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Archive for April, 2019

FSSAI notifies four food testing labs; Number of labs in India now 175

25,April, 2019 1 comment

FSSAI has recently notified four food testing laboratories, taking the number to 175 in the country. These labs include Centre for Environment and Food Technology Pvt Ltd, New Delhi; Jubliant Pharma and Chemical Labs Pvt Ltd, Navi Mumbai; National Collateral Management Services Limited (Commgrade Testing Services), Visakhapatnam, for chemical and biological testing, and Pesticide Residue Laboratory, Tea Research Association, Kolkata, for chemical testing.
The officials with the country’s apex food regulator stated that the these labs will further augment the lab infrastructure in the country for the purpose of food testing.
Meanwhile, FSSAI, in a statement, said that to strengthen state food testing laboratories (SFTLs), a grant of Rs 47.70 crore had been sanctioned to procure high-end equipment in eight SFTLs and to set up a microbiology laboratory in two SFTLs in March under the ongoing plan of upgrading the lab infrastructure in the country, for which a budget of Rs 481.95 crore was sanctioned by the Government.
This includes a grant of Rs 3.20 crore to Assam; Rs 5.00 crore each to Karnataka (Mysuru) and Sikkim (Singtam); Rs 5.50 crore each to Bihar and Jharkhand; Rs 6.70 crore each to Rajasthan (Jodhpur), Rajasthan (Udaipur) and Tamil Nadu (Madurai), and Rs 2.40 crore to Manipur for the establishment of new SFTLs.
Further, a grant of Rs 50 lakh each to Meghalaya and Nagaland had also been sanctioned for setting up a microbiology laboratory.
Also, as regards the status of the grant to referral laboratories, a grant of Rs 8.36 crore has been sanctioned for four referral laboratories. This includes Rs 0.84 crore to the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Anand, Gujarat; Rs 2.72 crore to CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Lucknow; Rs 2.40 crore to ICAR-National Research Centre on Meat, Hyderabad, and Rs 2.40 crore to Punjab Biotechnology Incubator, Mohali.
Additionally, for capacity building, the apex food regulator organised an awareness program on ISO/IEC-17025:2017 for state food laboratories at FSSAI headquarters in New Delhi last month for the food analysts and other scientific/technical personnel working in the state food testing laboratories.

Categories: NEWS

Ban on Chinese milk & chocolate imports extended further by six months

25,April, 2019 1 comment

The ban on the import of milk, confectionery and chocolates import from China has been extended for another six months. The decision was taken by FSSAI, the country’s apex food regulator, at a meeting held in New Delhi recently with officials of Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) under the Ministry of Commerce and Trade.
The ban shall be effective from April 24, 2019.
In an order, FSSAI reasoned that since the capacities of the food testing labs in India at the ports of entry were not upgraded, the ban has been extended.
The order said, “The ban on import of milk and milk products, including chocolate and chocolate products and candies, confectionery, food preparations with milk and milk solids as ingredients from, China may be extended until the capacity of all the laboratories at ports of entry have been suitably upgraded for testing melamine.”
Previously, the ban was extended on December 24, 2018.
It is pertinent to mention here that DGFT had imposed a ban on import of milk and milk products from China for three months on September 24, 2008. The ban was extended for six months subsequently after that. This originally started over the complaint that Chinese milk and chocolate products contained melamine.
According to the food safety officials, the ban has been extended over the years, as quality of milk that comes from China was found contaminated with melamine content, and despite the repeated extension of the ban, no representation from Chinese counterparts was received.

Categories: NEWS

Kerala food safety department to introduce trans-fat-mimicking products

25,April, 2019 Comments off

The Kerala food safety department has decided to introduce trans-fat-mimicking products in the state, in order to reduce the burden of industrially-produced or hydrogenated trans-fats in the food chain like vanaspati or margarine. These food products are called interestersides, and state food safety department officials have claimed that they contain very small amounts of trans-fats.
The food safety department of the southern state, in coordination with Vital Strategies, a US-based think-tank working on health issues, WHO (World Health Organization) and the state health department have launched a campaign to make people aware about the trans-fats and reduce the use of hydrogenated trans-fats.
So far, the Kerala food safety department has organised two workshops involving stakeholders. A senior official of the department stated, “The first workshop was organised in Kozhikode and second at Ernakulam. In these workshops, participants were informed about the sample collection and testing methods with respect to hydrogenated fats.”
He added that a demonstration was also given to the FBOs (food business operators) on the production of cookies and bakery products using trans-fat-mimicking products, and it was proved to the stakeholders that using trans-fat-mimicking products will have no impact on the texture and taste of the end products.
The state food safety department also ran a pilot project to find out the presence of trans-fats in the food products across the state, and found several products containing trans-fats in excess of the limit prescribed by FSSAI, the country’s apex food regulator.  
The official said that hydrogenated trans-fats were the main reason behind the rising cardiovascular health concerns, and due to continuing efforts, FBOs were ready to replace such products with much healthier versions.
It is pertinent to mention here that in May 2018, WHO launched a comprehensive plan, including the REPLACE six-step action package, to eliminate industrially-produced trans-fats from the global food supply by 2023.
FSSAI aims to eliminate transfats in India by the year 2022, a year ahead of the global target.
The reformulation of products that use trans-fats is essential to this goal, and after a consultation earlier this year, vanaspati manufacturers, food companies, bakery associations and others signed a pledge to support the regulator’s plan to lower the levels of trans-fats in India’s food supply from the present les than five per cent to less than two per cent.

Categories: NEWS

Tea Board urges manufacturers to undergo tests at NABL-accredited labs

25,April, 2019 1 comment

 

The Tea Board of India has asked the tea manufacturers to strictly comply with FSSAI norms and get their products tested for quality at labs accredited by NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories). This would be necessary for both domestic as well as export businesses.
According to a senior Tea Board official, an official circular has been issued in this regard, seeking test reports from the manufacturers.
Tea Board officials said that the country’s apex food regulator had issued detailed notifications regarding the contaminants and pesticide residues, adding that food products needed to comply with those.
It was also decided that the manufacturers of tea should, therefore, conduct the testing of their products in order to comply with the food safety norms with respect to pesticides and heavy metals, amongst others.
The official told that the tea manufacturers reverted on a positive note, stating that the producers/manufacturers were already complying with the norms prescribed by FSSAI, and the latest move by the Tea Board would be a confidence-booster for the industry.
It is pertinent to mention here that India is the second largest producer of tea in the world.
However, a study conducted by the Tea Board stated that about 80 per cent of the total tea produced in India was consumed by the domestic population.
In January and February 2019, 41 million kg of tea worth Rs 934.08 crore ($131 million) were exported. Iran and Russia were the top importers, with their imports amounting to about around 11.37 and 7.59 million kg of tea, respectively.

Categories: NEWS

Do you buy tea, vada during train journeys; Then you must read this

25,April, 2019 Comments off
 

Tea container near toilet, ‘vada’ kept uncovered under train seat; Read the shocking truth

Kannur: The food from unhygienic conditions served in trains is once again making headlines. Few pics of food suppliers in train revealed that the tea container is placed near toilet and trays of snacks like vada is kept under the seat uncovered.

Train passengers are forced to purchase this unhygienic food by making payments. These disgusting scenes were captured from Train No: 16860 Mangalore-Chennai Egmore express.

The train departed from Mangalore at 6.50 in the morning. When the train reached Kannur, the catering supplier was seen sleeping on a berth in S1 coach. The tray of vada was kept under the seat without covering it. It contained over 200 vadas.

“The supplier who was speaking in Hindi said that the Vada was not for sale. But later he shifted all Vada to another supplier’s tray without wearing gloves. He took the tea container kept near the toilet," said a passenger named Sathyapalan from Cheruvathoor.

Some angry passengers questioned them but they managed to flee from the coach. When passengers who travel with season ticket followed them, these suppliers were found selling vada and tea in AC coach.

The passengers complained that though they informed the matter to railway officials, no action was taken against the suppliers.

No health officials to examine food safety in trains

Railway has decided to appoint 300 health inspectors to check safety of food served in trains and railway station platforms. With this decision, the authority planned to prepare a data bank by collecting food sample and details of catering owner and suppliers.

Food safety department official in each division will be in charge of this mission. The decision was taken in the meeting of food safety officials headed by Railway board chairman Ashwani Lohani.

But none of the officials intervened in the issue even after passengers came forward with a complaint.

Categories: NEWS

Food adulteration cases on the rise in Trichy

25,April, 2019 Comments off
 

Trichy: “Wash Thoroughly and Cook Thoroughly’ could be the mantra for all to stay healthy as the amount of adulterated food laced with harmful chemicals making its way to the market is on the rise in Trichy.

The food items range from everyday items such as vegetables, edible oil, milk, sugar and grains to ready-to-eat packed foods available in grocery shops. A team comprising a designated officer and 14 food safety officers recently found 84 samples taken from an outlet unsafe. The department filed 65 criminal cases against adulteration in 2018-19.

Among the samples found unsafe, peas remain on top of the chart. The dark green colour coated on peas will make it look like garden-fresh. "The normal peas will not be as dark as the chemically-soaked ones. Since many people think that it is fresh from its appearance, the traders have no inhibition to lace it with chemicals which can have carcinogens," designated officer of food safety and drug administration department Dr R Chithra told TOI.

As per the Food Safety and Standards Act of India, raw vegetables should not be coated with chemicals. However, the rules are not a deterrent to the traders from indulging in adulteration. The punishment for such offences as per the Act is also not stringent unless or until it leads to loss of life.

Out of the 65 cases filed by the department in Trichy, the court convicted those accused in 23 cases only. The total fine imposed was Rs 4,33,000.

The officials said that consumers’ tendency to prefer fresh vegetables and colourful groceries forces the traders to use artificial colours on the food items to make it ‘garden-fresh’.

A Suresh Alwar from Puthur in Trichy was of the view that both the consumers and the traders should take the blame equally. "Since people want the vegetables to glow, the traders are forced to satisfy the customers. Also, the traders make the consumers attracted to the products irrespective of the quality," he said. The food safety department has no powers to act against farmers on the presence of pesticides in the vegetables because of the immunity they enjoy in the Act.

The department has also filed civil cases for failing to provide the details of the manufacturer, expiry date and other information on the food packets and collected Rs 7,43,800 as fines.

Categories: NEWS

Food safety dept to crack whip on illegal ripening of fruits

25,April, 2019 Comments off
 

Madurai: With mangoes started to arrive in the market, officials from food safety and drugs administration have increased vigilance to make sure that banned chemicals are not used to ripen the fruit. The continued use of chemicals such as calcium carbide and ethephon will have adverse effects on the health of humans.

Only ethylene gas is allowed for ripening the fruit, but it requires a chamber. According to the food safety officials, it will cost Rs 20 lakh to construct a chamber, which no trader in Madurai has. The 100-odd mango traders in the city have not even registered with the food safety department.

Designated officer for food safety, Madurai district, M Somasundaram said that he has instructed the officials to keep a close watch on the godowns where mangoes are stored. He expressed concern about traders not coming forward to register with the department. "We have issued notices to the traders under Section 63 of the Food Safety and Standards Act. They have to registere with the department in 15 days. Otherwise they will face action including jail term up to six months and fine up to Rs 5 lakh," Somasundaram said.

Doctors say that traders have been widely using ethephon, which is a growth hormone that can disrupt the endocrine system in humans. It can also cause stomach upset, ulcer and vomiting besides skin problems like rashes and itching.

The food safety officials said that the naturally ripened mangoes start ripening from the interior part, whereas artificially ripened mangoes ripe in the opposite direction. Naturally ripened mangoes will have green patches on the outer surface, where artificially ripened fruits will be attractive.

Categories: NEWS

அச்சடித்த காகிதங்களில் உணவு பொருட்களை பயன்படுத்த கூடாது

25,April, 2019 Comments off

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செயற்கை முறையில் பழுக்கவைக்கப்பட்ட மாம்பழங்களை கண்டறிவது எப்படி?- உணவுப் பாதுகாப்புத் துறை அதிகாரி விளக்கம்

25,April, 2019 Comments off

செயற்கை முறையில் பழுக்கவைக் கப்பட்ட மாம்பழங்களை கண்டறிவது குறித்து, உணவுப் பாதுகாப்புத் துறை அதிகாரிகள் விளக்கம் அளித்துள்ளனர்.

கோவை மாநகராட்சிப் பகுதி யில் கருப்பகவுண்டர் வீதி, பெரிய கடை வீதி ஆகிய இடங்களிலுள்ள பழ குடோன்கள், சில்லறை விற்பனைக் கடைகளில், கார்பைடு கற்களைக் கொண்டு செயற்கை முறையில் மாம்பழங்களை பழுக்க வைப்பதாக, உணவுப் பாதுகாப்புத் துறையினருக்கு தகவல் கிடைத் தது. இதையடுத்து, கோவை மாவட்ட உணவுப் பாதுகாப்புத் துறை அதிகாரி விஜயலலிதாம் பிகை தலைமையிலான அலுவலர் கள் அடங்கிய குழுவினர், நேற்று காலை திடீர் ஆய்வு மேற்கொண்டனர்.

இதுதொடர்பாக விஜயலலிதாம் பிகை கூறும்போது, ‘மாம்பழ குடோன்கள், ஆரஞ்சு, சாத்துக்குடி, மாதுளை சேமிப்புக் கிடங்குகள் உட்பட 32 கடைகளில் ஆய்வு மேற்கொள்ளப்பட்டது.

அப்போது, அங்கு அழுகிய நிலையில் இருந்த மாம்பழம் 220 கிலோ, ஆரஞ்சு 65 கிலோ, சாத்துக்குடி 32 கிலோ, மாதுளை 34 கிலோ பறிமுதல் செய்யப்பட்டு அழிக்கப்பட்டன.

மேலும், பழ வியாபார நிறுவனங் களுக்கான உணவுப் பாதுகாப்பு குறித்த விழிப்புணர்வு கூட்டத்துக்கு ஏற்பாடு செய்யப்பட்டுள்ளது. செயற்கை முறையில் பழுக்கவைக் கப்பட்ட பழங்களை உட்கொண் டால் வயிற்று வலி, குடற்புண், தலைவலி, புற்றுநோய் ஏற்பட வாய்ப்புள்ளது. எனவே, செயற்கை முறையில் பழுக்க வைக்கப்பட்ட பழங்களை உண்பதை மக்கள் தவிர்க்க வேண்டும்.

செயற்கை முறையில் பழுக்க வைக்கப்பட்ட மாம்பழத்தின் வெளிப்புறத் தோற்றம் சீராக காணப்படும். மாம்பழத்தை வெட்டிப் பார்க்கும்போது, உள்பகுதி வெளிர் மஞ்சள் நிறத்தில் இருக்கும். உண்ணும் போது சுவையின்றி இருக்கலாம். மாம்பழத்தை அழுத்திப் பார்த்தால், அதன் தன்மை மிருதுவாக இல்லாமல் கடினமாக இருக்கும்.

இவ்வாறு அவர் கூறினார்.

Categories: Coimbatore, DISTRICT-NEWS