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FSSAI notifies regulations to improve quality of food testing in India

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The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), in a recent development, has gazette notified the regulation on laboratories, giving a structure to the food lab ecosystem in the country by detailing out recognition and notification of laboratories. Eventually, the new norms will help improve quality of food testing.
The comprehensive regulations will replace the existing laws governing the food labs in India. The new regulation has in detail, listed out the procedures for creating the three tier system of labs in India – food lab, referral lab and reference lab.
The new regulations will be called as the Food Safety and Standards (Recognition and Notification of Laboratories) Regulations, 2018.
Explaining the new law, a senior official from FSSAI, stated, “The apex regulator would soon start process for recognising any notified food laboratory or referral food laboratory as reference laboratory which will help develop method, procedure and testing of food across the country.”
He added, “It will bring and build confidence amongst the consumers for food testing laboratories system by FSSAI and bring more transparency in the process of testing done by these laboratories.”
The regulations say that the reference laboratory will be responsible for evaluating the performance of other notified laboratories. It will develop standards for routine testing procedures and reliable testing methods. It will also act as resource centre for provision of information for certified reference materials, provide technical support in the area of competence and also coordinate exchange of information amongst notified food laboratories.
The regulations would prescribe all the procedural requirements of the recognition and notification system for laboratories, such as renewal, suspension, derecognition and audits.
Apart from prescribing the procedures, it will develop proper system for reviewing and monitoring the activities of other laboratories thereby improving the quality of food testing in the country and also providing a legal base to the system already existing under FSS Regulations, 2011.
The regulation highlights that the food authority may conduct surprise audit to monitor or review the functioning of a food laboratory, which will be scheduled once a year along with an annual surveillance audit.
On receiving a complaint on the functioning of a food laboratory, the authority may carry out investigation based on the complaint.
The notified labs are obliged to perform all tests in the approved premises as per the valid scope of recognition, provided that such laboratory may get tests carried out through sub-contracting with any other food laboratory with prior permission of the Food Authority.
Confidentiality with regards to test reports and information of sample results shall not be divulged to either FBOs or other person says the regulation.
The lab should submit monthly or quarterly or annual statement pertaining to number of samples received for testing and number of samples tested or number of samples failed, specifying the parameter or test and other details. It shall adhere to the testing charges as fixed by the Food Authority.
On being declared insolvent, accreditation granted to a food laboratory has been suspended or cancelled by the concerned accreditation body, failing to follow the terms and conditions of the agreement, non renewal of accreditation, technical competency, integrity or confidentiality is not satisfactory and committed a fraudulent act then the food laboratory may get denotified or derecognised by the food authority.

Categories: NEWS

Annadhanams’ to come under food safety department radar

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Trichy: Annadhanam served at religious functions and other events would come under the radar of the Trichy district food safety department after more than 40 people fell ill, allegedly due to food poisoning after eating in a temple function near Musiri a few days ago.

Officials said that at least three to four incidents of mass food poisoning continue to occur in the district every year during annadhanams and stated that they would intensify monitoring, surveillance and testing especially over the course of the next couple of months. The department officials also mentioned that they would conduct awareness programmes in rural areas of the district, since a few unregistered annadhanams continued to take place there only.

The designated officer (DO) for the district food safety department, Dr R Chitra said that since several religious functions – especially Vaikunda Ekadasi – are scheduled very soon, the department would come up with strict measures so that annadhanams are done hygienically and as per the guidance. On Sunday, 46 people, including children suffered from food poisoning after they consumed food during a Mariamman temple function at Umaiyalpuram village. While a few received treatment at the Musiri government hospital, four children were referred to the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Government Hospital (MGMGH).

“Buttermilk, sundal (chickpeas), pearl millet porridge and curd rice were served for the devotees. We’ve sent the food sample for testing and based on the result, we would take further action,” food safety officer, Musiri block, M Vadivel said. He added that no one had registered with the department for conducting annadhanam at the temple.

In the last three years, Trichy has seen two major mass food poisonings – one during a festival at Samayapuram temple in which more than 100 people fell ill, while about 100 fell sick at a private family function due to contaminated water served there. “After these incidents, the number of people who register with us to organise annadhanams increased,” an official told TOI.

About 750 people have registered to perform annadhanam throughout Trichy district at present. Whenever there’s a registered annadhanam event, the organisers are directed to keep food sample separately which would be tested by the department. While using a different oil was cited as reason for food poisoning this time, generally such cases are due to serving decayed food, spoilt milk, contaminated water or expired ingredients. A source from the department said that most of the cases were unintentional and due to ignorance. “In some cases, items like mutton biryani and other non-vegetarian dishes are served to very young children too,” the official added.

Categories: NEWS

Milk supplied in pockets of Bengaluru may be unsafe

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BENGALURU: There is no guarantee that milk available in several parts of Bengaluru city and the entire Mysuru district is fit for consumption. For, jurisdictional food safety officials have failed to collect a single sample for testing from east and south zones of Bengaluru city, Bengaluru Urban district and Mysuru district (barring Mysuru city) between April 2016 and September 2018, documents accessed by TOI reveal.

Officials from the food safety commissionerate test samples of all kinds of milk, including loose, toned and packaged, as is done with all food items.

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Non-collection of milk samples from Bengaluru and Mysuru areas is a huge cause of concern, especially when inspections in other regions have thrown up unpalatable revelations. The presence of dead insects in this essential commodity not only makes one cringe in disgust but indicates the gravity of the situation. The government needs to ramp up staff strength in the food safety commissionerate so that regular checks can be conducted. Though fines have been slapped in some cases, stricter punishment is needed to make errant milk producers/suppliers fall in line. The authorities should deal with the issue on priority to ensure everyone — from schoolchildren to senior citizens — can have a glassful of nutrition without worries.

The neglect, however, seems surprising given that milk of suspected quality and with adulterated content is believed to be extensively used by roadside tea shops. The uncovered areas in Bengaluru include Koramangala, Girinagar, JP Nagar, Chamarajpet, Jayanagar, Bommanahalli, Shivajinagar, Fraser Town and Shantinagar.

“We are too shortstaffed to conduct regular raids and inspections. We are not able to concentrate on adulteration-related issues as well as routine work,” admitted an official part of regular inspection exercises.

Milk samples were collected from 457 places across the state between April 2016 to September 2018, and 12 of them were found to be unsafe for consumption. Cases were filed in respective magistrate courts. “Another 59 cases related to misbranding or substandard quality of milk were filed and in 40 of them, a fine of Rs 42,500 was slapped. The remaining cases are pending,” said the official.

“During the inspections, we found dead insects in loose milk, apart from detergents and low fat content in some cases. Private milk producers were found mixing sugar and sodium chloride salt, which is alarming,” said another official.

The maximum milk samples were collected from Bidar district, where 19 of the 52 samples were reported as substandard and a penalty of Rs 10,000 was collected. In Belagavi district, five of 47 samples were found to be of low quality. From Vijayapura district, 31 samples were collected and 6 were found substandard.

Food safety regulation has been poor in Bengaluru Rural, Chamarajanagar, Davanagere, Dharwad and Mandya districts, with each of them reporting collection of only four samples. Only one sample was collected each from Dakshina Kannada and Hassan. Fourteen samples were collected from BBMP north zone and 13 from west, 29 from Mysuru city 29 and 43 from Ramanagara.

Categories: NEWS

Sensor to check Food Safety

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Categories: NEWS

கலப்பட வெல்லம் பறிமுதல்

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Categories: DISTRICT-NEWS, Erode

FDA shuts down 3 restaurants run by Russians at Morjim

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Those sealed during the raid were Bora Bora, Soma Project and Fish; Marabela Club’s licence cancelled

MORJIM/PANJIM: The State Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) on Thursday shut down three restaurants run by Russians at Morjim beach.

The restaurants sealed by the FDA during the raid were Bora Bora, Soma Project and Fish.

Under the Food Safety Act, the FDA has cancelled the licence of a famous joint Marabela Beach Club at Morjim.

The restaurants were operating without licences as mandated under Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Act 2006 and have been directed not to carry out any food-related activity, until all the necessary approvals are obtained.

Soma Project Living Room Resort, Morjim was directed not to carry out any food related activity until all the approvals are obtained. Bora Bora Lounge Restaurant and Night Bar at Morjim run by a company with five directors among which four are Russians and a local, Girish Naik was directed to close down. Another restaurant – Fish was shut down for operating without licence mandatory under the FSSAI Act 2006. Both Bora Bora and Fish have been issued notices under Section 31 of FSSAI Act 2006.

Earlier, Health Minister, Vishwajit Rane had warned of crackdown on non-licenced businesses being run by foreigners in Goa.

He had alleged that non-licenced business establishments were run by foreigners and used as “narcotic havens”.

Vishwajit Rane informed Herald that these three premises have been shut and the police have been directed to maintain a vigil.

“Besides these three premises earlier on Tuesday we have also cancelled the FDA licence under the Food Safety Act to Marabela Club at Morjim. It was found to be operating in absolutely substandard conditions. The food being served was unfit for human consumption. We have taken the decision in public interest and this licence stands cancelled and neither will be it reviewed again,” he said.

“We are carrying out a crackdown on non-licenced businesses especially those run by foreigners. We will make sure that all of these are shut,” he added.

The entire raid was conducted along with policemen from Pernem Police Station.

Categories: NEWS

Food safety squad lens on Xmas cake-makers

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The Commissionerate has constitutes 38 special squads to crack down on bakeries and shops selling various confectioneries including cake.

Thiruvananthapuram: With Christmas and New Year around the corner, the Kerala Commissionerate of Food Safety has constituted special squads to crack down on cake, wine manufacturing units sprouting across the state.

The Commissionerate has constitutes 38 special squads to crack down on bakeries and shops selling various confectioneries including cake.

The squads will collect fine and take legal action against violators using artificial colours. Around 38 designated officers and 76 food safety officers have been deployed for the purpose.

The squad will focus on the quality of the confectioneries sold during Christmas.

According to the food officials, during Christmas and New Year, many temporary cake and wine shops sprout across the state. The squad will take strict action if the food safety guidelines are not followed.

Those having complaints can email their grievance to foodsafetykerala@gmail.com or contact the toll-free number: 1800 425 1125 or can directly contact food safety joint commissioner (enforcement) on 8943341130.

Categories: NEWS