Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chandramouli takes over as FSSAI chairman


Putting an end to four months of suspense and speculation over who will helm the country’s New Delhi-based apex food body, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), K Chandramouli, who has been strong contender all along, finally took over as the chairman on January 27, 2012.Interestingly, F&B News first wrote about Chandramouli, an IAS officer (1975:Uttar Pradesh cadre) who superannuated as union health secretary, being the likely successor to former chief P I Suvrathan, last September itself.However, the appointment was delayed due to various reasons—the key being the authority was in the midst of implementing the country’s ambitious FSSA, 2006, legislation. But V N Gaur, CEO of the authority who is also the interim chief’s likely exit next month, seems to have hastened up proceedings.Effecting the handing over of the charge, Gaur welcomed the new incumbent and introduced officials of FSSAI to him. Further, he shared the salient features of FSSAI activities and elaborated various points during the presentation made by director (administration) about functioning, structure and progress made by FSSAI.After taking charge, Chandramouli observed that FSSAI targets needed to be clear than just following rules and regulations.He stated, “FSSAI being a new organisation will have to start from scratch and attain as much as possible.”He suggested, “We encompass everyone all the time and not for a one-time affair. The focus shall remain on all - be it food manufacturers, rediwala (small vendors), and big multinationals.” 

Monday, January 30, 2012

നിരോധിച്ച കവര്‍പാല്‍ തീരപ്രദേശങ്ങളില്‍ വ്യാപകം


തിരുവനന്തപുരം: നിരോധിച്ച കവര്‍പാല്‍ തലസ്ഥാനത്തെ തീരപ്രദേശങ്ങളില്‍വ്യാപകം. വിഴിഞ്ഞം അടിമലത്തുറ. പൂവ്വാര്‍, ചൊവ്വര എന്നിവിടങ്ങളിലാണു പ്രധാനമായും നിലവാരമില്ലാത്ത കവര്‍ പാലിന്റെ  ഉപയോഗം വ്യാപകമാകുന്നത്. ഭൂരിപക്ഷം ഹോട്ടലുകളിലും ചായക്കടകളിലും ഇത്തരത്തിലുള്ള നിരോധിക്കപ്പെട്ട പാലാണ് ഉപയോഗിക്കുന്നത്. ഈ പ്രദേശങ്ങളില്‍ മില്‍മ പാലിന്റെ  വിതരണം കാര്യക്ഷമമല്ലാത്തതാണു വ്യാജന്‍ പിടിമുറുക്കാന്‍ കാരണം. മായം കലര്‍ന്നിട്ടുണ്ടെന്ന് കണ്ടു പിടിക്കപ്പെട്ടതിനെത്തുടര്‍ന്നു നിരോധിച്ച വിവിധതരം കവര്‍ പാല്‍ പേരു മാറ്റിയാണ് ഇവിടെയെത്തുന്നത്. സംസ്ഥാനത്ത് ആകെ 57 ബ്രാന്‍ഡുകളിലുള്ള കവര്‍ പാല്‍ വില്‍പ്പന നടത്തുന്നുണ്ട്. ഇതില്‍ 52 എണ്ണവും തമിഴ്‌നാട്ടില്‍ നിന്നാണു വരുന്നത്. എല്‍ ഡി എഫ് സര്‍ക്കാരിന്റെ  കാലത്തു 47 കമ്പനികളുടെ കവര്‍ പാല്‍ വിതരണം സംസ്ഥാനത്ത്  നിരോധിച്ചിരുന്നു. കേരളത്തില്‍ പ്രതിദിനം വിതരണം ചെയ്യുന്ന 14 ലക്ഷം ലിറ്റര്‍ പാലില്‍ 11 ലക്ഷവും മില്‍മയുടെ വിഹിതമാണ്. ഒരു ലക്ഷത്തോളം കേരളാ ബ്രാന്‍ഡുകളും രണ്ടു ലക്ഷം ലിറ്റര്‍ തമിഴ്‌നാട്ടിലെ പാലുമാണ്. നിയമം കര്‍ക്കശമാക്കാത്തതാണ്  മായം ചേര്‍ത്ത കവര്‍ പാല്‍ വിപണനം വീണ്ടും കേരളത്തില്‍ വ്യാപകമാകുന്നതിനു കാരണം. മായം കലരാത്ത പാല്‍ ഒരു ദിവസം മാത്രമേ സൂക്ഷിക്കാനാകൂ. എന്നാല്‍ തമിഴ് നാട്ടില്‍ നിന്നെത്തുന്ന പാല്‍ ദിവസങ്ങളോളം കേടാകാതെയിരിക്കും. മായം ചേര്‍ത്തിട്ടുണ്ടെന്ന്  വ്യക്തമായതിനെത്തുടര്‍ന്ന് കര്‍ണാടക സര്‍ക്കാരാണ് ആദ്യം തമിഴ്‌നാട്ടില്‍ നിന്നുള്ള കവര്‍ പാല്‍ നിരോധിച്ചത്. ഇതിനെത്തുടര്‍ന്നു തമിഴ്‌നാട് സര്‍ക്കാര്‍ നടത്തിയ പരിശോധനയില്‍ നൂറിലധികം ഫാക്ടറികളില്‍ മായം ചേര്‍ത്ത പാല്‍ ഉത്പാദിപ്പിക്കുന്നുവെന്ന്  കണ്ടെത്തി. എന്നാല്‍ ഇത്തരം ഫാക്റ്ററികള്‍ക്കെതിരേ തുടര്‍ നടപടികളൊന്നും ഉണ്ടായിട്ടില്ലെന്നതും  വ്യാജ പാല്‍ വില്‍പ്പന കൂടാന്‍ കാരണമാകുന്നു.

വന്‍കുടല്‍ കാന്‍സര്‍ കൂടുതല്‍ കേരളത്തില്‍; വില്ലന്‍ മാട്ടിറച്ചി!


കൊച്ചി: രാജ്യത്ത്‌ ഏറ്റവും കൂടുതല്‍ വന്‍കുടല്‍ കാന്‍സര്‍ രോഗികള്‍ കേരളത്തിലാണെന്നു വിദഗ്‌ധര്‍. മാട്ടിറച്ചി ഉപയോഗം ഉയര്‍ന്നതാണു കാരണം. രാജ്യത്ത്‌ മാട്ടിറച്ചി ഉപയോഗിക്കുന്നവരില്‍ കൂടുതലും മലയാളികളാണ്‌. സംസ്‌ഥാനത്ത്‌ വന്‍കുടല്‍ കാന്‍സര്‍ ബാധിച്ചവരുടെ എണ്ണത്തില്‍ സമീപകാലത്ത്‌ വന്‍വര്‍ധനയാണുണ്ടായിരിക്കുന്നത്‌. ഏഷ്യന്‍ രാജ്യങ്ങളില്‍ ഏറ്റവും കുറവു വന്‍കുടല്‍ കാന്‍സര്‍ ഇന്ത്യയിലാണെങ്കില്‍, കേരളത്തിലെ സ്‌ഥിതി വികസിത രാജ്യങ്ങളിലേതിനു സമാനമാണ്‌. ഭക്ഷണത്തില്‍ പഴങ്ങളും പച്ചക്കറികളും കൂടുതല്‍ ഉള്‍പ്പെടുത്തുകയാണു വന്‍കുടല്‍ കാന്‍സറിനെ പ്രതിരോധിക്കാനുള്ള പോംവഴിയെന്നു മുംബൈ ടാറ്റ മെമ്മോറിയല്‍ ആശുപത്രിയിലെ ഉദരരോഗ വിദഗ്‌ധന്‍ ഡോ. കെ.എം. മോഹന്‍ദാസ്‌ 'ഇന്ത്യന്‍ ജേര്‍ണല്‍ ഓഫ്‌ ഗാസ്‌ട്രോ എന്‍ട്രോളജി' യുടെ മുഖക്കുറിപ്പില്‍ വ്യക്‌തമാക്കുന്നു. നാരുകളടങ്ങിയ ഭക്ഷണം രക്‌തത്തിലെ പൂരിത കൊഴുപ്പിനെ നീക്കം ചെയ്യാന്‍ പര്യാപ്‌തമാണ്‌. വിറ്റാമിനുകളായ ഡിയും ബിയും ഫോളിക്‌ ആസിഡും വന്‍കുടല്‍ കാന്‍സര്‍ സാധ്യത കുറയ്‌ക്കും. വികസിത രാജ്യങ്ങളിലും വന്‍ നഗരങ്ങളിലുമാണു വന്‍കുടല്‍ കാന്‍സര്‍ വ്യാപകം. ഏഷ്യയില്‍ ജപ്പാന്‍, കൊറിയ, സിംഗപ്പൂര്‍ രാജ്യങ്ങള്‍ ഈ മാരകരോഗത്തിന്റെ പിടിയിലാണ്‌. അമേരിക്കയിലും ബ്രിട്ടണിലും ഈ രോഗത്തിനെതിരേ ശക്‌തമായ ബോധവല്‍ക്കരണം നടന്നുവരുന്നു. മാട്ടിറച്ചിക്കമ്പം കൂടിവരുന്ന ഗള്‍ഫ്‌ രാജ്യങ്ങളില്‍ വന്‍കുടല്‍ കാന്‍സര്‍ ബാധിതരുടെ എണ്ണം അഞ്ചുവര്‍ഷത്തിനുള്ളില്‍ ഇരട്ടിയിലെത്തി. ഇതു പ്രതിരോധിക്കുന്നതിന്‌ ഏറ്റവും ഫലപ്രദമായ നടപടി മാട്ടിറച്ചിപോലുള്ള ചുവന്ന മാംസത്തിന്റെ ഉപയോഗം കുറയ്‌ക്കുകയാണെന്ന്‌ ഇന്ത്യന്‍ ഇന്‍സ്‌റ്റിറ്റ്യൂട്ട്‌ ഓഫ്‌ സയന്‍സും വ്യക്‌തമാക്കിയിട്ടുണ്ട്‌. വറുത്തതും പൊരിച്ചതുമായ മാംസാഹാരങ്ങള്‍ വഴിയും ഇത്തരം കാന്‍സറിനു കാരണമായ ഹ്യൂമന്‍ പാപ്പിലോമ വൈറസ്‌ (എച്ച്‌.പി.വി) സൃഷ്‌ടിക്കപ്പെടുന്നു. കോഴി ചുട്ടതും മീന്‍ പൊള്ളിച്ചതും ഫലത്തില്‍ കാന്‍സര്‍കാരികളാണ്‌. വെളുത്ത ഇറച്ചി ഇത്തരത്തില്‍ പാകം ചെയ്യുമ്പോള്‍ പാപ്പിലോമ വൈറസ്‌ ഉല്‍പാദിപ്പിക്കപ്പെടുന്നു. 80 ഡിഗ്രി സെന്റിഗ്രേഡില്‍ അരമണിക്കൂര്‍ നിന്നാല്‍പോലും നശിക്കാത്ത പോളിയോമാ വൈറസുകളുണ്ട്‌.ചുവന്ന മാംസത്തിന്റെ ഉപഭോഗംപോലെ പാലുല്‍പന്നങ്ങളുടെ അമിതോപയോഗമാണ്‌ സ്‌തനാര്‍ബുദത്തിനു പ്രധാന കാരണം. ഫാസ്‌റ്റ് ഫുഡ്‌ സംസ്‌കാരത്തോടൊപ്പം വന്‍കുടല്‍ കാന്‍സറും പെരുകുകയാണ്‌. പ്രൊഫഷണലുകള്‍ക്കിടയില്‍ ഉദരരോഗങ്ങള്‍ വര്‍ധിക്കുന്നതില്‍ വറുത്തതും ചുട്ടെടുത്തതുമായ വിഭവങ്ങള്‍ക്ക്‌ വലിയ പങ്കുണ്ട്‌. 20 വര്‍ഷത്തിനിടയില്‍ 7,56,217 പേരില്‍ നടത്തിയ 14 പഠനങ്ങളില്‍ വ്യക്‌തമായത്‌ സസ്യാഹാരികള്‍ക്ക്‌ വന്‍കുടല്‍ കാന്‍സര്‍ വരാനുള്ള സാധ്യത മാംസാഹാരികളേക്കാള്‍ കുറവാണെന്നും അദ്ദേഹം പറയുന്നു. 

Madurai's merchant community terms FSSA detrimental to farmers' interests


The merchant community in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, has called the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, (FSSA), detrimental to the interests of farmers and self-help groups in its present form and urged the Centre to postpone the enforcement of the Act.S P Jeyapragasam, president, Tamil Nadu Foodgrain Merchants' Association, Madurai, told FnB News, “The Act, which came into force from August 5, 2011, would curtail farmers' opportunities to sell their products at competitive prices.”According to the Act, the farmers who grow the food products and the traders are liable for action for deficiency in the quality of agro products. “The errant farmers and traders would have to pay a fine ranging from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 10 lakh, and the minimum sentence in prison is six months,” he said.When asked about the maximum term in jail, he said that depends on the offence. He stressed on the fact that the deficiency in the quality of agro products due to the changes in the weather should also be taken into consideration.Jeyapragasam said the government was selling liquor and tobacco products while admitting that the consumption of these products was injurious to health. “The government that sells these products tends to penalise traders heavily if the product they sell is found to be substandard,” he rued.
After explaining how unreasonable the government was being in awarding penalties to the traders without taking into account the change in the quality of the product due to the changes in weather, he said, “The laws should be universal.”
He also said the products made by members of self-help groups cannot be brought under the purview of the FSSA. “They will be wiped out of business. Sections and clauses of the Act are rather harsh. Moreover, what works in a developed country cannot be implemented in a country like India, where basic sanitary conditions need to be uplifted and seasonal variations need to be taken into account.”The law had also stipulated that about 250 food testing laboratories be set up across the state before the Act was implemented, but work had not begun on any of these yet, he pointed out. The association reiterated the demand, and said that it would make sure every district had its food testing laboratories. 

With 80,000 licences issued, Maharashtra FDA leads licensing under FSSA


Maharashtra is one of the leading states with regard to converting the old licences under Prevention of Food Adulteration, Act, 1954, into those under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.Till now over 80,000 PFA licences from the existing 1,07,000, have been converted. This was confirmed by Maharashtra food safety commissioner Mahesh Zagade, in a one-on-one with FnB News.The new licensing regime was initiated on August 5, 2011, when the FSSA had come into force. It aims to bring the food industry under one umbrella by scrapping all old licences.Now, Maharashtra FDA (Food and Drug Administration) targets March 31, 2012, for completing the licensing and registration procedure in the state. Although, the work done till now is more than the combined effort put together by enforcement wings across India, claimed a source from the industry connected to the FDA.However, the fact remains that there are around 16 lakh food business operators (FBOs) in Maharashtra. Reaching out to them, and getting them registered or obtain licences would indeed be a gigantic task.Where implementation of FSSA is concerned, Maharashtra has taken the biggest leap forward under the leadership of Zagade who joined office only on August 29, 2011. His effort has helped Maharashtra turn into a model state for the rest to follow.His first initiative was to strengthen the organisation. Creation of six posts of joint commissioners and their redesignation as adjudication officers (AOs) was a vital step for strengthening the judicial infrastructure of the authority. Creation of another 62 posts of designated officers (DO) was the next progressive step.The FDA is also upgrading the existing ranks of food inspectors working as Class 3 officers to Class 2 officers and redesignating them as food safety officers (FSOs). For the 16 lakh FBOs in the country, Maharashtra would have over 300 FSOs. Their distribution would be based on the regional densities of the FBOs. “We are reorganising the entire jurisdiction of FSOs and DOs and would allocate work on the basis of the number of the FBOs present in a region,” Zagade said.Zagade is also striving to strengthen the sampling analysis mechanism. For this, the number of laboratories, both mobile and static, would be increased. “We want to have one full-fledged laboratory for every four-five districts and one mobile lab for every district,” Zagade said. The commissioner now wants to use his long administrative e experience to put things straight at the FDA. One, he intends to connect all FDA offices in Maharashtra and plan a systematic data flow. “We want to streamline the working of all the offices in Maharashtra through computerisation,” Zagade suggested. One step towards this was launching the pilot software for making licensing procedure on-line in January 2012. “We convinced the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) to choose Mumbai and Thane as two regions for launching the pilot project. Now, we are consistently in touch with the NISG (National Institute of Smart Governance), Hyderabad, which created the software, for constant upgrade,” Zagade informed.Zagade also wants to bring in a permanent solution to the problem of milk adulteration, Maharashtra being one of the leading producers of milk.“Raids do not work, we need to have a permanent solution in place. Though FDA is monitoring adulteration cases on continued basis, the number of outlets is so vast that complete control is not easy. Things are improving, however. We are trying to have a structured programme that deals with milk adulteration on a permanent basis,” Zagade said.The task ahead for Zagade is not that easy, however, he is determined and anticipates cooperation from the industry. “We want to operationalise all regulations,” Zagade encapsulated his ambitious intention into a tiny statement. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Health ministry: Ban gutka, or regulate it?


Should gutka be categorised as a “food product” and banned, or should it be regulated? Differences over the issue have surfaced within the health ministry, which, confused, is approaching the law ministry to get a final opinion.While the new rules of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, an autonomous body under the health ministry, say “anything that is food and contains nicotine or tobacco must be banned”, another section of the health ministry feels that as per the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products Act of 2003 (COTP), there should be regulation, and not a complete ban. The COTP Act suggests regulation of trade and commerce, production, supply and distribution of gutka.Officials say a ban on smokeless tobacco products was never thought feasible because the industry employs a large number of people and it would affect their livelihood. Incidentally, the FSSAI’s new rules prohibit tobacco being used as an ingredient in any food product. However, with the COTP Act talking merely about regulation, the states have refused to adhere to the FSSAI notification.“There is a contradiction. While our act lists gutka as an item which needs to be regulated, the FSSAI calls for a total ban. We have now asked the law ministry to clear the confusion and take a final call,” said a senior health ministry official.Statistics show that nearly 0.9 million deaths occur in India every year due to tobacco-use compared to 5.5 million deaths worldwide. According to the recent Global Adult Tobacco Survey, out of the 35 per cent of adults in India that use tobacco in some form or the other, 21 per cent use smokeless tobacco, nine per cent smoke and five per cent smoke as well as use smokeless tobacco.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

No salary for Food Safety Officers

It was a bitter Pongal for 123 sanitary officers/sanitary inspectors/food inspectors of nine Corporations and all municipalities who have been absorbed by the State Government as Food Safety Officers (FSO).For, ever since they were diverted from the services of the local bodies to the State Government in November, they have been denied their salary for the last two months.These FSOs have been made to run from pillar to post by the heads of a few departments and even after the lapse of two months there seems to be little hope for them in getting their salary at the earliest.Among them, eight are from Madurai Corporation.They were relieved from their posts in the Corporations (other than Chennai city) following a communication from the Commissioner of Food Safety, Chennai.“Though the Corporation was quick to relieve us as per the instruction of Commissioner of Food Safety, it did not respect the Commissioner's direction that the sanitary inspectors/sanitary officers would draw their pay and allowances in the same post in their existing stations,” one of the FSO said.“The fate of those officers absorbed from the rural local bodies and town panchayats were good, since their diversion to the new post was seamless. So, was the case with the 25 FSOs who had been absorbed from the Chennai Corporation. Chennai Corporation has not relieved them and continues to pay them their salary, till further orders from the Commissioner of Food Safety,” he added.
The FSOs have begun their work of conducting a survey of food trades – trades that deal with all kinds of eatables, from restaurants to grocery shops. 
No salary
 “How does the Government expect us to work without salary for months together? We are informed that establishing the office per se will take some more time and disbursement of our salary is likely to be held up for a few more months,” the officer said.The officials in the office of Commissioner of Food Safety claim that their communication on salary disbursement was clear and it was only for the Commissioner of Municipal Administration (CMA) to decide on it. Officials in CMA directed the SFOs to the Secretary, Municipal Administration.The queries made on the issue through the provisions of Right to Information Act with the CMA and the Commissioner of Food Safety has not evoked any response for a month now.“While we were all relieved on November 1, 2011, the Government Order on the issue had been made only on December 22, 2011. We do not know how we were relieved without a G.O. If the need of the FSOs was so important for the Government, is not the salary too important for us? Now, we are left with no other option but to move the High Court,” the officer said.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tricks to expose food adulteration

In a country where official systems set for food safety and prevention are constantly outdone by a booming adulteration business, the onus of safeguarding one's family against contaminaed food, unfortunately falls on citizens themselves. From loose packed ground spices, to wet produce such as milk, khoya, paneer, to dry spices and grains, almost everything you can buy has a potential of being adulterated, if purchased from an unauthorized vendor in a box unmarked and tested by either Agmark or ISI. While some of these could be less harmful, such as water or bran, chemicals and colouring agents such as Metanil Yellow, Lead Chromate, Sudan Red III, are known to be carcinogenic. The chairman of the Consumer Guidence Society of India, Dr Sitaram Dixit lists a few commonly used food items, and suggests simple home tests to check for their most common adulterants. In case the test asks for the presence of an acid, you could use common toilet-cleaning acid, or easily found citric acid or even lemon juice.
1 Turmeric, dals and pulses such as moong or channa
Adulterant
Metanil Yellow and Kesari Dal (Added to enhance the yellow colour of a food substance)
Test
Dissolve half a spoon full of besan or turmeric powder in 20 ml of lukewarm water. Add a few drops of hydrochloric acid or any commonly available acid at home. If the water turns pink, violet or purple, it shows the presence of Metanil yellow.
Harmful effects
It's highly carcinogenic and if consumed over a continuous period of time it can also cause stomach disorders.

FSS implementation status, licensing dominate FSSAI 6th CAC meeting agenda

The 6th Central Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting of Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was conducted by the body at its premises recently.Commissioners of food safety of major states / union territories participated in the meet with status reports of respective states. The reports elaborated on the progress made in implementation of the FSS Act, Rules and Regulations etc. and appointment of regulators as well as legal machinery i.e. food appellate tribunals. V N Gaur, CEO, FSSAI, while welcoming the members, shared the salient points about the recent milk survey report over which the media reports created apprehensions about large-scale adulteration in the minds of people. He advised all the states to examine the issues highlighted in the executive summary of the report and take appropriate measures. The Central Licensing System (CLS) software developed by NISG has been implemented and licenses are being issued. Initially five regions—AP, Goa, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Delhi—joined for similar templates for state licensing, however, other regions also showed eagerness to use the software, it was learnt at the meeting. The meeting was also told that food safety helpline and website needed to be developed by states and each state needed to appoint a nodal officer for issues related to food safety till such time complete processes were in place for quick disposal of grievances, if any. Training programmes are to be organised on pan-India basis at select institutions and states have to come forward in identifying resource persons and other infrastructure wherever required FSSAI will provide all possible help. Director (administration) FSSAI outlined the contribution of Gaur, who would be superannuating shortly, to the body. From first CAC till the present meeting, Gaur had brought about a distinct integration of various processes enunciated in new law and provided a stable platform for implementing as well as enforcing FSS Act, Rules and Regulations both in letter and spirit. The house gave a standing ovation to Gaur.Towards the end, the CEO emphasised upon licensing and import food clearances needing improvements as first time such a system had been developed and advised states to remain in constant touch with FSSAI about enforcement of Act. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

PIL seeks certification to check milk adulteration

MUMBAI: A public interest litigation has been filed in the Bombay High Court against largescale adulteration of milk. It urged the court to direct setting up of an agency to certify milk with a 'Milk Mark' which would ensure quality and a 24-hour helpline for complaints.The PIL was filed by homeopath Dr Sreedevi Mehta, chemical engineer Karan Doshi and Vidhvatta Malhotra, a homemaker who has a two-year-old child. The state, commissioners for Food Safety and Food and Drugs Administration, the BMC and ministry of health and family welfare have been made parties.The petitioners said they became aware after reading news reports about the alarming portions of mass adulteration of milk that is consumed by almost every household in the city. They were "shocked and aghast", to learn that the National Milk Survey found nearly 70% of 1,791 samples picked up from 33 states and union territories had failed to conform to Food and Safety Standards Authority of India."It is a very sorry state of affairs wherethough unknowingly people are consuming urea, detergents, bad sugar, harmful chemicals and several other contaminants by drinking adulterated milk every day," the petition states. The petitioner urged that like AGMARK, which is a quality certification for agricultural products, milk must also be certified by a 'Milk Mark', certified by an authority at the state-level.
 They also urged for a 24-hour helpline for people to register complaints so that raids, if necessary, are conducted and the guilty booked.The PIL was mentioned by their advocate Advait Sethna before a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi and has been posted for hearing on January 25.

Honey safety norms in place soon

The government is putting in place safety standards for honey after it has been found that lots, even those sold by top brands, had traces of antibiotics and pesticides in them. The Food And Safety Standards of India (FSSAI) will soon make it mandatory that honey samples conform to these regulatory measures before they can be declared safe for consumption. The new standards have been approved by the scientific committee of the experts and are likely to be notified soon by the government. While the new standards specify that there “should not be any residue of antibiotics in honey”, the FSSAI will also list down antibiotics that should remain absent from honey before it is made available for the consumers. The standards for honey prescribed under prevention of food adulteration rules only specify the maximum limits of heavy metal etc. So far, there are no standards for antibiotics in honey in India. In last few years, there have been reports of antibiotic contamination in honey exported from India and also in honey available in the domestic market. Earlier, the food and feed control authorities of the member states of the EU had also found Indian honey contaminated with prohibited antibiotics, like nitrofuran and chloramphenicol, tetracycline and streptomycin. Experts say even that recently the samples picked up by FSSAI too found antibiotic residue in honey. “The laboratories will have a clear mandate. The list of antibiotics will be given based on limit of quantification,” FSSAI CEO V.N. Gaur said. Those manufacturers which are found not conforming to the standards and thereby making it “unsafe” will face imprisonment and severe punishment that may include closing down of manufacturing unit.
Experts say that move gains significance keeping in view the recent reports of drug resistant bugs present in India. “The presence of antibiotics unnecessarily enhances immunity which could harm the body in the long run. The problem of presence of drug resistance bugs can also not be ignored,” said a senior official.

Karnataka plans new food lab, hires staff for better FSSA implementation

Karnataka has now speeded up efforts to ensure preparedness in terms of infrastructure and personnel to help the industry adhere to the Food Safety & Standards Act (FSSA), 2006.The state, which has four food labs, is now looking to have a fifth facility in Bangalore, under the Karnataka Health Systems Development Project, which is funded by the World Bank. The state is also contemplating on setting up mobile vans to simplify the surveillance of food units at a faster pace. Further efforts are on to offer online issue of licences and renewal. In this regard, the Union government has now software to network the state food commissionerates across the country. Karnataka is hoping to be among the first to install the same.Further the state will also set up helplines and a website to solve the issues of the industry in terms of comprehending and consulting the finer points of the Act.In this regard, the state has identified four food safety labs for which NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) certification is being sought and currently a Gap Analysis is on to help compare the actual performance with potential performance, according to B S Ramaprasad, Karnataka commissioner for food, directorate of health and family welfare.

മുളക് പൊടിയില്‍ പുഴുക്കള്‍

Source: mathrubhumi e-paper










Saturday, January 21, 2012

തട്ടുകടയ്ക്കും വേണം ഇനി രജിസ്‌ട്രേഷന്‍

പുനലൂര്‍: അന്തിമയങ്ങുമ്പോള്‍ ഉന്തുവണ്ടിയില്‍ തോന്നുംപടി ദോശവിറ്റുകളയാം എന്നിനി ആരും കരുതേണ്ട. ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷ സ്റ്റാന്‍ഡേര്‍ഡ് അതോറിറ്റി ഓഫ് ഇന്ത്യ(എഫ്.എസ്.എസ്.എ.ഐ.)യില്‍ രജിസ്റ്റര്‍ ചെയ്തിട്ടുമതി ഇനി തട്ടുകച്ചവടം. അതും വൃത്തിയും വെടിപ്പുമുള്ള സ്ഥലത്തുമാത്രം. തട്ടുകടക്കാര്‍ മാത്രമല്ല, സൈക്കിളിലും പെട്ടിക്കടകളിലുമൊക്കെ ഭക്ഷ്യവസ്തുക്കള്‍ വില്‍ക്കുന്നവരും ചെറുകിട ഭക്ഷ്യോ ത്പാദകരുമൊക്കെ നിര്‍ബന്ധമായും രജിസ്റ്റര്‍ ചെയ്തിരിക്കണം. കല്യാണത്തിനും മറ്റ് ചടങ്ങുകള്‍ക്കും സമൃദ്ധമായ ഭക്ഷണമൊരുക്കുന്ന കാറ്ററിങ് സര്‍വീസുകാര്‍ക്കും ലൈസന്‍സ് കൂടിയേ തീരൂ. രജിസ്റ്റര്‍ ചെയ്യാനും ലൈസന്‍സ് എടുക്കാനും ഇക്കൊല്ലം ആഗസ്ത് അഞ്ചുവരെ സാവകാശം ലഭിക്കും.2006ലെ ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷാഗുണനിലവാരനിയമം സംസ്ഥാനത്ത് നടപ്പിലാക്കിയതിന്റെ പശ്ചാത്തലത്തിലാണിത്. പഴയ മായം ചേര്‍ക്കല്‍ നിരോധനനിയമത്തിനു പകരമാണ് ഈ നിയമം.

125 food testing labs on cards

PUNE: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has proposed to set up 125 food testing laboratories in the country. The authority has also proposed to form guidelines to keep a check on flavoured drinking water, said V N Gaur, chief executive officer of FSSAI. The proposals have been submitted to the Union government for approval.Gaur was speaking at the two-day 21st Indian Convention of Food Scientists and Technologists organised on the theme 'Innovations in food science and technology to fuel the growth of the Indian food industry'. Swapan Kumar Datta, deputy director general, Indian Council for Agricultural Research, New Delhi, Vasudha Kamath, vice-chancellor, SNDT University, Mumbai, and G Venkateswara Rao, acting director Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore, were present for the convention that started on Friday.He said, "The proposed labs are meant to undertake tests to check whether the adulteration is chemical, physical or microbiological. Physical category means substandard particles mixed in a product. The 125 primary labs will join the existing 72 labs in the country. Apart from these, there are four central food labs, working as referral labs to the primary labs, providing information about various research projects, their findings and usefulness of technology in the food industry."Another emerging market is flavoured drinking water, for which there are no guidelines so far, he said. The authority has urged the Union government to initiate a procedure to form guidelines for flavoured drinking water, as there is definition of drinking water, bottled and packaged water, Gaur added.The FSSAI has also appealed to the government to upgrade and modernise existing food testing labs and open them to packaged food manufacturers, consumers and researchers. The old machinery and lack of funds are limiting the functioning of the labs and their scope, he added.

Gaur stresses on tighter vigil on milk and newer standards at AFSTI meet

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued advisories to food safety commissioners in the country on increasing vigil on milk adulteration cases in their respective states. This was also part of the agenda of the last CAC (central advisory committee) meeting of the body.Elaborating on the issue, V N Gaur, CEO, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), pointed out that though milk adulteration had majorly to do with adulteration of milk with water, it could not be ignored. He was addressing a press conference held on Friday on the sidelines of the XXI Indian Convention of Food Scientists and Technologists organised by the Pune chapter of Association of Food Scientists and Technologists of India (AFSTI).The survey on milk adulteration was part of the surveillance project undertaken by the FSSAI and in the future, other items would be brought under the scanner similarly. “We intend to take 3-4 items every year for conducting detailed survey across the countries for parameters of safety,” Gaur informed.Along with that he mentioned about a number of different draft standards, which were currently in the pipeline and could see the light of the day in the coming months.

Seniority list of Food Safety Officers- Kerala






Friday, January 20, 2012

Mobile labs to keep tabs on food and beverages industry

To tighten control over the food and beverages industry, mobile laboratories equipped for surveillance and inspection will soon be deployed, B.S. Ramaprasad, Commissioner, Health and Family Welfare Services, has said.Among the biggest challenges in implementing the new Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act, 2011 are the lack of food safety inspectors and the poor status of public laboratories, said Mr. Ramaprasad at a seminar on the FSS Act organised by the Bangalore Chamber of Commerce here on Thursday.
The FSS Act, which will replace the over-50 year-old Prevention of Food Adulteration Act 1954, seeks to integrate several food laws that govern vegetables, meat, milk and edible oil.

No NABL accreditation

“The State has 104 food safety inspectors when the requirement is 234. And while we have five public labs, they are not accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL). We need these labs upgraded,” he said. The State will soon get a new NABL-accredited lab, set up in association with the Karnataka Health System Development and Reform Project, and with funding from the World Bank.

Some resistance'

Mr. Ramaprasad added that he had encountered resistance from a section of hoteliers in the State for registering under the new Act as they feared penalties and imprisonment that the new Act prescribes for certain violations.

New contaminants

In her lecture on current trends in food analysis, Lalitha R. Gowda, head of the Food Safety and Analytical Quality Control Laboratory, Central Food Technology Research Institute, Mysore, said that new contaminants now laced our food. Antibiotics and veterinary drug residues were the new additions to the list of additives, pesticides and microbiological contamination.
Food products targeted for adulteration are generally of high commercial value, she said.
This included the addition of corn or cane sugar in honey, artificial vanillin to natural vanilla extract or dilution of wine with water.

Identifying adulteration

However, there are a host of new techniques to identify adulteration, Dr. Gowda said. For instance, high performance liquid chromatography can chemically profile fruit juice to detect adulteration, and isotope ratio mass spectrometry can find out if a fruit has been artificially ripened.
The industry must ensure consumers are empowered with complete information about the products they buy, whether about composition or nutrition, said Bejon Misra, former member of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. 

Tamil Nadu Public Health act 1939 (chapter 12, Food control)repealed


Thursday, January 19, 2012

പാലിന്റെ ഗുണനിലവാര പരിശോധന മുടങ്ങുന്നു

തിരുവനന്തപുരം: പ്രതിദിനം മുക്കാല്‍ കോടി ലിറ്റര്‍ പാല്‍ ഉപയോഗിക്കുന്ന സംസ്ഥാനത്ത് പാലിന്റെ ഗുണനിലവാര പരിശോധനയും മേല്‍നടപടികളും കാര്യക്ഷമമല്ലാതായിട്ട് നാലു മാസം പിന്നിടുന്നു. ഗുണനിലവാര പരിശോധനയ്ക്കുള്ള അധികാരം ക്ഷീര വകുപ്പില്‍ നിന്ന് മാറ്റി ഫുഡ് സേഫ്ടി കമ്മീഷണറുടെ കീഴിലാക്കിയെങ്കിലും ജീവനക്കാരുടെ അഭാവവും പരിചയക്കുറവുമാണ് നിലവിലെ പ്രതിസന്ധിയ്ക്ക് കാരണം.എഴുപത്തിയഞ്ച് ലക്ഷം ലിറ്റര്‍ പാലാണ് കേരളത്തിന്റെ പ്രതിദിന ഉപഭോഗം. അറുപത്തിയഞ്ചോളം ബ്രാന്‍ഡുകളിലായി ഇരുന്നൂറിലധികം പാല്‍ ഉത്പ്പന്നങ്ങള്‍ സംസ്ഥാനത്തിന്റെ വിപണിയില്‍ ലഭ്യമാണ്. 1992-ല്‍ നിലവില്‍ വന്ന മില്‍ക് ആന്‍ഡ് മില്‍ക് പ്രോഡക്ട്‌സ് ഓര്‍ഡര്‍ പ്രകാരം ക്ഷീരവികസന വകുപ്പ് ഡയറക്ടറെ രജിസ്റ്ററിങ് അതോറിറ്റിയായി നിയമിക്കുകയും അദ്ദേഹത്തിനു കീഴില്‍ ഡെയറി എക്സ്റ്റന്‍ഷന്‍ ഓഫീസര്‍മാരും ക്വാളിറ്റി കണ്‍ട്രോള്‍ ഓഫീസര്‍മാരും പാലിന്റെ ഗുണനിലവാരം പരിശോധിച്ചുവരികയുമായിരുന്നു. വകുപ്പിന്റെ കീഴില്‍ 152 ബ്ലോക്കുകളിലായി 3513 ക്ഷീരസംഘങ്ങള്‍ രജിസ്റ്റര്‍ ചെയ്തിട്ടുണ്ട്. 24 ഡെയറി പ്ലാന്റുകളും അറുപത്തിയഞ്ചോളം ബ്രാന്‍ഡുകളും ക്ഷീരവകുപ്പിന്റെ നിരീക്ഷണത്തില്‍ പ്രവര്‍ത്തിക്കുന്നു. എന്നാല്‍ കേന്ദ്രസര്‍ക്കാര്‍ 2006-ല്‍ പാസാക്കിയ ഫുഡ് സേഫ്ടി ആന്‍ഡ് സ്റ്റാന്‍ഡേര്‍ഡ്‌സ് ആക്ടിന്റെ ചട്ടങ്ങള്‍ 2011-ല്‍ രൂപവത്കരിക്കുകയും ആഗസ്ത് അഞ്ച് മുതല്‍ പാലിന്റെ ഗുണനിലവാര പരിശോധനയ്ക്കുള്ള അധികാരം സംസ്ഥാന ഫുഡ് സേഫ്ടി കമ്മീഷന് കീഴിലാക്കുകയും ചെയ്തു. ഇതോടെ പാലിന്റെ ഗുണനിലവാര പരിശോധനയ്ക്കായി ക്ഷീരവികസന വകുപ്പ് കോടികള്‍ മുടക്കി സ്ഥാപിച്ച ജില്ലാതല ലാബുകളും പാലക്കാട്ടും തിരുവനന്തപുരത്തുമുള്ള അത്യാധുനിക ടെസ്റ്റിങ് കേന്ദ്രങ്ങളും അപ്രസക്തമായി. ഡെയറി ടെക്‌നോളജിയില്‍ ഡിപ്ലോമോയും ബിരുദവും ബിരുദാനന്തര ബിരുദവുമൊക്കെ നേടിയ എക്സ്റ്റന്‍ഷന്‍ ഓഫീസര്‍മാരുടേയും ക്വാളിറ്റി കണ്‍ട്രോള്‍ ഓഫീസര്‍മാരുടെയും സേവനം പാല്‍ പരിശോധനയ്ക്ക് ലഭ്യമാക്കാന്‍ കഴിയാതെയും വന്നു. ഈ സാഹചര്യം ചൂണ്ടിക്കാട്ടി ഡെയറി വകുപ്പ് ഡയറക്ടര്‍, ഫുഡ് സേഫ്ടി കമ്മീഷണര്‍ക്ക് കഴിഞ്ഞമാസം കത്തെഴുതുകയും ഫുഡ് സേഫ്ടി കമ്മീഷണര്‍ക്ക് കീഴില്‍ ഡെയറി വകുപ്പിലെ അസിസ്റ്റന്റ് ഡയറക്ടര്‍മാരെ പാല്‍ പരിശോധനയ്ക്കുള്ള രജിസ്ട്രിയായി നിയമിച്ചാല്‍ ഈ പ്രതിസന്ധി മറികടക്കാന്‍ കഴിയുമെന്ന് ചൂണ്ടിക്കാണിക്കുകയും ചെയ്തു. എന്നാല്‍ കേന്ദ്ര നിയമത്തിന്റെ പശ്ചാത്തലത്തില്‍, ഇക്കാര്യം നടപ്പിലാക്കാന്‍ കഴിയില്ലെന്നാണ് കമ്മീഷണര്‍ മറുപടി നല്‍കിയത്. ഇതോടെ ക്ഷീരവകുപ്പ് ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥര്‍ സംസ്ഥാനത്തിന്റെ വിവിധ ഭാഗങ്ങളില്‍ നിന്ന് പ്രതിദിനം ശേഖരിക്കുന്ന സാമ്പിളുകള്‍ പ്രയോജനമില്ലാതായി. സാമ്പിളുകളില്‍ മായം കലര്‍ത്തിയാലും തുടര്‍ നടപടിയെടുക്കാന്‍ ക്ഷീരവികസന ഡയറക്ടര്‍ക്ക് ഇപ്പോള്‍ അധികാരമില്ല.പാലിന്റെ ഗുണനിലവാര പരിശോധനയ്ക്കുള്ള അധികാരം നല്‍കിക്കൊണ്ടുള്ള ലൈസന്‍സിങ് അതോറിറ്റിയായി ഡെപ്യൂട്ടി സെക്രട്ടറി റാങ്കിലുള്ള ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥനെ നിയമിക്കാന്‍ ഫുഡ് സേഫ്ടി കമ്മീഷണര്‍ക്ക് കഴിയുമെങ്കിലും സര്‍ക്കാര്‍ അതിന് തയ്യാറാകുന്നില്ല.പരിശോധനയ്ക്ക് ബദല്‍ സംവിധാനം ഒരുക്കാന്‍ ഫുഡ് സേഫ്ടി വകുപ്പിന് നിലവിലെ സാഹചര്യത്തില്‍ വിഭവ ശേഷിയില്ല.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New system for Licensing of food business

Food licensing goes online in Mumbai, Thane with launch of new software

The heap of files, signature statement of any government office in India, is soon going to be a thing of the past at least at the headquarters of Maharashtra Food and Drugs Administration. This is going to be possible as computerisation is slowly taking over to save the officers from spending ounces of energy browsing through old files.The software for processing applications for food and beverage licensing and registration was made online on January 12 by Maharashtra FDA. The software was launched for the Mumbai and Thane wing of the FDA. The launch was presided by Maharashtra food safety and FDA commissioner Mahesh Zagade.
Software engineer Parminder Singh Saini from Logic Soft Solutions, deputed for the job said up till yesterday, around six licenses and three registrations were done using the software for Mumbai branch while Thane did three registrations.“This is a big step ahead and soon you are likely to see the speeding up of processes,” said Suresh Deshmukh, designated officer under the new Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.However, there are still clarifications awaited by the FDA from the apex Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), particularly about renewal norms for licenses. Meanwhile, The FDA is asking food business operators (FBOs) to wait for the guidelines on the same.“This is just the first step. Slowly software modules for modification, renewal, transfer and suspension of the licensing would be added in a phased manner to the software,” Saini said.However, there are other issues which are likely to pop up in the coming up. One, FBOs who are not that well-versed with computers are doing rounds at the office in search of help in filling the form.
Also, not many FBOs understand English and Mumbai being a hub of businessmen with diverse languages, mostly local ones, are facing difficulties in filling the form. Though an option for Marathi language is also present but in reality not many computers would have keyboards for input of Marathi data.
The applications can be made on http://foodlicensing.fssai.gov.in 

Manpower crunch hurdle in implementing food act

Jharkhand: The state government may have notified the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 & Rules 2011 on Monday with the aim of putting an end to poor quality and adulteration, but the health department is clueless about how the law will be implemented, given the handful of food inspectors it has at its disposal.At present, there are just seven food inspectors in the entire state, against a sanctioned strength of 31.The new law stipulates regular collection of samples and testing of food products available in the market to keep tabs on those indulging in adulteration.Speaking to The Telegraph, state food controller T.P. Burnwal admitted that the department faced a tough challenge.“It’s a daunting task and without food inspectors in place across all districts, the rules will have no meaning at the ground level. In other words, safe food cannot be ensured,” he said.Ironically, officials in the health department did not seem to be aware about how many posts of food inspectors were lying vacant.“The problem is we still don’t know whether the so-called 31 empty posts have cabinet sanction because the concerned file has been missing for a long time. This could be the reason why food inspectors have not been recruited in all these years,” said a senior official, adding that no one was really bothered about adulteration till the law came into effect.To get started, Burnwal said he was drafting a proposal to get food inspectors from Dhanbad’s Mineral Area Development Authority (MADA).“The Assembly cleared the Jharkhand Municipal Act recently, which entails that all municipal bodies will be tagged with common rules. Once the notification happens, this will allow transfer of personnel from one municipal body to another. I’m planning to get 11 food inspectors from MADA who have hardly been doing any work of late. If we can get the inspectors from MADA, the manpower crunch will be resolved to some extent,” Burnwal said.Meanwhile, after Saturday’s raids in Ranchi, the state food controller has directed officials to begin collection of milk and other food samples from other districts as well.The directive was given to the seven food inspectors at a meeting in Ranchi on Tuesday.When contacted, health secretary K.Vidyasagar said appointments of food inspectors cannot be done quickly.“We are trying to work out some way to begin implementing the new rules. For example, we are planning to give civil surgeons additional responsibility of the food inspector’s job,” the health secretary said.
Source:http://www.telegraphindia.com

Monday, January 16, 2012

പാലിന്‌ കൊഴുപ്പു പകരാന്‍ സോപ്പുപൊടിയും യൂറിയയും

മറ്റു സംസ്‌ഥാനങ്ങളില്‍ നിന്നു കേരളത്തില്‍ വിതരണത്തിനെത്തുന്ന പാലില്‍ കൊഴുപ്പു പകരാന്‍ സോപ്പുപൊടിയും കേടാകാതിരിക്കാന്‍ യൂറിയയും കലര്‍ത്തുന്നതായി കണ്ടെത്തി. മാരകമായ പാര്‍ശ്വഫലങ്ങള്‍ക്ക്‌ ഇടയാക്കുന്ന ഇത്തരം ക്രമക്കേടുകള്‍ക്കെതിരെ അധികൃതര്‍ കര്‍ശനനടപടി സ്വീകരിക്കാത്തത്‌ ഗുരുതര ആരോഗ്യപ്രശ്‌നങ്ങള്‍ക്ക്‌ ഇടയാക്കുന്നു.കേന്ദ്രസര്‍ക്കാര്‍ സ്‌ഥാപനമായ ഫുഡ്‌ സേഫ്‌റ്റി സ്‌റ്റാന്‍ഡേര്‍ഡ്‌സ് അതോറിറ്റി ഓഫ്‌ ഇന്ത്യ കേരളത്തില്‍ വിതരണത്തിന്‌ എത്തുന്ന പാല്‍ ശേഖരിച്ച്‌ നടത്തിയ പരിശോധനയിലാണ്‌ ഞെട്ടിപ്പിക്കുന്ന വിവരങ്ങള്‍ വെളിച്ചത്തായത്‌. പല സംസ്‌ഥാനങ്ങളില്‍ നിന്നും കേരളത്തില്‍ പാലെത്തുന്നത്‌ കണക്കിലെടുത്ത്‌ വിവിധയിടങ്ങളില്‍ നിന്നും കേന്ദ്രഎജന്‍സി പാല്‍ ശേഖരിച്ചിരുന്നു. തുടര്‍ന്ന്‌ അത്യാധുനീക ലാബില്‍ നടത്തിയ പരിശോധനയിലാണ്‌ മായം ചേര്‍ക്കുന്നതായി കണ്ടെത്തിയത്‌. പരമ്പരാഗതമായ രീതിയില്‍ പാലില്‍ വെള്ളം ചേര്‍ക്കുന്നതിന്‌ പുറമെയാണ്‌ ഗ്ലൂക്കോസ്‌, പാല്‍പ്പൊടി, ഡിറ്റര്‍ജന്റ്‌, യൂറിയ, എന്നിവ കലര്‍ത്തുന്നത്‌. കൊഴുപ്പിനൊപ്പം പാലിന്‌ നിറം പകരാനും ഇത്‌ സഹായകമാകുന്നു. പാല്‍ക്ഷാമം രൂക്ഷമായ കേരളത്തില്‍ മില്‍മാ പാല്‍ വിതരണം തികയാത്തതിനാല്‍ തമിഴ്‌നാട്ടില്‍ നിന്ന്‌ ലിറ്റര്‍കണക്കിന്‌ പാല്‍ ദിനംപ്രതി എത്തുന്നുണ്ട്‌. കവര്‍പാലും ലൂസും ഇതില്‍പ്പെടും. കൊഴുപ്പുകിട്ടാന്‍ രണ്ടിനത്തിലും കൃത്രിമം കാട്ടുന്നുണ്ട്‌. കേരളത്തിന്റെ വടക്കന്‍ ജില്ലകളില്‍ കര്‍ണാടകയില്‍ നിന്നുള്ള പാലും വിതരണത്തിന്‌ എത്തുന്നു. അതിര്‍ത്തി ചെക്ക്‌പോസ്‌റ്റുകള്‍ വഴിയും ട്രെയിന്‍മാര്‍ഗവും അന്യസംസ്‌ഥാന പാല്‍ കേരളത്തിലേക്ക്‌ ഒഴുകുന്നു. എന്നാല്‍ ഇവയുടെ ഗുണനിലവാരം കൃത്യമായി പരിശോധിച്ച്‌ നടപടിയെടുക്കുന്ന കാര്യത്തില്‍ കേരളം പിന്നിലാണ്‌. മാരകമായ യൂറിയ കലര്‍ത്തുന്ന പാല്‍ സ്‌ഥിരമായി ഉപയോഗിക്കുന്നതു മൂലം മാരക രോഗങ്ങള്‍ക്ക്‌ അടിമപ്പെടുമെന്ന്‌ ആരോഗ്യവിദഗ്‌ധര്‍ മുന്നറിയിപ്പ്‌ നല്‍കുന്നു. കുഞ്ഞുങ്ങളില്‍ ബുദ്ധിമാന്ദ്യത്തിന്‌ ഇതിടയാക്കും. ദഹനക്കുറവ്‌, ആമാശയ- കരള്‍ രോഗങ്ങള്‍ എന്നിവ പിടിപെടാനുള്ള സാധ്യതയുമേറെയാണ്‌.

Society for Indian Bakers issues list of 29 GMPs for units to adhere to FSSA

Society for Indian Bakers has called upon all bakery units to adhere to the Foods Safety & Standards Act (FSSA). In this regard it has released a list of 26 good manufacturing practices (GMPs) for the sector referred to as the ‘ABC of FSSAI.’ The FSSA would treat the food processing sector with far more dignity than the erstwhile Prevention of Food Adulteration Act (PFA), stated J N Kushawaha, president, the Society of Indian Bakers, and vice-president, corporate, Bikanervala Foods Pvt. Ltd. In India, there are 85,000 bakery units of which 75,000 operate in the unorganised sector occupying 65 per cent of the market share.
In order to ensure that the bakery industry in the country would be able to stick to standards, the society has simplified the process with a check list. This would now be issued to all the manufacturers which are easy-to-refer and comprehend guidelines for day-to-day operations, he added.
The ‘ABC of FSSAI’ list calls for Applying and obtaining license; Attend food safety awareness meetings; Educate the staff on the Act; Exhibit food safety posters in the factory; Remove expired date goods because it is a health risk; Provide clean and proper uniforms; Conduct medical examination for all; Whitewash premises periodically; Use processed water for manufacture; Keep first aid kit at an accessible point; Take special attention in preparing the labels; Buy raw materials from reputed suppliers; Remove cobwebs regularly; Remove unwanted materials from the factory; Wash floors daily; Store all finished products safely; Take effective pest control measures; Mandatory use of gloves;  Keep on required packing material; Maintain records for stores and production; Keep all delivery vehicles clean; Compulsory hand wash; Provision of dedicated area to clean vessels; and Removal of spoiled products from factors. If the list is displayed at all bakery outlets, it will create awareness on FSSA and the need to maintain good manufacturing practices, according to him. The bakery industry in India is the largest of the food industries with an annual turnover of about Rs 3,000 crore. India is the second-largest producer of biscuits after USA. Bread, biscuits, pastries, cakes, buns and rusk are some of the bakery products fast catching up with the popularity trend in India. Almost 82 per cent of the share of bakery products accounts for bread and biscuits. 

Chamber seeks remedial measures in FSS Act

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Restriction on packing materials

മായം കലര്‍ന്ന ഭക്ഷ്യവസ്തുക്കള്‍ പിടികൂടാന്‍ സംവിധാനമില്ല; വന്‍കിട കമ്പനികള്‍ വിലസുന്നു

കൊച്ചി: മായം കലര്‍ന്ന ഭക്ഷ്യവസ്തുക്കള്‍ പിടിച്ചെടുക്കാനും നശിപ്പിക്കാനും, മായം കലര്‍ത്തിയവര്‍ക്കെതിരെ നടപടിയെടുക്കാനും സംസ്ഥാനത്ത്‌ ഫലപ്രദമായ സംവിധാനമില്ല. വന്‍കിട കമ്പനികള്‍ നിറം കൂട്ടാന്‍ മാരകമായ രാസവസ്തുക്കള്‍ ചേര്‍ക്കുന്നത്‌ തുടരുന്നു.ആരോഗ്യവകുപ്പിന്‌ കീഴില്‍ നിന്നും ഫുഡ്‌ ആന്റ്‌ സേഫ്റ്റി കമ്മീഷണറുടെ കീഴിലേക്ക്‌ ഫുഡ്‌ ഇന്‍സ്പെക്ടര്‍ ഓഫീസുകള്‍ മാറിയതോടെയാണ്‌ സംവിധാനത്തില്‍ കൂടുതല്‍ പിഴവു വന്നത്‌. തിരുവനന്തപുരത്ത്‌ ആസ്ഥാന മന്ദിരവും, ജില്ലകളില്‍ ഓഫീസ്‌ ശൃംഖലയുള്ള കമ്മീഷണര്‍ ഓഫീസിനു കീഴില്‍ വരുന്ന ഫുഡ്‌ ഇന്‍സ്പെക്ടര്‍മാര്‍ക്ക്‌ വ്യക്തവും കൃത്യവുമായ മാനദണ്ഡങ്ങള്‍ അടങ്ങിയ നിര്‍ദേശങ്ങള്‍ ലഭിക്കാത്തതാണ്‌ ആഹാര പദാര്‍ത്ഥങ്ങള്‍ പരിശോധിച്ച്‌ നടപടി എടുക്കാന്‍ സാധിക്കാത്തതിന്റെ കാരണമായി ചൂണ്ടിക്കാട്ടുന്നത്‌.താലൂക്ക്‌ അടിസ്ഥാനത്തില്‍ ഫുഡ്‌ ഇന്‍സ്പെക്ടര്‍ ഓഫീസുകളുണ്ടെങ്കിലും അവയുടെ പ്രവര്‍ത്തനം മന്ദീഭവിച്ചിരിക്കയാണ്‌. പരാതിയുടെ അടിസ്ഥാനത്തില്‍ ഹോട്ടലുകളില്‍ നടത്തുന്ന റെയ്ഡ്‌ മാത്രമായി ഫുഡ്‌ ഇന്‍സ്പെക്ടറുടെ ജോലി കുറഞ്ഞിരിക്കുന്നു. സംസ്ഥാന ഫുഡ്‌ ആന്റ്‌ സേഫ്റ്റി കമ്മീഷണര്‍ ആഫീസ്‌ പ്രവര്‍ത്തിക്കുന്നുണ്ടെങ്കിലും ജില്ലാ തലത്തിലോ താലൂക്ക്‌ തലത്തിലോ കൃത്യമായ പരിശോധന വിവരങ്ങള്‍ എത്തിയിട്ടില്ലത്രേ.സാധാരണക്കാര്‍ക്ക്‌ തങ്ങള്‍ ഉപയോഗിക്കുന്ന ഭക്ഷണ പദാര്‍ത്ഥങ്ങളില്‍ മായം കലര്‍ന്നിട്ടുണ്ടോ എന്നറിയുന്നതിന്‌ കാക്കനാട്ടെ റീജിണല്‍ അനാലിറ്റിക്കല്‍ ലാബറട്ടറിയേ ആശ്രയിക്കണം. എന്നാല്‍ ബ്രാന്‍ഡായ ഒരു കമ്പനി ഉത്പന്നം പരിശോധിക്കാന്‍ കൊടുത്താല്‍ അതില്‍ മായം ഉണ്ടാകാറില്ല. അതേ സമയം ബ്രാന്റ്‌ കമ്പനികളുടെ പാക്കറ്റ്‌ പൊട്ടിച്ച്‌ എടുത്ത ഉല്‍പന്നം പരിശോധിച്ചാല്‍ അതില്‍ മായം കണ്ടെത്താറുണ്ട്‌. ഏതെങ്കിലും വസ്തുവില്‍ മായം കലര്‍ന്നിട്ടുണ്ടെന്ന്‌ മനസിലാക്കി നടപടിയെടുക്കാന്‍ അധികൃതരോട്‌ ആവശ്യപ്പെടുമ്പോള്‍ മായമില്ലാത്ത "മായം കലര്‍ന്ന" റിപ്പോര്‍ട്ടായിരിക്കും അധികൃതര്‍ മുന്നോട്ടു വക്കുന്നത്‌.
അടുത്തിടെ കോതമംഗലം കേന്ദ്രമായി പ്രവര്‍ത്തിക്കുന്ന ഒരു കറിപൗഡര്‍ നിര്‍മ്മാണ യൂണിറ്റിന്റെ ഉത്പന്നങ്ങള്‍ മലപ്പുറം ജില്ലയില്‍ വളാഞ്ചേരിയില്‍ വച്ച്‌ പിടിച്ചെടുത്ത്‌ നശിപ്പിച്ചിരുന്നു. ഈ കേസ്‌ പിന്നീട്‌ ഒതുങ്ങിപ്പോവുകയായിരുന്നു. ഒരു വകുപ്പിലെ രണ്ടു വിഭാഗങ്ങള്‍ തമ്മിലുള്ള വടംവലിയായിരുന്നു കേസ്‌ ഒതുങ്ങിപ്പോകാന്‍ കാരണമെന്ന്‌ പറയപ്പെടുന്നു. വിദേശത്തേക്ക്‌ കയറ്റി അയക്കാനായി സൂക്ഷിച്ചിരുന്ന മുളക്പൊടിയില്‍ സുഡാന്‍ 4 എന്ന മാരക രാസവസ്തു കലര്‍ന്നതായി സ്പൈസസ്‌ ബോര്‍ഡ്‌ കണ്ടെത്തിയെങ്കിലും കമ്പനിക്കെതിരെയും നടപടിയുണ്ടായില്ല.
താലൂക്ക്‌ തലത്തിലുള്ള ഫുഡ്‌ ഇന്‍സ്പെക്ടര്‍മാര്‍ക്ക്‌ ഇത്‌ പരിശോധിക്കാന്‍ ഫുഡ്‌ ആന്റ്‌ സേഫ്റ്റി കമ്മീഷണറില്‍ നിന്നും അനുമതി ലഭിച്ചിട്ടില്ലാത്തതും പരിശോധിക്കാന്‍ ഫുഡ്‌ ഇന്‍സ്പെക്ടര്‍മാരെ അനുവദിക്കാത്തതും വന്‍കിട കമ്പനികള്‍ മായം ചേര്‍ക്കുന്നത്‌ കൂടുതലാകാന്‍ കാരണമായിട്ടുണ്ട്‌.
 
 
 

PMs served lunch by unlicensed firm

 It was a feast fit for kings. And two Prime Ministers - Manmohan Singh and Kamla Persad-Bissessar of Trinidad and Tobago - were among the guests who enjoyed the hearty meal during the just concluded Pravasi Bharatiya conference in Jaipur.Now it has emerged that the catering firm - Sky Feast - has no food licence, a mandatory requirement under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.Sky Feast claims to be an in-flight catering firm based in Jaipur. Sources said Air India had invited tenders to serve breakfast and lunch to the two PMs and it was awarded to Sky Feast. But the fact remains that the firm deposited the bank draft of Rs.2,000 for the licence along with the application to the health department only on January 9 - a day after Singh inaugurated the conference, where Persad-Bissessar was the chief guest.Interestingly, the state health department had deputed two food inspectors to check the food supplied for the two PMs. It now appears that they cleared the food without bothering to check whether the firm had the clearance to supply it.The firm is in the catering business since 2008 and its clients include three airlines, including budget carriers SpiceJet and IndiGo. Neither Sky Feast bothered to get the mandatory food licence, nor did the state agency authorised to issue such a certificate and monitor the food of hotels and caterers verify it. Even Air India, which awarded the contract to Sky Feast, failed to check whether the firm had a food licence.Jaipur's chief medical and health officer (CMHO) Dr Yatindra Singh - responsible for monitoring the activities of hotels and caterers under the food safety law - has confirmed that Sky Feast didn't have the mandatory licence to run its catering services and had applied for it only a few days ago.But he contended that the state government, by a circular issued on August 5 last year, had transferred powers to regulate "manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import" of food articles from the municipal bodies to the health department under the provisions of the Act.But it came into effect from only from January 1 this year. Prior to this, such bodies were regulated under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, by the municipal bodies, he said.A spokesperson of the station office of Air India admitted that food for the PMs was supplied by Sky Feast. But he expressed ignorance about the firm not having the mandatory licence. "The tendering was done by our Delhibased headquarters," he added.Gopal Singh, the owner of Sky Feast, said he had tried to obtain a licence from the Jaipur Municipal Corporation as early as 2008, but repeated follow-ups with the civic body and the health department didn't yield any response.He has lodged a complaint with the CMHO against a food inspector who had demanded a bribe of Rs.10,000 for letting him cater without a licence. "Yes, we had supplied breakfast and lunch for the PM and many others," he added.The CMHO, confirming Sky Feast's complaint, said action would be taken against the firm after a thorough probe.

After milk, salt under govt’s quality scanner

NEW DELHI: After milk, salt - another most common food item - is under the Food Safety Standards Authority of India's (FSSAI) scanner. The FSSAI is collecting salt samples from across metros to check iodine levels. The study aims to find out how much iodine is finally available in the salt when it is being sold to consumers. "We want to see how much iodine is being consumed through salt by consumers. The study is being carried out in metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Bangalaore and Guwahati among others. Around 100 samples of salt - both packed and being sold loose - are being tested from each city. The results will be available soon," a health ministry official told TOI. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

പായ്ക്കറ്റ് പാലില്‍ പല്ലി: ആരോഗ്യവകുപ്പ് അന്വേഷണം തുടങ്ങി

നെട്ടൂര്‍: കുട്ടിക്ക് കൊടുക്കുവാനായി വാങ്ങിയ പായ്ക്കറ്റ് പാലില്‍ ചത്ത പല്ലിയെ കണ്ട സംഭവത്തില്‍ ആരോഗ്യവകുപ്പ് അധികൃതര്‍ അന്വേഷണം ആരംഭിച്ചു. കഴിഞ്ഞ ദിവസം നെട്ടൂര്‍ ഇ.ഇ.സി മാര്‍ക്കറ്റിന് സമീപം മൂത്തേടത്ത് കോളനി വീട്ടില്‍ അനില്‍കുമാര്‍ കുട്ടിക്ക് കൊടുക്കുവാനായി സമീപത്തെ കടയില്‍ നിന്ന് വാങ്ങിയ പായ്ക്കറ്റ് പാലിലാണ് പല്ലിയെ കണ്ടത്.വ്യാഴാഴ്ച ആരോഗ്യവകുപ്പ് അധികൃതര്‍ അനില്‍കുമാറിന്റെ വീട്ടിലെത്തി വിവരങ്ങള്‍ ശേഖരിച്ചു. വീട്ടുടമ സൂക്ഷിച്ചുവച്ച പല്ലിയുടെ അവശിഷ്ടം ഇവര്‍ കുപ്പിയില്‍ ശേഖരിച്ച് കാക്കനാട്ടെ സര്‍ക്കാര്‍ ലാബില്‍ പരിശോധനയ്ക്കയച്ചു.പാല്‍ ലഭിച്ച സമീപത്തെ കടയിലെത്തിയും വിവരങ്ങള്‍ ശേഖരിച്ചു. തൃപ്പൂണിത്തുറയിലെ ആരോഗ്യവകുപ്പ് ഓഫീസിലെ ഫുഡ് ഇന്‍സ്‌പെക്ടര്‍ ബി.എല്‍. ബീനയുടെ നേതൃത്വത്തിലുള്ള സംഘമാണ് അന്വേഷണത്തിനായി വ്യാഴാഴ്ച നെട്ടൂരില്‍ എത്തിയത്.

TDB directed to set up food safety lab

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Thursday directed the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB)to set up a permanent food safety laboratory to ensure the quality of the food served at Pampa and Sannidhanam.
A Division Bench comprising Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice C T Ravikumar issued the directive while considering a report submitted by the Sabarimala special commissioner S Jagadish. At the end of the mandalam festival, 28,000 cans of aravana prasadam were burst inside the store at Sannidhanam. Special commissioner in his report submitted that the sugar content in the damaged aravana containers were below 60 percentage which eventually led to the bursting. He said that according to the laboratory report, the aravana got fermented inside the can. The expert opinion is that if the sugar content in the aravana was maintained above 60 percentage, it would not have fermented. The devaswom commissioner submitted that he had asked the joint-commissioner of food safety to appoint two members for setting up a lab to monitor the quality of the ingredients used for making aravana. The court held that the arrangement now made in Sannidhanam and Pampa for conducting tests for food safety should be a permanent measure. The court asked the TDB to ascertain from the commissioner of food safety, the necessary equipment and basic infrastructure, so that the office of the food safety commissioner can be authorised to select appropriate apparatus and chemicals. TDB would set up the infrastructure for the lab. “The sugar content should be maintained above 60 percentage to avert any damage. No jaggery other than that was cleared by the food safety  lab in Pampa shall be utilised to make aravana. TDB shall ensure that no sub-standard prasdam will be distributed to the devotees,” the court held. 

Amul welcomes FSSAI's survey on milk adulteration

Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), the owner of Amul brand, today welcomed the nation-wide survey on milk adulteration by FSSAI, but opposed the findings on skimmed milk powder (SMP). "It's good for the industry because rampant adulteration in milk shall get reduced with such surveys," GCMMF Managing Director R S Sodhi told PTI. However, GCMMF is opposed to the findings on SMP. It's of the view that unless quality of the reconstituent milk made from SMP is not of specified standards, it cannot termed as adulterated. "We don't sell powdered milk. The reconstituent milk made out of powder (SMP) cannot be called adulterated as long as it meets the specified standards," he said. "There is little chance of mixing powder (SMP) with the loose milk," Sodhi said. According to the survey conducted by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), "the second highest parameter of non-conformity was the SMP in 548 samples (44.69 per cent) which includes presence of glucose in 477 samples....The presence of SMP indicates reconstitution of milk powder". As per the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, double toned, toned, standardised and full cream milk cannot be standardised for fat and solids by mixing SMP. "During winters, the milk supply is 50 per cent in excess. So it is scientifically and hygienically converted into SMP by evaporating the water, with a view to conserve it," Sodhi said. (More) PTI VKB PD KRK 

Quality control out of dairy department

The Dairy Development Department will no longer be authorised to undertake quality control of milk and milk products as per a direction issued by the Food Safety Commissioner citing the rules and regulations of Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act.The department had been doing the job for close to two decades now.
Licence
As per the FSS Act, designated officers and Food Safety Officers would be authorised to issue licence to dairy plants and undertake inspection, testing, and analysis of milk and milk products, a domain of the Dairy Development Department ever since the Milk and Milk Products Order (MMPO) came in to force in 1992.
In a letter addressed to the department Director, dated December 27 last year, the State Food Safety Commissioner turned down the department's request to appoint its Assistant Directors (quality control officers) as designated officers.The letter noted that the core responsibility of Assistant Directors was ‘to improve the milk and fodder production and to impart extension work among farmers and not regulatory works as envisaged in FSS Act Rules and Regulations.'
Concern
V. Unni, State president of the Dairy Officers' Association, told The Hindu that the decision would hit quality control of milk and milk products as it would take time before other trained designated officers assumed duties.“The FSS Act permits States to co-opt the services of departments concerned in discharging various duties. Moreover, with 3,000-odd food commodities in the marker how effectively can the designated officers ensure quality of all those products on their own,” Mr. Unni said.
Directions
When contacted, Food Safety Commissioner S. Raveendran confirmed that the Dairy Development Department will not be authorised to conduct parallel operations but will have to follow the directions of the designated officer, who will be the statutory authority henceforth.
Reiterating the point mentioned in the letter, he said diverging duties to officers under other departments will defeat the very purpose of the FSS Act, which was promulgated by repealing food-related laws like MMPO to eliminate multi-departmental control and bring in an integrated line of command.
He shot down the argument that time taken to train designated officers would affect quality control measures. “Training of officers in the southern and central regions had been completed,” Mr. Raveendran said.
Isaac K. Thayil, State general secretary of Dairy Officers Association, felt the expertise and experience of the department's officials will be sorely missed.
Qualified
“Most of our officials hold degree and postgraduate degree in dairy technology and are qualified to undertake quality control measures like inspection of dairy plants, warehouses of manufactures of dairy products, and collection and testing of market samples. Besides, we already have two State-of-the-art labs and quality control labs in all 14 districts,” he said.
Checks
He said the department had been doing commendable quality control checks over the years, especially during festive seasons resulting in the ban of five brands in the State during the last four to five years

Delhi HC directs FSSAI to frame guidelines on banning junk food near schools

The Delhi High Court has directed the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to frame guidelines on banning the sale of junk food and aerated drinks in and around educational institutions.A division bench of acting chief justice A K Sikri and justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw gave six months time to FSSAI to consider the issue.The court was hearing a PIL (public interest litigation) filed by the NGO Uday Foundation. Seeking a compliance report from FSSAI, the Bench fixed July 25 for further hearing of the matter.
Source: fnbnews.com

Thursday, January 12, 2012

കേരളത്തില്‍ പാലിന്റെ നിലവാരം കുറയ്ക്കുന്നത് കൊഴുപ്പും മറ്റുമെന്ന് പഠനം

ന്യൂഡല്‍ഹി: കേരളത്തില്‍ പാലിന്റെ ഗുണനിലവാരം കുറയ്ക്കുന്നത് അതില്‍ ചേര്‍ക്കുന്ന കൊഴുപ്പും എസ്.എന്‍.എഫു (സോളിഡ് നോട്ട് ഫുഡ്- വെള്ളവും വെണ്ണക്കൊഴുപ്പുമല്ലാത്ത ഘടകങ്ങള്‍) മെന്ന് പഠന റിപ്പോര്‍ട്ടില്‍ പറയുന്നു. മറ്റു പല സംസ്ഥാനങ്ങളില്‍ നിന്ന് ശേഖരിച്ച പാലില്‍ ഡിറ്റര്‍ജെന്റ്, ഗ്ലൂക്കോസ്, നേര്‍ത്ത പാല്‍പ്പൊടി തുടങ്ങിയ ഘടകങ്ങള്‍ കണ്ടെത്തിയിരുന്നെങ്കിലും കേരളത്തില്‍ ഇതില്ല. രാജ്യത്ത് വിതരണം ചെയ്യുന്ന പാലില്‍ 70 ശതമാനത്തോളവും നിലവാരമില്ലാത്തതെന്ന് കണ്ടെത്തിയ ഭക്ഷ്യ സുരക്ഷാ ഗുണനിലവാര അതോറിറ്റി (എഫ്.എസ്.എസ്.എ.ഐ.) യുടെ റിപ്പോര്‍ട്ടാണ് ഇക്കാര്യം വ്യക്തമാക്കുന്നത്. ഇതിനിടെ, രാജ്യത്തെ ഭക്ഷ്യവസ്തുക്കളില്‍ 13 ശതമാനത്തിലും മായമുണ്ടെന്ന അതോറിറ്റി റിപ്പോര്‍ട്ടും വന്നിട്ടുണ്ട്. എന്നാല്‍ കേരളമുള്‍പ്പെടെയുള്ള ദക്ഷിണേന്ത്യന്‍ സംസ്ഥാനങ്ങള്‍ മായം ചേര്‍ക്കല്‍ അത്ര ഗുരുതരമല്ലെന്ന് അതോറിറ്റിയിലെ ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥര്‍ പറഞ്ഞു. കേരളത്തില്‍ നിന്ന് പാലിന്റെ 50 സാമ്പിളുകളാണ് അതോറിറ്റി ശേഖരിച്ചത്. ഇതില്‍ 36 സാമ്പിളുകള്‍ ഗുണനിലവാര മാനദണ്ഡങ്ങള്‍ പാലിക്കുമ്പോള്‍ 14 എണ്ണം പരാജയപ്പെട്ടു. നഗരങ്ങളില്‍ നിന്ന് പാക്കറ്റ് പാലും ഗ്രാമപ്രദേശങ്ങളില്‍നിന്നുള്ള പാലുമാണ് അതോറിറ്റി ശേഖരിച്ചത്. രണ്ടിലും മായം കണ്ടെത്തിയിട്ടുണ്ട്. അതോറിറ്റി ശേഖരിച്ച സാമ്പിളില്‍ 46.8 ശതമാനവും കൊഴുപ്പും എസ്.എന്‍.എഫും കലര്‍ന്നതാണ്. പാലില്‍ വെള്ളം ചേര്‍ത്ത് നേര്‍പ്പിക്കുന്നതാണ് ഇതിന് കാരണമെന്ന് വിദഗ്ധര്‍ പറയുന്നു. രണ്ടാമതായി ഏറ്റവുമധികം ചേര്‍ക്കുന്ന മായം നേര്‍ത്ത പാല്‍പ്പൊടിയാണ്. എന്നാല്‍ ഇതിന്റെ അംശം കേരളത്തില്‍ കണ്ടെത്തിയിട്ടില്ല. എസ്.എന്‍.എഫ്. കൂട്ടാനാണ് ഗ്ലൂക്കോസ് ചേര്‍ക്കുന്നത്. ഇതിനിടെ, മായം കലര്‍ന്ന പാല്‍ വിതരണം ചെയ്യുന്നതുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെട്ട് ഡല്‍ഹി സര്‍ക്കാറിന് ഡല്‍ഹി ഹൈക്കോടതി നോട്ടീസയച്ചു. ഇതുസംബന്ധിച്ച മാധ്യമറിപ്പോര്‍ട്ടുകളുടെ അടിസ്ഥാനത്തില്‍ കോടതി സ്വമേധയാ ഇടപെടുകയായിരുന്നു. 

ഭക്ഷ്യവിപണനക്കാര്‍ക്ക്‌ ബോധവല്‍ക്കരണം

തിരുവനന്തപുരം: ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷാ നിലവാര നിയമങ്ങള്‍, ചട്ടങ്ങള്‍, നിയന്ത്രണങ്ങള്‍ എന്നിവയെക്കുറിച്ച്‌ താലൂക്ക്‌ തലത്തിലും പഞ്ചായത്ത്‌ തലത്തിലും ഭക്ഷ്യവിപണനക്കാര്‍ക്ക്‌ ബോധവല്‍ക്കരണം നടത്തുമെന്നു തിരുവനന്തപുരം ജില്ലാ ഫുഡ്‌ ഇന്‍സ്‌പെക്‌ടര്‍ സി.ഉഷാറാണി അറിയിച്ചു. ഇതിന്റെ ആദ്യപടിയായി താലൂക്ക്‌തല ബോധവല്‍ക്കരണ പരിപാടി ജനുവരി 16 മുതല്‍ ആരംഭിക്കും. അതാതു താലൂക്കിലെ വ്യാപാരി വ്യവസായി ഏകോപന സമിതി, വ്യവസായ സമിതി, മര്‍ച്ചന്റ്‌ അസോസിയേഷന്‍, ചെറുകിടവ്യവസായ അസോസിയേഷന്‍, ഹോട്ടല്‍ ആന്‍ഡ്‌ റെസ്‌റ്റോറന്റ്‌സ് അസോസിയേഷന്‍, ബേക്കറി ആന്‍ഡ്‌ കണ്‍ഫെക്ഷണറി അസോസിയേഷന്‍, ഇറച്ചി വില്‌പനക്കാരുടെ അസോസിയേഷന്‍, പൗള്‍ട്രി ഫാമുകളുടെ അസോസിയേഷന്‍, പാലുല്‌പാദക അസോസിയേഷന്‍ തുടങ്ങി ഭക്ഷ്യവിപണനവുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെട്ട എല്ലാ സംഘടനകളുടെയും താലൂക്ക്‌ തലത്തിലുള്ളതോ യൂണിറ്റുതലത്തിലുള്ളതോ ആയ നേതാക്കള്‍ അതാതു സര്‍ക്കിള്‍ ഫുഡ്‌ സേഫ്‌ടി ഓഫീസര്‍മാരുമായി ഉടനടി ബന്ധപ്പെട്ട്‌ തീയതിയും സ്‌ഥലവും നിശ്‌ചയിക്കേണ്ടതാണ്‌. ജില്ലയിലെ ഫുഡ്‌ സേഫ്‌റ്റി ഓഫീസര്‍മാരായ രാജേശ്വരി അമ്മ, പാറശ്ശാല സര്‍ക്കിള്‍ (9496261378), ശ്രീദയാല്‍ മുത്തപ്പന്‍, നെയ്യാറ്റിന്‍കര സര്‍ക്കിള്‍(0471 2227175, 0471 2465670), ഗോപിനാഥന്‍ നായര്‍ നെടുമങ്ങാട്‌ സര്‍ക്കിള്‍ (9495339835), ദിലീപ്‌, കിളിമാനൂര്‍ സര്‍ക്കിള്‍ (9447694429), അജയകുമാര്‍, ആറ്റിങ്ങല്‍ സര്‍ക്കിള്‍ (9446704448), ഭുസുധ, തിരുവനന്തപുരം സര്‍ക്കിള്‍ (9447107598) തുടങ്ങിയവരുമായി നേരിലോ ഫോണ്‍ മുഖേനയോ ബന്ധപ്പെടേണ്ടതാണ്‌. കൂടുതല്‍ വിവരങ്ങള്‍ക്ക്‌ ഡെസിഗ്നേറ്റഡ്‌ ഓഫീസറുമായി നേരിട്ടോ 9446332757 എന്ന നമ്പരിലോ ബന്ധപ്പെടേണ്ടതാണ്‌.

Traders to fast on January 25

VELLORE: Merchants and traders across the State would fast on January 25 urging the State government not to implement the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which had laid standards for food items to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import, to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for people.
T Vellaiyyan, state president of Tamil Nadu Vanigargangalin Peravai on Tuesday said this at a meeting. He said, the Act had clauses that would implicate traders and merchants for the mistakes committed by the manufacturers of the corresponding food items. 

HC notice to govt on news of adulterated milk in capital

The Delhi High Court has sought the replies of the Union and state governments on a news report claiming that 70 per cent of milk samples lifted from the national Capital were found to be contaminated. A bench of Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri and Rajiv Sahai Endlaw sought the two governments' stands after taking suo motu cognisance of the news report published in a national daily on January 10.The bench issued notices to the Delhi government's Department of Prevention of Food Adulteration and the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and sought their replies by January 25. According to FSSAI, 70 per cent of the milk samples, lifted for testing in Delhi, were found to be contaminated with glucose and skimmed milk powder.The report further claimed that almost 69 per cent of the samples tested across the country were found to be adulterated with detergent, fat and even urea, besides water.

Public views sought on food safety Act

Gazetted rank for food safety officers in Maharashtra

Responding to the continual complaint of shortage of staff in Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration, the state government has announced the creation of several new posts in the organisation in compliance with the new Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.As per a notification issued recently, at least seven new posts have been created that include adjudication officer and joint commissioners at a salary of Rs 15,600 – 39,100 and grade pay of Rs 7,600.From the existing eight assistant commissioners, seven will be transferred to the above-mentioned posts and one post will be sacrificed / surrendered.Further, the notification announces creation of another 62 new posts of designated officers and assistant commissioners. For filling these, 30 food supervisors would be transferred and their existing posts would be scrapped.In addition 265 new posts of food safety officers will be created, which will also be gazetted officers. The existing 265 posts of food inspectors will be scrapped altogether and these inspectors will function as food supervisors. 
Source: www.fnbnews.com

Monday, January 9, 2012

Food importers not happy with FSSAI norms for rectifying labelling defects

Food importers in the country especially smaller ones are up in arms against the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) latest instructions with regard to rectification of minor defects in labelling of imported food items. This, the authority wants to implement, for ensuring a smoother Imported Food Clearance Process.

Amit Lohani, convenor, Forum of Indian Food Importers (FIFI), and CEO, Max Foods, explains FnB News over the telephone, “The issue is grave and we cannot say it has been solved as yet though the FSSAI claims to have given some instructions to facilitate us.”

He adds, “The FSSAI has merely categorised labelling information as rectifiable and unrectifiable. Under this, MRP can be rectifiable while details such as batch number and country of origin will be unrectifiable.”

According to him, the move has affected those that are certified as smaller companies badly as they face problems in display of logo and such other things.

As for FSSAI, going by its website, under the new norms, the body has specified for 'Date of Manufacture' to be given in date, month and year format on sticker in addition to the 'Date of Manufacture' in Julian format already present in the labels along with the rectifiable labelling requirements viz. name and address of the importer and vegetarian, non-vegetarian logo.
As for batch number, the body specifies, “Consignments without prefix such as Lot number/ Lot/Code/Number Code/Batch Number/Batch or any other distinguishing prefix as per FSSR, 2011, shall be accepted subject to the condition that the authorised officer, FSSAI, will verify from the relevant documents from the manufacturer/exporter of the source country and satisfy himself that the numbers/alphabets combination of numbers/alphabets present in the labels are a valid batch number/lot number/code number of that particular consignment.”
While FSSAI has given three months time beginning December 15, 2011, for food importers to get the minor labelling defects rectified, food importers are not happy with the whole procedure.
source: http://www.fnbnews.com

With new law, FSSAI steps up fight against counterfeit Tuesday, January 10, 2012 08:00 IST

 source: fnbnews.com
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) with its August 5-implemented Food Safety and Standards (Packaging & Labelling) Regulation, 2011, has taken yet another step towards fighting the war against counterfeits and educating the consumer about buying the right product through various means, one of which is awareness about packaging and labelling.
The recent changes made to the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006, are very specific to the section describing the packaging and labelling. The copy of the official gazette was made available to public on Oct 21, 2010, and these regulations came in to effect from August 5, 2011. The packaging and labelling industry has adapted quickly to the Act and is continually progressing to meet the standards in each and every part of the Act.

2,800 kg of spurious ghee seized

BHOPAL: In a raid on a city-based trading company, the food and supply department of the district administration on Friday seized around 28 quintals adulterated ghee. The raid was conducted at the Shyam trading company, Quazi Camp in the city.The food inspectors sealed a factory of Ram Kumar Bhurani and Raheez Khan and seized raw material weighing 100 quintals from there. The factory is located behind the Reliance petrol pump at Qazi Camp, Berasia road."The duo was allegedly producing adulterated ghee by mixing dalda, vanaspati and soyabean oil and supplying it to nearby small villages," food inspector DK Verma said, adding, "They had started this business a month ago. Even residents had no clue about business of adulterated ghee being run from here."The administration has filed a case against the accused under the Food Safety and Standard Act 2006.In a similar incident, the Additional District Magistrate Court of Gwalior had passed an order against them and fined them with Rs 22 lakh for adulteration of food products last year. This fine was slapped on December 2 last year. Before slapping the fine, these businessmen were also booked under the Food Safety and Standard Act 2006. It was perhaps the maximum fine in the country.

India drinks milk & detergent !

It is official now. Indians are consuming adulterated milk containing detergent which not only has a very less nutritious value but is also health hazardous, a recent Government survey has revealed.
In its first-ever national survey on milk adulteration 2011, the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) found that of the total 1,791 samples tested throughout the country, at least over 68 per cent i.e. 1,226 samples were either diluted with water or mixed with harmful detergent.Adulteration was widely prevalent - in rural as well as urban areas - in packed and loose milk both, samples of which were tested in the Government's laboratories.The situation was worst in States like Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Daman and Diu, Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal and Mizoram where all the samples collected were found to be contaminated or not conforming to the standards.Except Goa and Puducherry, where all the samples picked conformed to the standards, all other States including Delhi failed to meet the standards for milk.For instance, in Manipur 96 per cent samples were not conforming the standards, in Meghalaya it was 96 per cent, followed by Tripura (92 per cent), Gujarat (89%), Sikkim (89%), Uttrakhand (88%), Uttar Pradesh (88%), Nagaland (86%), Jammu & Kashmir (83%), Punjab (81%).In Rajasthan it was 76% followed by Delhi (70%), Haryana (70%), Arunachal Pradesh (68%), Maharashtra (65%), Himachal (59%), Chandigarh (48%) among others.The deviations were found highest for fat (%) and SNF (%) in 574 samples (46.8%) of the total non -conformity. Skim Milk Powder (SMP) was found in 548 samples (44.69%) which included presence of glucose in 477 samples."The snap shot survey was conducted with an aim to identify the common adulterants in milk in rural and urban areas in different states besides finding out the non-conforming samples in loose and packed milk throughout the country," said a senior official from the FSSAI.He explained that reagents like salt and glucose are added to alter the thickness and viscosity. Adding starch prevents curdling of milk. Salt and detergents are added to adjust the lactometre reading to add thickness to the milk.The survey has only proved how authorities concerned have failed to check this blatant violation of the standards for milk which is otherwise meant for strengthening bones, cardiovascular improvements and oral health.
FSSAI survey on adulteration
Total non-conforming (NC) samples: 1226 (68.4%)
In rural areas: 381(31%) including 64 (16.7%) packet samples and 317 (83.2%) loose samples
In urban area the total NC samples: 845 (68.9%) including 282 (33.3%) packed and 563 (66.6%) loose samples
Addition of water reduces milk’s nutritional value Contaminated water and detergent pose health risk indicating lack of hygiene and sanitation in the milk handling. Immediate effect of drinking milk adulterated with urea, caustic soda and formalin is gastroenteritis but the long-term effects are far more serious.
source:http://dailypioneer.com