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Saturday, August 30, 2014

ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷയക്ക് അപ്പലേറ്റ് ട്രൈബ്യൂണല്‍

ഹോട്ടലുകളില്‍ ആരോഗ്യവകുപ്പിന്റെ പരിശോധന; 36 കടകള്‍ പൂട്ടിച്ചു

കോഴിക്കോട്: പകര്‍ച്ചവ്യാധിനിയന്ത്രണത്തിനുള്ള സേഫ് കേരള പദ്ധതിയുടെ ഭാഗമായി ആരോഗ്യ വകുപ്പ് അധികൃതര്‍ നടത്തിയ പരിശോധനയില്‍ വൃത്തിഹീനമായ അന്തരീക്ഷത്തില്‍ ഭക്ഷ്യവസ്തുക്കള്‍ കൈകാര്യം ചെയ്ത 36 കടകള്‍ പൂട്ടാന്‍ നിര്‍ദേശം നല്‍കി. 20 ഹോട്ടലുകള്‍, 10 കൂള്‍ബാറുകള്‍, നാല് ബേക്കറി, രണ്ട് ഐസ് ഫാക്ടറി എന്നിവയാണ് അടച്ചുപൂട്ടാന്‍ നിര്‍ദേശിച്ചത്.
162 സ്ഥാപനങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് നോട്ടീസ് നല്‍കിയിട്ടുണ്ട്. 93 ഹോട്ടലുകള്‍, 39 കൂള്‍ബാറുകള്‍, 23 ബേക്കറികള്‍, അഞ്ച് കാറ്ററിങ് സെന്റര്‍, രണ്ട് ഐസ് ഫാക്ടറികള്‍ എന്നിവയ്ക്കാണ് നോട്ടീസ് നല്‍കിയിട്ടുള്ളത്. കൂടാതെ മൂന്ന് സ്ഥാപനങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് നേരേ നടപടിയെടുക്കാന്‍ ഫുഡ് സേഫ്റ്റി ഓഫീസറോട് ആവശ്യപ്പെട്ടിട്ടുണ്ട്. 19 സ്ഥാപനങ്ങള്‍ക്കെതിരെ നടപടിയെടുക്കാന്‍ അതത് പ്രദേശത്തെ തദ്ദേശസ്വയം ഭരണസ്ഥാപനങ്ങളോടും ആവശ്യപ്പെട്ടിട്ടുണ്ട്.
ജില്ലയുടെ വിവിധ ഭാഗങ്ങളിലെ 864 സ്ഥാപനങ്ങളിലാണ് ആരോഗ്യവകുപ്പ് പരിശോധന നടത്തിയത്. ഈ സ്ഥാപനങ്ങളിലായി 2588 ജീവനക്കാര്‍ ജോലി ചെയ്യുന്നുണ്ട്. എന്നാല്‍, ജീവനക്കാര്‍ക്ക് ആരോഗ്യവകുപ്പ് നിഷ്‌കര്‍ഷിക്കുന്ന ഹെല്‍ത്ത് കാര്‍ഡ് ആകെ 71 ജീവനക്കാര്‍ക്ക് മാത്രമാണ് ഉള്ളത്. ജീവനക്കാരില്‍ 718 പേര്‍ ഇതരസംസ്ഥാനക്കാരാണ്.
42 സ്ഥാപനങ്ങളില്‍ ഭക്ഷണം വൃത്തിഹീനമായാണ് പാചകം ചെയ്യുന്നതെന്ന് കണ്ടെത്തി. 29 സ്ഥാപനങ്ങള്‍ പകര്‍ച്ചവ്യാധി പടരുന്നതിന് സഹായകമായ രീതിയിലാണ് പ്രവര്‍ത്തിക്കുന്നത്. ലൈസന്‍സ് ഇല്ലാതെ 46 സ്ഥാപനങ്ങള്‍ പ്രവര്‍ത്തിക്കുന്നുണ്ട്. മാലിന്യസംസ്‌കരണത്തിനും മലിനജലം പുറത്തേക്ക് ഒഴുക്കുന്നതിനും മിക്കയിടത്തും സംവിധാനമില്ല. പരിശോധനയ്ക്കിടെ വിവിധ സ്ഥാപനങ്ങളില്‍ നിന്നായി 5,500 രൂപ ഈടാക്കിയിട്ടുണ്ട്.
അഡീഷണല്‍ ജില്ലാ മെഡിക്കല്‍ ഓഫീസര്‍ ഡോ. എ. സാബു, ആര്‍.സി.എച്ച്. ഓഫീസര്‍ ഡോ. ആശാദേവി എന്നിവരുടെ നേതൃത്വത്തിലുള്ള സംഘമാണ് പരിശോധന നടത്തിയത്. 

Notification on alcohol; Rs 100 cr. imported liquor stuck with Customs

Even before the onset of the festive season, when the demand for alcohol peaks, importers and distributors of wines and liquors in the country are running 40 to 50 per cent out of stock as 100 containers of these beverages worth Rs 100 crore are stuck with the Customs.

In this regard, possible roadblock for them is a July 15, 2014, notification  by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued further to regulations that make it mandatory for all foods and alcoholic beverages in the country to mention on their labels all ingredients used either in English or Devnagri.

The notification applies to alcoholic beverages containing additives including colour, water, and preservatives. They need to carry labels mentioning the details of ingredients.

But most importers and distributors are finding it difficult to adhere to the notification as they cannot insist on the manufacturers to provide them detailed labelling, India being a small market for them. The result being importers and distributors are faced with consignments that are either stuck or rejected and mounting losses as they are not able to cash in on the festive demand.

A source from Mumbai-based Fine Wines n More India, on the condition of anonymity, lists out their difficulties, “All my global imports have halted. I was to get shipments from Argentina, Chile and Germany but we have had to put everything on hold because there is ambiguity and confusion on the new labelling norms by FSSAI.”

He adds, “The new rules which have been enforced by the food regulator require manufacturers to have labels in English or Hindi that list all ingredients. One of my shipments have been rejected for mentioning “Prodotto d’Italia” instead of “Product of Italy” and scotch whisky bottles were stopped at the Customs for not listing malted grain, water and yeast as ingredients.”

The source opines, “It will be very difficult to do business and import whisky and wines, if the dispute between FSSAI and alcohol importers, is not resolved.”

Meanwhile, Sanjay Dave, director (enforcement and surveillance), and advisor, FSSAI, explains the regulator’s point of view, “The FSSAI labelling regulations came into existence in August 2011 but were enforced in March 2014. And these regulations are in line with international norms.”

But reluctantly admits, “Yes, some of the rules are intricate. But some of the requirements have also been suspended like now there is no need for sticker mentioning veg or non-veg on alcohol.”

He adds, “And these rules are not only for foreign counterparts but also applicable for Indian alcohol manufacturers, so there is no discrimination.”

While Dave defends the notification, Aashish Kasbekar, specialist in clearing alcohol consignments through Indian Customs, points out, “In Mid-May and June, the issue which cropped up was about mentioning the list of ingredients on whisky, rum, wine and other alcoholic beverages.”

He explains, “Now due to these norms, importers are facing lots of problems. There stocks have been stuck at the Customs.”

He reasons, “The issue is that FSSAI has brought strict norms. Suppose a product named Cognac has been imported, which is Scotland brandy, the FSSAI will reject it on the ground that they don't identify Cognac, and hence, the shipment is kept on hold. Same way, the food authority says that they don't know what Tequila is and therefore manufacturers will have to explain in detail what it means.”

He states, “Importers are losing hope and FSSAI is very rigid and will not relax the norms further. So in the days to come the problem remains for alcohol importers and manufacturers.”

When asked how many shipments were on hold at the Customs, Kasbekar sums up, “Volume-wise there are around 100 containers and each container contains 700-800 cases. It means 7 lakh bottles of whisky, wine and other alcoholic beverages costing more than Rs 100 crore are stuck in Customs due to the strict norms and regulations by FSSAI.” 

Adulteration: Court Grants Permission to Clean Pepper

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Friday directed the Food Safety Commissioner to allow the National Commodity and Derivatives Exchange Ltd to clean all the sealed stock of pepper, and to sent it to a laboratory notified by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
In the order, Justice A Muhammed Mustaque directed that the company should take the stock of pepper for testing as directed by the  Commissioner.
The court passed the order on the petition filed by Suresh Nair, vice president (legal and compliance), NCDEX Ltd, challenging an order of the Food Safety Commissioner to destroy more than 6,800 Mt of pepper, which is allegedly adulterated.
The order issued by the Commissioner stated that the samples collected from the warehouses of the company in Ernakulam and Cherthala showed that the pepper was adulterated with mineral oil.
The Regulations of 2011 specified that black pepper should be free of even traces of mineral oil, which is carcinogenic.
Based on the report, the authorities decided to seal all the six godowns. It also directed that the 93 lots, which were found to be adulterated, should be destroyed immediately, following statutory proceedings, in consultation with the Spices Board. The Commissioner further asked the District Food Safety officer to conduct a detailed investigation into the matter to identify the source of the mineral oil, and to file a report at the earliest.
The petitioner submitted that even if the allegation of the pepper being adulterated were true, it could be removed by a process of steaming and that the Act provided for an opportunity to improve or remove the adulterant.
If the Commissioner destroy the pepper it will not only create scarcity of the product, but will also affect its price across the country.
Source:http://www.newindianexpress.com