and people getting more and more aware about the subject, the role of FSSAI and its presence is gaining importance. In fact, in recent times, the apex food regulator has made its intention clear to increase its presence particularly at the ports from where the food is imported into the country.
FSSAI operates through five regional offices in the country in Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Guwahati. Further it has import offices at six locations across the country that cover 20 ports of entry.
However there are 396 such entry points across the country where the FSSAI has allowed Customs officials to handle the food.
CEO FSSAI Pawan Agarwal says that the apex food regulator is planning to have its presence in more points of entry, which is currently under Customs. He informed, “We are reviewing our placements across the ports in the country and we wish to place more of our men on some of these ports currently managed by the Customs.”
Not only this, FSSAI may consider making specific ports exclusive for the purpose of entry of food. This, however, the CEO says would only be possible if there was unanimity among the stakeholders.
“We’re open to this idea that selective ports should be reserved exclusively for food imports. However, the matter is subjected to acceptance by all the stakeholders and it shouldn’t be a cause of inconvenience for anybody,” he said.
Sanctioning of 500 posts
Further, recently the FSSAI has got its recruitment rules notified and sanctioning of 500 new posts, mostly technical which now has raised the total posts close to 900.
These, however, certainly are not enough for a huge country like India but are seen as a breakthrough and FSSAI is hopeful that in future more human resources would be added to its fold.
Experts feel that India is a large country with massive and unorganised food and hospitality sectors. The demand for manpower in FSSAI offices across all the states is justified on the grounds of ensuring public safety mainly.
But comparing India with other countries in terms of manpower and financial resources, India is well below international benchmarks, both in overall and per capita terms. India has a population base of over 1,252 million compared to base of approximately 324 million, 36 million, 64 million and 4.75 million vis-à-vis other major countries like USA, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland respectively.
The annual budget allocated to Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (principal organisation for administering Food Standards) is merely $8.2 million approximately which is quite low compared to annual budget of $1.5 billion, $650 million, $106 million and $16.7 million of counterpart organisations in USA, Canada, the UK and Ireland respectively.

Categories: NEWS

Is your butter safe? 1,000 kg of fake dairy product in Amul packaging seized

29,December, 2018 Comments off

According to the Food Safety Standards Authority of India, out of 49,290 samples of food items tested, one-fifth were found adulterated or misbranded.

Samples of fake Amul butter seized by Mumbai police

The Mumbai Police has seized 1,000 kg of fake Amul butter from Bhayander area of the city and arrested five members of a gang that was involved in making the spurious food product. The police raided their hideout and saw the butter being filled into Amul packaging.

A team of Mumbai police led by Assistant Superintendent Police Atul Kulkarni busted the hideout of the gang and seized both the butter and Amul packaging from the premises, according to Times Now. The police team is trying to find out how these men got their hands on the packaging being used by the Amul.

Disastrous cases of food adulteration are common in India. The most recent is the incident in which 15 people died and hundreds of devotees fell sick after eating tomato rice at a temple in Chamarajanagar, about 125 km from Bengaluru.

The Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had said in its report that out of 49,290 samples of food items that were tested, one-fifth were found adulterated or misbranded.

The FSSAI also said that milk and its products are the commonly adulterated foods in India as per a study it conducted in 2012.

Mindless Profiteering

Some common adulterans (unwanted substances) added to the milk and its products are chalk, water, caustic soda, skimmed milk and oil.

Butter, according to FSSAI, can be made with cheaper oils or mixed with water to extract large quantities from a small amount of milk. The other commonly adulterated foods in India are tea, coffee, wheat, rice, vegetables, sweets and pulses.

Although food adulteration is a punishable offence, small-time businessmen and vendors are often found mixing adulterants in foods. The target consumers are often from the lower economic sections of society who are tricked into buying cheaper products, risking their health.

Categories: NEWS

Aluminium-coated boxes, plastic bags contaminate food’

29,December, 2018 Comments off

New Delhi:

Loose packaging such as coloured and black carry bags, disposable containers with aluminium coating and sweet boxes have emerged as major contaminants of packaged food, prompting the food regulator to come up with new regulation on food packaging.

Around 80% of food samples packed in coloured carry bags, 59% in black carry bags and over 24% in aluminium coated disposable containers and 21% in sweet boxes were found chemically contaminated, findings of a national survey of food packaging material conducted by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) shows.

In order to curb the menace, the regulator is set to notify new regulations for food packaging which will prohibit packaging material made of recycled plastics including carry bags for packaging, storing, carrying or dispensing articles of food.

Besides, taking cognizance of the carcinogenic effect of inks and dyes, the new regulations also prohibit the use of newspaper and such other materials for packing or wrapping of food articles and includes respective Indian standards for printing inks for use on food packages, an official said.

The new regulation are likely to be notified on Monday, he said.

Findings of the national survey shows the packaging material used in the organized sector is largely safe, while it highlights major discrepancies in the unorganized sector. More than 13% of samples from the unorganized sector failed testing standards showing migration of chemical and heavy metals contamination from packaging materials.

“The new packaging regulation would raise the bar of food safety in India to the next level. The implementation of the regulations may be challenge in the unorganized sector and therefore, we have given sufficient lead time before the regulations come into force,” FSSAI chief executive Pawan Agarwal said.

Agarwal said the primary objective of packaging is to protect the food contents from microbiological, chemical, physical and atmospheric contamination and preserve the food. Good packaging also ensures there is no change in sensory properties or composition of food when packed.

The new regulation also prescribes overall and specific migration limits for contaminants for plastic packaging materials.

Categories: NEWS