Saturday, December 14, 2013

Mid-day Meal: Authorities Insensitive to DPI Circular

To prevent another mid-day meal tragedy on the lines of the one in Bihar which claimed the lives of 23 schoolchildren in July, Director of Public Instruction (DPI) Biju Prabhakar, who is also in-charge of the Food Safety Department, issued a circular, with 21 crucial directives, on October 30 to all schools in the state to ensure safety in mid-day meal supply. However, the school authorities are turning a blind eye to the directives.
 The circular, issued two months ago, had no impact on the schools so far. The circular instructs each school to register their kitchen under the Food Safety Department (FSD) with proper details of the storage facility, kitchen facility, health of kitchen employees, hygienic measures taken etc. But so far, the FSD has not received even a single application from any school for registration.  February 4, 2014 is the last date for submitting applications. The circular also instructs the authorities of schools to ensure the fitness of kitchen employees by conducting periodical medical checkups. This directive was also not taken into serious consideration by schools. “There are high chances for diseases to spread from cooks to kids through food. So the health of cooks must be ensured. Diseases such as typhoid can be transmitted through unclean food habits,” M K Appunni, retired DMO, said.
 The Food Safety Department conducted inspections in the schools across the state a few months ago and it revealed that kitchens in most of the schools were functioning under unhygienic conditions. “None of the schools have proper storage facilities and due to this the grains are getting spoiled. Kitchens in all the schools are functioning under unhygienic conditions. It is the key reason why the directives were issued,” Food Safety Officer Mini A K said.
 School headmasters complain that they have not received any proper directives in this regard. “I saw the circular on the Education Department’s website but I did not get any directive from the Deputy Director of Education yet. Anyway let me look into it,” Head Master of Kalanjoor LP School, Konni, Sree Kumar K said.
 “We issued such a circular to create awareness among the school authorities. We will assist them in implementing the directives. We sought Central Government fund for its implementation,” Biju Prabhakar said. He also said this was not the phase for taking action against anyone. “Our sole intention is to make the school authorities aware of healthy ways to prevent diseases. Once this phase gets over, we won’t compromise and strict action will be taken against all those who violate the norms in the circular,” Biju Prabhakar said.
 Some of the Major Directives
■ A senior teacher will ensure whether food is supplied strictly under the Food Safety Regulations Act or not. The teacher must also be a member of the Food committee. In addition to the senior teacher, a doctor from the Primary Health Centre and a representative of students must also be there in the Food committee.
■ Food materials should be bought only from a shop registered under the Food Safety Act.
■ Food materials must be stored in safe storage rooms.
■ The contact number of the Food Safety Officer should be displayed on the notice board of schools.
■ Mandatory chemical and microbiological tests must be done periodically to ensure the quality of drinking and cooking water.
■ Kitchen staff must be free of diseases and periodical health checkups must be done.
■ Cooking should not be done in open air.
■ Keep urinal, latrines etc away from the kitchen and must be cleaned.
■ Drainage must be covered.
■  Kitchen workers should have separate living rooms.

Friday, December 13, 2013

അയ്യപ്പന്‍‌മാര്‍ക്ക് ചിക്കന്‍ പഫ്സ് നല്‍കി; ബേക്കറി അടപ്പിച്ചു

ശബരിമല തീര്‍ഥാടകര്‍ക്ക് മാംസത്തിന്റെ പഫ്സ് നല്‍കിയെന്ന പരാതിയില്‍ എന്‍ഫോഴ്സ്മെന്റ് ഫുഡ് ഇന്‍സ്പെക്ടര്‍ ബേക്കറി അടപ്പിച്ചു. റാന്നി പെരുമ്പുഴ ബസ്സ്റ്റാന്‍ഡിന് സമീപം പ്രവര്‍ത്തിക്കുന്ന ബേക്കറിയാണ് അടപ്പിച്ചത്.  തിങ്കളാഴ്ച പകല്‍ പന്ത്രണ്ടോടെയാണ് സംഭവം. വിതുര സ്വദേശികളായ നൂറംഗ സംഘം ശബരിമലയിലേക്ക് നടന്നുപോകുന്നതിനിടെ ലഘുഭക്ഷണം കഴിക്കാനാണ് ബേക്കറിയില്‍ കയറിയത്. പഫ്സ് വെജിറ്റബിള്‍ തന്നെയാണോ എന്ന് കടയുടമയോട് ചോദിച്ച് ഉറപ്പുവരുത്തിയ ശേഷമാണ് കഴിക്കാന്‍ തുടങ്ങിയത്. തീര്‍ഥാടകര്‍ക്കുവേണ്ടി പ്രത്യേകം ഉണ്ടാക്കിയ പഫ്സാണെന്ന് കടയുടമ ഉറപ്പും നല്‍കി. കഴിച്ചു തുടങ്ങിയപ്പോഴാണ് മാംസത്തിന്റേതാണെന്ന് തിരിച്ചറിഞ്ഞത്. ഉടന്‍ തന്നെ പെരുമ്പുഴയിലെ ശബരിമല ഇന്‍ഫര്‍മേഷന്‍ സെന്ററുമായി തീര്‍ഥാടകര്‍ ബന്ധപ്പെട്ടു. സപ്ലൈ ഓഫീസിലും പൊലീസ് സ്റ്റേഷനിലും ഗുരുസ്വാമി സതീശന്‍ പരാതിപ്പെട്ടു.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Obtain licences, caterers told

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday held that the catering service providers need to obtain licence or permission from the authorities concerned under the Food Safety and Standard Act.
The Bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice A.M. Shaffique made the observation while hearing a petition seeking a directive to make the Act applicable to the caterers as well.
Petitioner Saiju of Kalady said most of the caterers in the State were doing business without valid licences and the court should prohibit the functioning of such caterers. Food Safety Commissioner Biju Prabhakar informed the court that necessary steps had already been taken to insist for licences as per the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The State also submitted that a circular was issued asking all the hotels and restaurants to take licence by the end of February 2014 for conducting business. The court asked the State government to issue a similar circular in respect of caterers.
The petitioner contended that though the caterers came within the ambit of the Act, the authorities had not taken any steps to legalise the functioning of caterers.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

FSSAI to upgrade food labs; 3 food parks to be operational, says MoFPI

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has undertaken the gap analysis of 72 public laboratories, and according to Sanjay Dave, advisor to the country’s apex food regulator and chairperson, Codex Alimentarius Commission, the existing labs are being upgraded using a corpus of Rs 800 crore (which is about 75 per cent of the cost of upgradation of the facilities). Moreover, 33 new facilities will be in place soon, which will take the number of labs across India to 105.
Siraj Hussain, secretary, miistry of food processing industries (MoFPI), stated that over the next six months, three food parks will become operational in Punjab, Kolkata and Bengaluru, in addition to the two in Patanjali and Chittoor, which are already operational. He inaugurated the National Food Safety and Quality Summit, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Tuesday. Dave delivered the keynote address at the meet.   
The advisor to FSSAI pointed out that with consumers rapidly moving towards safe foods, standards and regulations would have to be made effective. He informed that horizontal standards (such as the standards for additives and contaminants) were likely to be issued by July 2014, and the harmonisation of the Indian standards with those laid down by Codex would be a landmark achievement in the food processing sector.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Corrupt FSOs responsible for extended licensing, registration deadline

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has extended the licensing and registration deadline thrice in the last two years, because food safety officers (FSO) in a number of states have allegedly been accepting bribes, according to M A Tejani, managing director, Gits Food Products Pvt Ltd. February 4, 2014 has been set as the latest, and a further extension seems unlikely. Tejani said, “FSSAI has just been set up for corruption. There have been a number of occasions when food business operators (FBO) approached officials of the country’s apex food regulator for more information about the new licensing and registration rules, and the latter simply passed the buck to others. It seems they lack a sense of responsibility and accountability.”
He added, “The legal fee for registration is Rs 100 for FBO whose profit is less than Rs 12 lakh, and Rs 2,000 for licensing for those who earn a profit of Rs 12 lakh or more. But FSO in states like Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Maharashtra have allegedly been demanding bribes ranging between Rs 10,000 and Rs 1,50,000 for licensing and registration.”
“A majority of the FBO fear the punitive action that the FSO threaten to take aganist them and pay the bribe. However, there are some who do not pay them, and that is the reason for the delay in issuing licences to them or getting their establishments registered,” said Tejani, who is also president, the All India Food Processors’ Association (AIFPA).
He informed FnB News that several FBO in Mumbai have valid licences or are running registered establishments, but pay the FSO bribes, and this is compelling several small-scale FBO to down their shutters, and added that since the implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006 on August 5, 2011, FSO have come up with novel ways to demand bribes.
The owner of a South Indian eatery in Matunga said, “It is true that we have to pay FSO bribes despite being registered/licensed eateries. Since FSSA came into effect, FSO have been behaving like inspectors. It is, in fact, the Inspector Raj. The licensing and registration deadline would have not been extended if the FSO had been friendly with us and informed us about the procedure.”

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Shop owners seek to water down food safety guidelines

KOZHIKODE: Next time you stop at an outlet for a drink or snack, think twice. Traders' organizations in the city have come out against the food safety commissioner's directions to ensure use of good quality water in shops and appoint medically fit employees. They plan to to approach ministers and state-level officials with a plea to relax the regulations. As per guidelines issued by the food safety commissioner to food business operators (FBOs), November 30 was the deadline for complying with the quality norms. The warning makes it clear that food safety officials will be able to inspect juice parlours from December 1 and cancel the licence of those who flout guidelines. "It is not practical to follow more than half of the 20 guidelines," said Ashraf Moothedath, district general secretary of Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (KVVES). KVVES representatives said some food safety officials unnecessarily insist that FBOs use water supplied by the Kerala Water Authority (KWA). Traders also cite non-availability of employees as a hindrance. The guidelines state that FBOs must test water quality every six months and keep the test results at the shop. The Food Safety Commissionerate also stresses cleanliness and medical fitness of shop employees. K Sethumadhavan, the owner of a cool bar at West Hill, said he bought water from different suppliers as it was not possible to ensure its quality. "Obtaining a certificate for water quality every six months is impractical," he said.
The traders alleged that KWA was unwilling to allow them non-domestic water connections and that applications of nearly 150 traders are pending before it. With KWA connection, it would be easier for us to follow the directions, they said. Meanwhile, district designate officer of food safety, Muhammed Rafi, clarified that it was not the source of water that mattered but its quality. "I don't know what persuaded the traders to come up with the excuse that they do not have KWA connection," he exclaimed.
"Each morning, we are forced to go to Palayam in search for migrant manual labourers as no one is willing to work as a regular employee," said Sethumadhavan, adding that it was not possible to present all such persons before doctors and get medical certificates.
Most shop owners said they are keen to serve good quality food and drinksto customers but refuse to comply with the directions. "Smalltime traders can't maintain the same standards as that of a high-class hotel," said Ashraf Moothedath, KVVES district general secretary.
"Though the deadline for complying with the guidelines ended on Saturday, we expect to get relaxation as we maintain a good rapport with food safety officials," said K Sethumadhavan,

Monday, November 25, 2013

Valuable insights in book on food safety

Food safety problems in the state are showing a declining trend, as per a study conducted by Food Safety Department (FSD). The operations of the department had helped achieve this.
The Commissionerate of Food Safety had taken the initiative to educate and make food business operators aware of the need for scientific and healthy modes of food processing in the wake of rising health hazards due to the unhygienic handling of food material.
It was in this context that A K Mini, Kollam District Officer of Food Safety Department, was entrusted with the job of bringing out a book on food safety by Biju Prabhakar IAS, Commissioner of Food Safety.
Health Minister V S Sivakumar launched the book this month and the book conveys the practices to be followed for safe food processing. This book is being given free of cost to food business operators and Food Safety Department is planning to bring out more books in this regard in the context of encouraging response.
Given her 26 years of experience in this field, Mini had taken the opportunity to explain in the book the important rules on food safety.
“The effective functioning of the Food Safety Dept depends on its following the rules of evaluation, education and enforcement. In the first phase of evaluation the real issues existing in food processing are evaluated. In the second phase the stress is on educating food business operators in following healthy modes of food processing. In the third phase the stress is on enforcement of norms legally,’’ said Mini. Currently, the Food Safety Dept is in the educating phase and is educating food business operators. ‘’Health and safety of a society depends on the action of each and every person in the food chain; like manufacturers, processors, importers, exporters, hoteliers, store keepers, retailers etc. If all in this chain are aware about the scientific and safe modes of food handling, the whole chain will be safe,’’ Mini said.
The book also contains warnings about legal implications to those who violate norms. “This book is being supplied free of cost to all in the food processing sector,’’ Mini said.

Food safety department's office plan caught in legal dispute

KOCHI: The food safety department's plan to construct a new office building in Kothamangalam to seat the circle officers of Kothamangalam and Muvattupuzha seems to have hit a roadblock, with the grandson of the person who reportedly handed over the land to the health department in 1960 making a claim on the land. The department claimed that the disputed 15 cents of land were handed over to the health department to set up a family welfare centre and the PWD even built a building for the centre in the property. But with the upgrading of Kothamangalam panchayat to municipality in 1978 the centre was closed down. Later the building was used as food inspector's office and the office functioned from the building for more than 10 years. As the building was not in a good condition, the food inspector's office was shifted to the Muvattupuzha taluk hospital temporarily in 2005. With the implementation of the Food Safety and Standards Act, the food safety department made plans to set up a building in the land for its Kothamangalam and Muvattupuzha circle offices. "The encroachment took place in October this year. The department was planning to construct a building in the property. The PWD has already prepared a project for it which is under consideration of the state government," said C Benny, food safety officer, Kothamangalam. He added that as per the records of the municipality the property belonged to health department and it has been paying tax for it. The food safety department said that it had already brought the issue to the attention of the district collector and district medical officer.
The additional district medical officer, Dr Suhitha K, visited the spot last week as part of the investigation conducted by the health department. Ernakulam district collector Sheik Pareeth said he has called a hearing to solve the issue. "The resurvey of the land would be done to confirm whether there was any encroachment," he said. Meanwhile, Dr Arun Jose Abraham -- who has approached the Muvattupuzha court claiming that the land belongs to him -- said, "I inherited the land from my father and have all the documents to prove my ownership. I have been paying tax for the land since I inherited it."
He said the health centre was allowed to function in their ancestral home on humanitarian grounds.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Safety and hygiene of Mid Day Meal - Guide lines issued

Registration mandatory for schools with mid-day meals

 The DPI office has asked all schools that are part of the mid-day meal programme to get registration from the food safety commissionerate.Schools have also been instructed to conduct a health check every three months to ensure that those who cook food under the mid-day meal programme did not suffer from contagious diseases.These were part of  the circular issued to schools on the hygiene of the food prepared under the mid-day scheme. As per the circular, a senior teacher of the school should be given charge of the  programme.A school feeding committee with the doctor of the nearby primary health centre and a representative of the students should be constituted in  each school.The principal of the school or the teacher in charge of  scheme should inspect the food to be distributed daily. The provisions for preparing the food should be purchased only from an outlet with licence from the food safety commissionerate.If the authorities found that the quality of the products supplied was low,  it should be informed to the nearest food safety officer.Workers with contagious diseases should be asked to stay away from cooking food and they should be instructed not to scratch their head while preparing food.They should also be asked not to use artificial nails or jewellery while preparing food and  should be directed to wear clean clothes.

Saturday, November 16, 2013



FSSAI Tamil advt.

Safety guidelines for juice shops in Kerala

The Commissioner of Food Safety has issued a set of guidelines to be followed necessarily by juice shops across the State, as prescribed by Section 30 (d) of the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006.
The Commissioner said the guidelines had been issued as many food poisoning cases were being reported by customers of juice shops. A majority of these shops were using milk, ice and water of suspect quality.
All juice shops should have FSSA licences or registration, which should be displayed prominently. The water and ice should be safe and of the prescribed quality.
The fruits, sugar, nuts and other additives used to make juices or milk shakes should be bought only from shops or outlets or traders who had a FSSA licence and the purchase bills should be kept. All packed food items should have the necessary label information. The details of purchase — name of the shop/trader, quantity, price and so on — should be entered in a register systematically and should be produced for inspection.
The water being used should be from a source of impeccable quality and the quality of the water source should be tested every six months at a government-approved analytical laboratory. These reports should be kept in the shop.

Store properly

All food items, including water, in the shops should be stored in covered containers of food-grade quality.
The fruits should be of good quality, with no trace of fungus. The fruits should be washed and refrigerated. Ice should not be stored in polystyrene boxes, but in freezers or ice boxes. Prepared juice should not be stored for long in the fridge.
Food safety officials pointed out that most of the shops were storing milk in freezers well beyond the expiry period for use in milk shakes. This was an unsafe practice.
All employees in juice shops should have medical fitness certificates. They should strictly follow hygienic practices in handling food. Those with any skin conditions or infectious diseases should not be allowed as employees in food businesses.
The environment in which juice was prepared should be clean and the implements used for preparing juices such as mixers, juicers and strainers should be cleaned after every use. The refrigerator and freezer should be cleaned regularly and the last date on which it was cleaned should be displayed on the fridge.
The Food Safety officials have warned of cancellation of registration/licence if these conditions are violated. A period of three weeks has been allowed within which all juice shops should ensure that they are equipped to follow all FSSA guidelines.
Food Safety wing will start inspections on December 1 and juice shops which are found to be failing in hygiene and safety standards will have to face legal action, the Food Safety Commissioner has warned.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Poor hygiene in Trivandrum eateries gives rise to typhoid fears

The district has had an explosion of typhoid cases this year, including two suspected typhoid deaths, pointing to poor levels of food safety. The district health administration, which went on an intensive drive across the district on Tuesday as part of the SAFE Trivandrum initiative, examining eateries, bakeries, juice shops and ice factories, found that hardly 25 per cent of the food handlers in these outlets had health certificates.All those who eat out regularly are at serious risk of contracting the infection, health officials said.Typhoid fever is a bacterial infection caused by Salmonella typhi, transmitted directly through contaminated food and water and at times, through someone who is infected or is a chronic typhoid bacilli carrier. Sewage contamination of drinking water in poor sanitary conditions is a clear risk.
“Last year, the district reported 411 cases of typhoid. But this year so far, we have had 857 cases and two deaths (one confirmed), following which we have put our entire health field staff on alert. This should serve as a warning to all those running food businesses because the way food is handled in their eateries and the hygiene habits and the medical fitness of all the food handlers are seriously under question,” District Medical Officer K.M. Sirabuddin said.
In Tuesday’s inspections, health officials examined 1,783 institutions. Of the 2,197 food handlers in these institutions, only 431 had health cards. Of the 315 migrant workers employed as food handlers, only 71 had health cards.
No follow-up
“All of these institutions, except 222, had FSSA licences. But given the unhygienic conditions in which food is handled in many of these eateries, it is clear that there have been no follow-up measures after the issue of licences. We issued closure notice to six shops – in one of these, we found the cook with a major, festering burn on his hand continuing to handle food,” a health official said.
The district has been reporting at least eight to 10 cases of typhoid every day. There have been no outbreaks and all the cases are scattered. This makes it all the more difficult to identify a common source of infection.
Chronic carriers
Typhoid can lead to dangerous complications if it is not treated early. Though it is curable through the use of antibiotics, a certain percentage of people continue to harbour the typhoid bacilli even after they recover and are fully free of any symptoms. These people remain chronic typhoid carriers because the bacilli are present in their intestinal tract and are shed through stools.
Health officials said such healthy carriers were more dangerous than those with active typhoid fever as there was no way to recognise a typhoid carrier except by culturing their blood or stool samples.
“This is why it is so very important that all food handlers should have health cards, which should be renewed every six months after proper medical investigation. A healthy but chronic typhoid carrier engaged as a food handler can give typhoid to several people if he handles food with unwashed hands after using the toilet,” a public health official said.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

FSSAI won't relax stand on labelling

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India () has put its foot down and said “labeling requirements will not be relaxed” for any packaged food supplier as these are very “sensitive” products. It also maintained that the law mandates printed or inseparable labeling on such products. “The law of the land is valid for everyone - for domestic suppliers as well as importers – and all are expected to follow it. A regulator’s duty is to implement the law and not violate it…Food is so sensitive and there is no question of relaxing the labeling requirements for pre-,” FSSAI Chief Executive Officer Dillip Kumar Samantaray told Business Standard. The food regulator’s comments comes in the wake of several containers of packaged food products carrying imported chocolates, crispies, gourmet cheese, olive oil, biscuits, noodles, pasta, jams, honey, oats and sauces etc being blocked at various ports and airports across the country in the absence of a clearance from FSSAI. The regulatory agency, which supervises import of food items to ensure quality, refused permission to these products citing labelling requirements as per the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006 that came into force in 2011.
According to Samantaray, these products were refused permission during visual inspection conducted to primarily check the labeling requirements etc. He said most of these products were carrying stickers with various information, whereas stickers are allowed to differentiate between vegetarian and non-vegetarian products, and to specify the name and address of the importer. “The law of the land requires all other information to be printed on the pack,” Samantaray insisted.
He said that food is a sensitive commodity and especially products like jams and chocolates are mostly consumed by children and therefore quality and specifications cannot be compromised by any means. “Law should be equal for everyone. Even if domestic manufacturers export products to other countries, they are required to abide by the law of that country. Then why should India not ensure health of its citizens,” Samantaray said.

U.S. FDA moves to ban trans fats, citing health risks

The FDA said reducing partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs) from the American diet could prevent 7,000 deaths from heart disease each year.
If its proposal becomes final, the oils, the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat, would be considered food additives and could not be used in food unless authorized.
The ruling would not affect naturally occurring trans fat that occurs in small amounts in certain meat and dairy products, the agency said.
The FDA's proposal is subject to a 60-day public comment period.
Trans fats are common in a wide range of processed foods including crackers and cookies, frozen pizza and refrigerated dough, coffee creamers and ready-to-use frosting, said Mical Honigfort, a consumer safety officer at FDA.
The American Heart Association lauded the actions as a step forward in battling heart disease.
"We commend the FDA for responding to the numerous concerns and evidence submitted over the years about the dangers of this industrially produced ingredient," the AHA's Nancy Brown said in a statement.
Hydrogenation is a chemical process that converts liquid vegetable oils into solid or semi-solid fats, which are preferred for baking and have a longer shelf life.
The dominant vegetable oil used in the United States is soybean oil. The FDA's announcement sparked a rapid sell-off in Chicago soyoil futures prices by creating uncertainty about its impact on vegetable oil demand. Soyoil fell by about 1.5 percent to 40.52 cents per pound, its lowest level since October 29, in heavy trading.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Food Safety Act: 107 prosecution cases in Punjab, no conviction

A total of 107 cases have been registered under the Food Safety Act, 2006, in Punjab in the past two years, but the prosecution proceedings are moving at a snail's pace, and that too in the absence of any FIR (first information report).
Even if a sample test reveals that the 'varak' (foil) on a piece of 'barfi' is made of low-purity aluminum rather than high-purity silver, the culprit for such hazardous adulteration can continue in the food business, besides buying time to challenge the authorities concerned.
Besides the use of hazardous chemicals in sweets and other food items, the cases are also related to the manufacture or supply of synthetic milk and adulterated edible oil or ghee.
The fate of such sampling and testing cases has not changed much after the implementation of the Act, as the accused continue in the food business despite the prosecution proceedings underway against them.
The legislation, which has no provision for immediate cancellation of the licence after the sample failure, was partially adopted in the state in August 2011, when the government initiated the process of mandatory registration of all those in the food trade, right from hawkers to owners of hotels and restaurants.
Of the 107 prosecution cases sanctioned for the courts of local subdivisional magistrates (SDMs) across the state, 33 are in Amritsar, 17 in Ludhiana, 11 each in Patiala and Mansa, eight in Gurdaspur, seven in Tarn Taran, four each in Rupnagar, Sangrur and Jalandhar, three each in Ferozepur and Muktsar, and one each in Bathinda and Moga.
Licences of none of these 107 accused parties have been cancelled so far, a senior official in the Punjab directorate of health here confirmed on the condition of anonymity.
"There is no such provision (to cancel the licence) in the Act before the conviction (in court)," he pointed out.
These cases have been bracketed as fit for judicial prosecution out of the 2,700 food samples that have failed adulteration norms tests since August 2011.
The remaining 2,593 cases were labelled as "substandard" and sent to the respective adjudicating officers in the districts concerned for the imposition of penalties.
There is, however, no fixed amount of the penalty to be imposed on the violators. Thus, it is up to the officers concerned to decide the amount.
Talking to HT on the phone, Bathinda district's adjudicating officer Rajiv Prashar said he had announced penalties ranging from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 25,000 in cases such as 'substandard' edible oil or 'khoya' with low fat content.
Significantly, all cases in which the food samples fail tests to the extent of being hazardous to health or unsafe for human consumption are sent to the state's commissioner for food.
The nodal officer concerned, Husan Lal, managing director, Punjab Health Systems Corporation (PHSC), told HT that the state government was upgrading its sole testing laboratory in Sector 11, Chandigarh.
A couple of assistant analysts are undergoing advanced training so that the lab meets the standards of the four labs enlisted in the Act. These labs, certified by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), are located in Kolkata, Ghaziabad, Mysore and Pune.

The Punjab health authorities acknowledged that samples from the state were also being sent to labs in Kolkata and Ghaziabad, whenever required.

Test reports in 14 days
Under the Food Safety Act, samples are to be sent for testing in labs within 48 hours, and the test reports must reach food safety inspectors concerned in districts within 14 days. Under the Act, adjudicating officers have to pronounce the penalty to be imposed on the violators within three months.

Friday, October 25, 2013

FSSAI sets Feb 4, 2014, as final deadline for registration & licensing

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has set the final deadline as February 4, 2014, for the food business operators to register and obtain licenses under Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011. There will be no further extension to FBOs operating in the country to comply with the rules. “The advisory regarding extension till Feb 4 next year is now being legalised. The FBOs, new and old, have to get licence and register by Feb 4, 2014, otherwise they would get penalised,” said P Karthikeyan, assistant director, FSSAI. He said that there shall be no extension as much time had been given to the FBOs to either obtain licence or register themselves. The first deadline was August 4, 2012, that is one year after the implementation of the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing & Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011. This was extended by six months to Feb 4, 2013, and then again extended further to Feb 4, 2014.  According to the new draft under the Sub-Regulations of 2.1.2 related to licence for food business, it proposes two changes in Clause I wherein the term “within one year” in first proviso, is changed with “thirty months” and in second proviso the word “otherwise” is changed with “the new FBOs who started food business after 5th August 2011.” The present regulations under 2.1.2 were as follows; no person shall commence any food business unless he possesses a valid licence -Provided that any person or Food Business Operator carrying on food business on the date of notification of these regulations, under a licence, registration or permission, as the case may be, under the Acts or Orders mentioned in the Second Schedule of the Act shall get their existing licence converted into the licence/registration under these regulations by making an application to the Licensing/Registering Authority after complying with the safety requirements mentioned in the Schedule 4 contained under different parts dependent on nature of business, “within one year” of notification of these regulations. In case of difficulty, the licensing authority with the approval of the food safety commissioner in the state will determine the advisability of applying any specific condition keeping in view the need to ensure safety of food and public interest. No licence fee will have to be paid for the remaining period of the validity of the earlier licence or registration granted under any of the said Acts or Orders.Non-compliance with this provision by a Food Business Operator will attract penalty under Section 55 of the Act.The second part of the Clause I says -Provided further that any food business operator holding Registration/License under any other Act/Order as specified under Schedule 2 of the FSS Act, 2006, with no specific validity or expiry date, and “otherwise” entitled to obtain a licence under these regulations, shall have to apply and obtain a Registration/Licence under these regulations “within one year” from the date of notification by paying the applicable fees. Further the regulations also propose to omit Clause 4 that defines the late fees for delay in applying for renewal under Sections 2.1.7 of the regulations, which defines Validity and Renewal of Registration and License. That means no late fees of Rs 100 each day after delay, if any FBO does not applied within 30 days before the expiry date.When contacted K G Burman, food safety commissioner, Delhi, said that FSSAI on its part did come up with the regulations as and when required.
He stated, “The FBOs however needs to get licence and registrations well within the stipulated time.” 

E.coli contamination in food

Chicken biryani is one of those ubiquitous dishes immensely liked by most. The possibility of faecal contamination — human or animal — in your favourite lunch order certainly cannot be a relishable thought.It thus comes as a shocker that five out of six samples of chicken biryani, collected from across the State and tested by the Food Quality Monitoring Laboratory at Konni, have been found to be contaminated by high levels of E.coli bacteria.The presence of E.coli in food is a general indication of direct or indirect contamination by faecal matter and a sure-fire indication of the poor hygiene practices of food handlers.The results of the evaluation of microbial quality of various ready-to-eat foods in Kerala, done by the Konni-based Food Quality Monitoring Lab, was presented at a seminar on Safe Food Business Practices, organised by the Commissionerate of Food Safety here on recently.The study, carried out between September 2011 and May 2013, evaluated the microbial load in 44 ready-to-eat food items from various food business operators across the State.Of the 134 samples of food items analysed, 22.38 per cent (30 samples) were found to have the presence of E.coli bacteria above the tolerance limit.
E.coli is an organism which is normally present in the intestinal tract of mammals and is thus a faecal indicator organism. Its presence in ready-to-eat foods – fully cooked or raw edible foods like salads – is an indication of poor hygiene and sanitation or inadequate heat treatment.The tolerance limit for E.coli is less than 100 cfu/g for raw food and less than 10 cfu/g for cooked food.Some of the popular food items tested by the lab included green salads (all samples of which were contaminated by E.coli), fish curry, chicken curry, parotta, puffs, pizza, vada, dosa, sambar, chutney, among many other such items.
The samples were purchased from hotels across Kerala, in packets provided by eateries, which were immediately transferred to sterile polythene bags and to insulated chilled boxes and transferred to lab immediately.The researchers have pointed out that poor sanitation is largely responsible for much of the contamination in food from food handlers.The levels of hygiene and sanitation inside hotel kitchens is of prime importance because the presence of a toilet near the hotel kitchen poses a serious risk of E.coli contamination in food preparation.Food handlers need to be made aware of the importance of maintaining personal hygiene as well as hygienic habits. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

SC directs FSSAI to conduct periodic checks of soft drinks

The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the government to conduct periodic checks of soft drinks manufacturing units.
A Bench of Justices KS Radhakrishnan and AK Sikri asked the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to rigorously monitor manufacturing of soft drinks, saying the issue pertained to citizens' fundamental right to life.
The court, however, refused to issue directions to cola makers to list their ingredients on labels, a demand raised in a PIL by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation.
The 2004 petition also asked for the setting up of a seperate committee to evaluate the alleged harmful effects of soft drinks.
The plea had alleged that the ingredients of carbonated drinks have "serious deleterious effects on human health" and no action has been taken to test and assess the risk posed by such beverages.
Soft drink major Pepsi had opposed the PIL, saying the Food Safety and Standards Act, which laid down regulations and standards for beverages, was sufficient and no further guidelines were required.
In 2011, the court asked the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to constitute independent scientific panels to look into the ingredients. The panel concluded the ingredients, under prescribed limits, posed no health hazards. The Indian Council of Medical Research reached the same conclusion.
Taking note of the experts' opinion and the new Act, the court deemed it appropriate to dispose of the PIL, but directed the FSAAI to ensure stringent implementation of the provisions in the law in public interest.


FSSR amendment on ice cream: Industry hit by frozen dessert by 5-10 pc

The ice cream industry already hit by eroding market share following the emergence of frozen desserts sector in the country during the last few years, is facing another major setback in recent times following an amendment to the Food Safety & Standards Regulations, 2011.
The amendment, introduced about two months ago, allows manufacturers of frozen desserts to mention “vegetable-based or non-dairy-based ice cream” on the packs thus blurring the fine line between ice cream and its similar but cheaper counterpart frozen dessert as far as labelling is concerned.
Suleman Hafizi, chairman, Pastonji Brands and Holdings Pvt. Ltd, observed, “ As the amendment requiring the frozen dessert manufacturers to mention vegetable oil-based ice cream or non-dairy-based ice cream, the manufacturers are following that rule. But in the process we the manufacturers of ice cream are losing business. Our company has incurred a loss of Rs 50 lakh in comparison with previous year due to more sale of frozen desserts.” Another source from the company stated that the impact of the recent amendment on the ice cream industry comes to 5-10 per cent.
Meanwhile, Rajesh Gandhi, managing director, Vadilal Industries Ltd, felt that the frozen desserts industry had impacted the ice cream industry by at least 30 per cent. “While there are no official estimates of the volumes of the two sectors, I think both are roughly the same size.”
However, he did not see any direct impact from the amendment. Gandhi stated, “Frozen desserts are in the country for the last 20 years, but the definition came two years back and the amendment was brought in force by FSSAI two months back.”
He explained, “The amendment states that frozen dessert manufacturers can mention on the packs that it is vegetable-based or non-dairy based ice cream. But milk is used in both the products. There is no impact on the ice cream industry after the amendment because the consumers who do not compromise on the price would go for ice cream and the consumers who look for affordability in prices would choose frozen desserts.”
R S Sodhi, managing director, Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF), had a slightly different take, “They don't check the product's nutritious value. They just go for it because it is cheaper than ice cream. Frozen dessert has impacted the ice cream industry, but Amul is a big player in the ice cream sector, and has, therefore, not faced the heat.”
“The companies which are just focussing on frozen desserts are misguiding the consumers by calling it ice cream,” he felt.
While ice cream is made from milk fat, frozen dessert is made from vegetable oil fat and prior to the amendment, manufacturers of frozen desserts could not use the word ice cream but had to do by mentioning just “frozen dessert” and also needed to state that the product was made from “vegetable oils” somewhere on the pack.
Traditionally, the contention has been that though frozen desserts look and taste similar to ice creams, they have an advantage over the latter as they are cheaper and the buyer is not aware of the difference between the two.
Interestingly, even as the debate over impact of frozen dessert industry over ice cream sector continues, a report by Euromonitor International points out that in the five years ended December 31, 2012, Amul's share of India's frozen treats fell to 31 per cent from 35 per cent, while Unilever's rose to 21 per cent from 17 per cent.
“Unless there is greater awareness among consumers that frozen desserts do not contain milk fats, Unilever will continue to grow,” the report stated.
“The sales of all frozen treats more than doubled in India between 2007 and 2012, and are likely to do so again in the five years ending in 2017, reaching Rs 68.6 billion,” the report concluded.


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Rats Found In Red Chilly Packet

ഭക്ഷ്യവസ്തുക്കളിലെ മായംചേര്‍ക്കല്‍; ഭക്ഷ്യ സുരക്ഷാ നിയമം കടലാസില്‍ മാത്രം

വടകര: ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷാനിയമം വന്നിട്ടും പച്ചക്കറികള്‍, മത്സ്യം, മാംസം തുടങ്ങിയവയില്‍ മായം ചേര്‍ക്കുന്നതും രാസവസ്തുക്കള്‍ കലര്‍ത്തുന്നതുമായ പരാതികള്‍ വര്‍ധിക്കുന്നു. ആവശ്യത്തിന് ജീവനക്കാരും നിലവാരമുള്ള ലാബുകളും ഇല്ലാത്തതാണ് നിയമം നടപ്പാക്കാന്‍ തടസ്സമാകുന്നത്.
ഭക്ഷ്യവസ്തുക്കളുടെ ഉത്പാദനത്തിലും വിതരണത്തിലും അന്താരാഷ്ട്ര നിലവാരം പുലര്‍ത്താനുദ്ദേശിച്ചാണ് ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷാ ഗുണനിലവാര നിയമമുണ്ടാക്കിയത്.
മുമ്പ് നിലവിലുണ്ടായിരുന്ന എല്ലാ നിയമങ്ങളും ഉത്തരവുകളും ഏകോപിപ്പിച്ചാണ് പുതിയ നിയമം നിലവില്‍ വന്നത്. ശാസ്ത്രീയമായ ഗുണനിലവാര മാനദണ്ഡങ്ങള്‍ നടപ്പില്‍ വരുത്തുക ഇതിന്റെ പ്രധാന ലക്ഷ്യമായിരുന്നു. ഫുഡ് സേഫ്റ്റി സ്റ്റാന്‍ഡേര്‍ഡ്‌സ് അതോറിറ്റി ഓഫ് ഇന്ത്യയുടെ മാതൃകയില്‍ സംസ്ഥാന തലത്തിലും അതോറിറ്റിയും രൂപവത്കരിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്.
ജില്ലാ അടിസ്ഥാനത്തില്‍ ആധുനിക സൗകര്യങ്ങളുള്ള പരിശോധാ ലാബുകള്‍ സ്ഥാപിക്കാതെ നിയമം പ്രാവര്‍ത്തികമാക്കാന്‍ പറ്റില്ലെന്നാണ് ബന്ധപ്പെട്ടവര്‍ പറയുന്നത്.
ഫുഡ്‌സേഫ്റ്റി ഓഫീസര്‍മാര്‍ എന്ന് പുനര്‍ നാമകരണം ചെയ്ത ഫുഡ് ഇന്‍സ്‌പെക്ടര്‍മാര്‍ ഭക്ഷ്യവിഷബാധയോ മറ്റോ ഉണ്ടാകുമ്പോള്‍ മാത്രമാണ് രംഗത്ത് വരുന്നത്. പ്രാഥമിക ആരോഗ്യ കേന്ദ്രങ്ങളുടെയും ആസ്​പത്രികളുടെയും കീഴില്‍ പ്രവര്‍ത്തിക്കുന്ന ഹെല്‍ത്ത് ഇന്‍സ്‌പെക്ടര്‍മാര്‍ വിപണിയില്‍ നിന്ന് പഴകിയ ഭക്ഷ്യ വസ്തുക്കളും മറ്റും പിടിച്ചെടുത്ത് നശിപ്പിക്കുന്നുണ്ടെങ്കിലും ശാസ്ത്രീയമായ പരിശോധനകള്‍ നടത്താത്തതിനാല്‍ കുറ്റക്കാരെ ശിക്ഷിക്കാന്‍ കഴിയുന്നില്ല. നിസ്സാരപിഴ വസൂലാക്കി കുറ്റക്കാരെ വിട്ടയയ്ക്കുകയാണ്.
കോഴിക്കോട്ടെ പബ്ലിക് ഹെല്‍ത്ത് ലബോറട്ടറിയില്‍ പൊതുജനങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് സാംപിള്‍ കൊടുക്കണമെങ്കില്‍ ഒരുമാസം മുമ്പേ അപേക്ഷിക്കണം. ജീവനക്കാരുടെയും പരിശോധനാ ഉപകരണങ്ങളുടെയും കുറവ് ലബോറട്ടറികളുടെ പ്രവര്‍ത്തനത്തെ ബാധിക്കുന്നു.
സംസ്ഥാന ഫുഡ് സേഫ്റ്റി കമ്മീഷണറുടെ വെബ് സൈറ്റില്‍ ഇത്തരം കാര്യങ്ങളെക്കുറിച്ച് വളരെ പരിമിതമായ വിവരങ്ങളേയുള്ളൂ. സാംപിള്‍ ശേഖരിക്കല്‍, പരിശോധനാഫലങ്ങള്‍ തുടങ്ങിയവയെപ്പറ്റി വെബ്‌സൈറ്റില്‍ പേജുകള്‍ ഉണ്ടെങ്കിലും പ്രസക്തമായ വിവരങ്ങളൊന്നുമില്ല. ജീവനക്കാരുടെ സ്ഥാനക്കയറ്റം സംബന്ധിച്ച വിവരങ്ങളാണ് ഏറെയും.

Live rat pups in dry chilli packet

Live rat pups have been found in a sealed packet of dry chillies a man bought from a supermarket at Pallimukku in the city.
Packed and sealed:The chilli packet with the rat pups.The man, who claimed buying it on Thursday, found the pups on Friday when he heard squeaks from inside the packet.
Following a written complaint from him, the Chief Food Safety Officer at Kollam, A.K. Mini, has written to the State Food Safety Commissioner seeking permission to initiate prosecution proceedings against the supermarket authorities. Ms. Mini has also ordered the closure of the super market’s packing centre following an inspection there.
The customer says the packet has not been opened and has been handed over to the Food Safety authorities. The pups can be seen through the plastic packet. But the supermarket authorities say that the claim of the man is hard to believe.
The label on the packet shows that it was packed on October 15. The man had purchased it on October 17 and noticed the pups on October 18. The supermarket authorities say it is simply not possible for the pups to be alive in an airtight packet for four days and that too without being fed.
They allege mischief behind it. The supermarket with several branches is the one that had earned a reputation in the city over the years, they add.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Food safety training for noon meal, Anganwadi staff

Tamil Nadu Food Safety Commissioner Kumar Jayanth on Tuesday ordered the Designated Officers (DOs) of Food Safety Wing to train the staff at noon meal and Anganwadi centres across the State in safe and hygienic cooking practices.
In a video-conference, he instructed the DOs of all 32 districts to provide training on handling different types of food materials, safe cooking practices and maintaining hygienic conditions, an official who participated told The Hindu on Wednesday.
The noon meal scheme at schools was a State Government project. Anganwadi centres are run by Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS), a Central Government-sponsored social welfare scheme to tackle malnutrition and health problems in children and their mothers.
Apart from cooking, emphasis will also be placed on storage of different food materials. The objective was to bring in more professionalism in the process within the resources available to the staff, the official said.
The training will be conducted at the block-level, where the Block Development Officer will coordinate the effort with the DOs. Training for the first batch was likely to commence in a week’s time. The Food Safety Commissioner has written to all the district administrations seeking their cooperation.
Even though nearly three months have elapsed since the Food Safety Commissioner directed all DOs to test samples from noon meal and Anganwadi centres, no sample had been taken in Coimbatore so far, sources said.
Mr. Jayanth had issued a circular on July 19 in the wake of more than 20 children dying after taking the mid-day meal at a school in Bihar on July 16. It was found that food was contaminated as a result of the cooking oil having been placed in a container formerly used to store pesticides. While initially the process was held-up in Coimbatore due to the microbiologist post at the Government Food Analysis Laboratory here lying vacant, it was yet to take off even though the post was filled, a few weeks ago. The process of lifting samples and testing them was likely to be taken up after the training programme for the cooks conclude, an official said.
Coimbatore had one of the six Government food analysis laboratories in Tamil Nadu that are approved under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The others are in Chennai, Salem, Thanjavur, Tirunelveli and Madurai.

Friday, September 27, 2013

ഹോട്ടല്‍ പൂട്ടിച്ചു, ബിരിയാണിയില്‍ നിന്ന് ഭക്ഷ്യവിഷബാധ; ഏഴ് പേര്‍ ചികിത്സ തേടി

തിരുവനന്തപുരം: പഴവങ്ങാടിയിലെ ഹോട്ടലില്‍ നിന്ന് ബിരിയാണി കഴിച്ച ഏഴ് പേര്‍ ഭക്ഷ്യവിഷബാധയേറ്റ് വിവിധ ആശുപത്രികളില്‍ ചികിത്സ തേടി. ഇരുപതോളം പേര്‍ക്ക് അസ്വസ്ഥത അനുഭവപ്പെടുകയും ചേയ്തു. നെയ്യാറ്റിന്‍കര സ്വദേശികളായ സുധ, അജിന്‍, ഹരിപ്രസാദ്, രാഹുല്‍, കരമന സ്വദേശിനി സഫീറ, വര്‍ക്കല സ്വദേശിനി ബിജി, ആറ്റിങ്ങല്‍ സ്വദേശിനി അനൂജ എന്നിവരാണ് ചികിത്സ തേടിയത്. മൂന്ന് പേര്‍ നഗരത്തിലെ സ്വകാര്യ ആശുപത്രിയിലും രണ്ടു പേര്‍ നെയ്യാറ്റിന്‍കരയിലെ സ്വകാര്യ ആശുപത്രിയിലും ഒരാള്‍ അറ്റിങ്ങലിലെയും മറ്റൊരാള്‍ വര്‍ക്കലയിലെയും സ്വകാര്യ ആശുപത്രികളിലുമാണ് ചികിത്സ തേടിയത്. ഇവര്‍ എച്ച്.ഡി.എഫ്.സി ലൈഫിലെ ജിവനക്കാരാണ്. ഇവര്‍ ഭക്ഷണം വാങ്ങിയ പഴവങ്ങാടി ആസാദ് ഹോട്ടല്‍ ഭക്ഷ്യസുരക്ഷാ വിഭാഗം താല്‍ക്കാലികമായി പൂട്ടിച്ചു.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Food safety officer held on graft charge

A food safety officer of the Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration department was trapped and arrested on graft charges, on the premises of the Vellore  collectorate on Tuesday.
The sleuths attached to the Vellore unit of the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-corruption (DVAC) Wing caught food safety officer of Anaicut block K Vinayaga Murthi (33) while he was receiving a bribe of  Rs 12,000, to renew the licence of a hotel.
P Arumugam, manager of Aryabhavan Hotel at Erayankadu, had lodged a complaint with the DVAC on August 27 stating that Vinayaga Murthi had demanded a bribe of `12,000, after bargaining, to renew the hotel’s licence. Murthi had asked Arumugam to hand over the money on Tuesday inside the Vellore Collectorate. The complainant immediately alerted the DVAC officials. A police team led by the DSP of the unit M Balasubramanian handed over chemical coated currencies to Arumugam. The DVAC sleuths arrested Murthi within a flash after he received the bribe.
Police registered a case against him under the provision of Prevention of Corruption Act and produced him before the Chief Judicial Magistrate  Court in Vellore. Following this, Vinayaga Murthi was remanded to Vellore Prison for Men.

Monday, September 23, 2013

മനഃസാക്ഷിയില്ലാത്ത മായം ചേര്‍ക്കല്‍

ഭൂമുഖത്തെ ഏഴ്‌ ശതകോടി ജനങ്ങളെ തീറ്റിപ്പോറ്റുവാനുള്ള ഭക്ഷണ ലഭ്യത ഉറപ്പാക്കാന്‍ രാജ്യങ്ങള്‍ പരിശ്രമിക്കുമ്പോല്‍ നമുക്ക്ലഭിച്ചുകൊണ്ടിരിക്കുന്ന ഭക്ഷ്യവസ്തുക്കളിലെ മായം ചേര്‍ക്കലിനെക്കുറിച്ച്‌ നാം വിസ്മരിക്കുകയാണ്‌. അതിവേഗത്തില്‍ അമിത മിച്ചം ലഭിക്കുവാന്‍ മനുഷ്യന്‍ മനുഷ്യനുതന്നെ പാഷാണം ചേര്‍ത്ത്‌ ഭക്ഷണ പദാര്‍ത്ഥങ്ങള്‍ വിറ്റഴിക്കുകയാണ്‌. മധുരപലഹാരങ്ങള്‍ ഭക്ഷ്യഎണ്ണകള്‍, പാല്‍, പാല്‍ ഉല്‍പ്പന്നങ്ങള്‍, ആട്ട, പാനീയങ്ങള്‍, പയറുവര്‍ഗങ്ങള്‍, മസാല, അരി, ചൊറുക്ക, കറിപൗഡറുകള്‍, മറ്റ്‌ രുചി വര്‍ധിപ്പിക്കുന്ന വസ്തുക്കള്‍, ചായ, കാപ്പി, ബേക്കിംഗ്‌ പൗഡര്‍, പച്ചക്കറികള്‍, പഴങ്ങള്‍ പച്ചക്കറികള്‍, ടിന്നിലടച്ച ഭക്ഷ്യവസ്തുക്കള്‍ എന്നിവയിലെല്ലാം മായം ചേര്‍ക്കല്‍ തകൃതിയായി നടന്നുവരികയാണ്‌. അറക്കപ്പൊടി, മാരകനിറങ്ങള്‍, സോപ്പ്‌, വ്യാവസായികമായി ഉല്‍പ്പാദിപ്പിക്കുന്ന സ്റ്റാര്‍ച്ച്‌ അഥവാ അന്നജം, അലൂമിനിയം ഫോയില്‍, ആസിഡുകള്‍, ആല്‍ഡിഹൈഡുകള്‍, ഇഷ്ടികപ്പൊടി, കല്ലുകള്‍, മണ്ണ്‌, ചോക്ക്‌ പൊടി, പപ്പായക്കുരു തുടങ്ങി വിലകുറഞ്ഞ എണ്ണിയാലൊടുങ്ങാത്ത പാഴ്‌വസ്തുക്കള്‍ മായമായി ഭക്ഷണ പദാര്‍ത്ഥങ്ങളില്‍ ചേര്‍ത്ത്‌ അമിത ലാഭത്തിനായി വില്‍പ്പന നടത്തുന്നത്‌ ഇന്ന്‌ പതിവായിത്തീര്‍ന്നിരിക്കുന്നു. നിലവിലെ നിയമത്തില്‍ ഒട്ടനവധി പഴുതുകള്‍ ഉള്ളതിനാലും നിയമം നടപ്പാക്കുന്നതിന്‌ സര്‍ക്കാര്‍ സംവിധാനങ്ങളും പരാജയവും ശിക്ഷാ നടപടികളിലെ അപര്യാപ്തതയും മായം ചേര്‍ക്കലിന്‌ ഒത്താശ ചെയ്യുന്ന കാര്യങ്ങളാണ്‌.

ഭക്ഷ്യവിഷത്തിന്റെ രുചിക്കൂട്ടുകള്‍


ഈയടുത്ത കാലത്തായി ഭക്ഷ്യവസ്തുക്കളിലെ മായം ചേര്‍ക്കലും കേടുവന്ന ഭക്ഷണ പദാര്‍ത്ഥ വില്‍പനയും അളവിലും തൂക്കത്തിലും നടക്കുന്ന തട്ടിപ്പും മറ്റും വാര്‍ത്തയില്‍ നിറഞ്ഞുനില്‍ക്കുകയാണ്‌. കൊച്ചിയില്‍ പിടിച്ചെടുത്ത ആയിരത്തിലധികം കിലോ ചീഞ്ഞളിഞ്ഞ സുനാമി ഇറച്ചി തന്നെയാണ്‌ ഇതിരെ താരം. സമൂസ, പഫ്സ്‌, ബര്‍ഗര്‍, കട്ട്ലേറ്റ്‌, ദംബിരിയാണി, ഷവര്‍മ, ഹോട്ട്ഡോഗ്‌, പിസ, സാന്റ്‌വിച്ച്‌ തുടങ്ങിയ ന്യൂജനറേഷന്‍ ഭക്ഷണപദാര്‍ത്ഥങ്ങളിലെല്ലാം ഉപയോഗിക്കാനാണ്‌ സുനാമി ഇറച്ചി ഉപയോഗിച്ച്‌ വരുന്നതെന്നാണ്‌ പറയുന്നത്‌. ഇറച്ചി പൊടുന്നനെ ചെറിയ കഷ്ണങ്ങളാക്കി വിഭജിക്കുവാന്‍ സുനാമി ഇറച്ചി നല്ലതാണത്രെ! പട്ടിയും വന്യമൃഗങ്ങളും വരെ തിന്നുവാന്‍ മടിക്കുന്ന ഇറച്ചിയാണ്‌ സുനാമി ഇറച്ചി. രോഗാണുക്കളുടെ വിഹാര രംഗമാണിത്‌. ഒരു വിഭാഗം ഈ ഇറച്ചികൊണ്ട്‌ ഉണ്ടാക്കിയാല്‍ അത്‌ വിറ്റ്‌ തീരുന്നതുവരെ ആഴ്ചകളും മാസങ്ങലും ഫ്രീസറിലും ഓവനിലും മാറിമാറി വെച്ച്‌ ഫ്രഷ്‌ ആക്കുന്ന പതിവും കൊച്ചിയിലുണ്ട്‌. മെട്രോ നഗരമായി വളരുന്ന കൊച്ചിയുടെ നാറുന്ന മുഖത്തിന്‌ ഏറ്റവും പുതിയ ഉദാഹരണം. ആധുനിക ജീവിതത്തിന്റെ ഭാഗമായി ഫ്ലാറ്റ്‌ നിവാസികളും വില്ല നിവാസികളും നടത്തുന്ന പുറത്തെ ഭക്ഷണ ഭ്രമമാണ്‌ വില്‍പനക്കാരുടെ ടാര്‍ജറ്റ്‌. ന്യൂക്ലിയസ്‌ ഫാമിലികളുടെ ആഴ്ചാവസാനമുള്ള ഔട്ടിംഗ്‌ മുതലാക്കുകയെന്ന കച്ചവടക്കണ്ണും ഇതിന്‌ പുറകിലുണ്ട്‌. അജിനോമോട്ടോ ചേര്‍ക്കുന്നതോടെ വിഭവങ്ങളെല്ലാം രുചികരമാകുന്നു. രാസപരമായി ഒരു മയക്കുമരുന്നായതിനാല്‍ അജിനോമോട്ടോ ചേര്‍ത്ത ആഹാരത്തിന്‌ വീണ്ടും വീണ്ടും ആവശ്യക്കാര്‍ വര്‍ധിക്കുന്നു. കാന്‍സറിന്‌ വഴിവെയ്ക്കുന്ന വിഷാംശം കലര്‍ന്ന ഈ രാസപദാര്‍ത്ഥം ഭക്ഷ്യവസ്തുക്കളില്‍ ചേര്‍ക്കുന്നത്‌ നിരോധിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ടെങ്കിലും ആഡംബര ഭക്ഷ്യശാലകള്‍ മുതല്‍ തട്ടുകടകള്‍ വരെയുള്ള വഴിയോര ഭക്ഷ്യവസ്തു വില്‍പന കേന്ദ്രങ്ങളില്‍വരെ അജിനോമോട്ടോ ചേര്‍ത്ത ഭക്ഷണപദാര്‍ത്ഥങ്ങള്‍ സുലഭമാണ്‌.

Friday, September 20, 2013

ട്രെയിനിലെ ഭക്ഷ്യവിഷബാധ; ആഹാരം ഭക്ഷ്യയോഗ്യമല്ലെന്ന് ലാബ് റിപ്പോര്‍ട്ട്

കാസര്‍കോട്: അജ്മീര്‍ മരുസാഗര്‍ എക്‌സ്പ്രസില്‍ വിതരണം ചെയ്തത് ഭക്ഷ്യയോഗ്യമായ ആഹാരപദാര്‍ഥങ്ങളായിരുന്നില്ലെന്ന് പരിശോധനയില്‍ തെളിഞ്ഞു. കോഴിക്കോട്ടെ ഫുഡ് സേഫ്റ്റി റീജിണല്‍ അനലറ്റിക് ലാബില്‍ നടത്തിയ സാമ്പിള്‍ പരിശോധന ഫലത്തിലാണ് യോഗ്യമായ ഭക്ഷണമല്ല യാത്രക്കാര്‍ക്ക് നല്‍കിയതെന്ന് തെളിഞ്ഞത്. റിപ്പോര്‍ട്ട് കാസര്‍കോട് റെയില്‍വേ പൊലീസിന് ലഭിച്ചു. രോഗകാരിയായ ബാക്ടീരിയ ഭക്ഷണത്തിലുണ്ടായിരുന്നതായി റിപ്പോര്‍ട്ടില്‍ പറയുന്നു. റിപ്പോര്‍ട്ടിന്റെ അടിസ്ഥാനത്തില്‍ ഇവര്‍ക്കെതിരെ തുടര്‍നടപടി സ്വീകരിക്കുന്നത് നിയമവിദഗ്ധരുമായി ആലോചിക്കുമെന്ന് കാസര്‍കോട് റെയില്‍വേ പൊലീസ് പറഞ്ഞു. പാന്‍ട്രി നടത്തിയ എബിസി എന്റര്‍െ്രെപസസിന്റെ ലൈസന്‍സ് റദ്ദാക്കണമെന്നാവശ്യപ്പെട്ട് റെയില്‍വേ ബോര്‍ഡിന് റിപ്പോര്‍ട്ട് സമര്‍പ്പിക്കും. ട്രെയിന്‍ പുറപ്പെട്ട സ്ഥലത്ത് ഭക്ഷണം കഴിച്ചവര്‍ക്കാണ് ഭക്ഷ്യവിഷബാധയേറ്റത്. ഇതുകാരണം കേസ് ചിലപ്പോള്‍ രാജസ്ഥാന്‍ പൊലീസിന് കൈമാറും. ഇക്കാര്യം നിയമവിദഗ്ധരുമായി ആലോചിച്ചേ തീരുമാനിക്കൂ. ആഗസ്ത് 17 നാണ് മരുസാഗര്‍ എക്‌സ്പ്രസില്‍ ഭക്ഷ്യവിഷബാധയേറ്റ് 50 പേരെ ജില്ലയിലെ വിവിധ ആശുപത്രികളില്‍ പ്രവേശിപ്പിച്ചത്. പാന്‍ട്രി കാറില്‍ ഫുഡ് സേഫ്റ്റി ലൈസന്‍സും ജീവനക്കാരുടെ മെഡിക്കല്‍ ഫിറ്റ്‌നസ് സര്‍ടിഫിക്കറ്റും ഉണ്ടായിരുന്നില്ലെന്ന് പ്രാഥമികാന്വേഷണത്തില്‍ തെളിഞ്ഞിരുന്നു. ട്രെയിനില്‍ ഭക്ഷണച്ചുമതലയുണ്ടായിരുന്ന പാന്‍ട്രി ജീവനക്കാര്‍ മുന്‍കൂര്‍ ജാമ്യത്തിനായി തലശേരി സെഷന്‍സ് കോടതിയെ സമീപിച്ചു.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tsunami meat' reporting gets Rs 1 lakh reward

The Bakers Association Kerala (BAKE) has offered a reward of Rs 1 lakh for those who report the presence of ‘Tsunami meat’, which is being sold in Kerala after being brought from Tamil Nadu. The information can be handed over to the BAKE, food safety officer, Corporation/municipality/panchayat health inspectors. BAKE had sumbitted a memorandum to the Excise Fisheries Minister K Babu seeking intervention of the Crime Branch in tracing the sale of Tsunami meat.
State president P M Sankaran, organising secretary Royal Noushad, state secretary A Noushad, state committee member Royal Mohanan were part of signing the memorandum. The public should raise a hue and cry about such meat being sold in the market, the association members stated.
The meat is known as Tsunami meat as it contains meat waste and meat leftovers including cattle head, liver portions and intestine parts. The meat is mixed with good meat and sold at a lesser price.


Kerala’s safety net over street food soon

Street food is an inevitable part of urban living in all metros and cities, anywhere in the world.
The USP of these food-vending units is hot food, served quickly and hassle-free, which one can pick up while on the move.
However, safety, cleanliness and hygiene are aspects of this food business which often go sacrificed, partly because customers never insist on these and vendors themselves are not aware of any specific guidelines they have to follow to ensure food safety.

Mobile joints

The Food Safety wing is now in the process of setting this right, by drawing up a set of guidelines that street food vendors, especially mobile fast food joints, have to follow so that safety and hygiene aspects of the food business are not compromised.
“What we are attempting to do is a branding exercise - those mobile fast food joints which follow the essential food safety guidelines will have our (food safety wing’s) seal of approval. We propose that these mobile vans may sport a uniform colour and a neon display board, sporting the insignia of food safety wing’s approval. In short, this branding becomes the USP of the vendors, while at the same time promoting the concept of food safety among the public,” says Commissioner of Food Safety Biju Prabhakar.

Discussions held

He had already held a preliminary round of discussions with some mobile food business operators, to impress upon them the need to put food safety first and get their feedback on the branding exercise
The proposal will be submitted to city corporations/ municipalities, so that they can own up the programme and ensure its proper implementation, he added.
While there are a handful of these mobile fast food joints in the city, these are not yet ‘legalised’ and the city Corporation has not exactly given them permission or a licence to operate these mobile vending units.
The only stamp of officialdom that these vendors have at present is a food business operator (FBO) registration from the Food Safety wing.
Local bodies will have to step in and issue these vendors a licence or a permit, before the proposed scheme of the Food Safety wing can be implemented.
Though many of these mobile fast food joints do roaring business, often these function from unhygienic premises and from within shabby, rusty vehicles. Clean and safe storage of cooked food, raw food, serving vessels, safe handling of food, safe drinking water and proper waste disposal are all issues which need to be addressed as far as the street food business is concerned.


“We have drawn a 22-point guidelines draft for mobile fast food joints, including a set of basic guidelines which cannot be compromised. Depending on the rate of compliance, we will grade these joints and give our approval. We could even think about discussing with the KSEB on providing these joints power connections with meter at certain designated areas,” Mr. Prabhakar, said.
The attempt is to encourage all vendors to sell safe food rather than discourage them from selling food on the street, he added.
Guidelines proposed
*Mobile fast food joints may be operated only from clean premises, free of open drains.
*The inside of the vehicle, including the floor, used to sell/ cook food should be lined with seamless aluminium or fibreglass sheets that can be cleaned easily.
*Vehicle to be clean, washed daily.
*Food to be stored only in clean, un-dented stainless steel vessels with covers.
*Safe, potable water should be provided as drinking water and for washing hands.
*Food waste and waste water should be collected in vessels and disposed of properly elsewhere.
*Those handling food should necessarily wear clean clothes, head cap, apron and gloves.
*All food handlers should be given training in handling food and should compulsorily avoid smoking/ chewing tobacco during business hours.
*Health certificates must for all food handlers.
*Exhaust fans mandatory. Clean kitchen wipes/clothes to be used.
*Only food-grade plastic covers or aluminium foil for packing food.
*In case food being sold in the van is cooked elsewhere, the place of food preparation should have a registration certificate and fulfil conditions of food safety.
*Meat, egg and poultry should be bought from licensed suppliers and a register of the details of suppliers and the daily supplies should be maintained.
*Use of mini-refrigerator, microwave ovens will be encouraged for food safety.
*Cooked meat and uncooked/ ready-to-be-cooked meat should be clearly separated. These cannot be kept unrefrigerated for more than three hours.
*Temporary clean roofing material should be drawn up if food is cooked outside the van. 

Mumbai faces shortage of food safety officers

Even as Maharashtra is ahead of other states in maintaining food safety standards under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 and regulations 2011, it is facing an acute manpower crunch of food safety officers (FSO) in Mumbai and hence has roped in 33 FSOs from local bodies across the state.
“It’s a challenging task to implement the act. The money spent by the government on the medical bill will be reduced by its effective implementation,” said Pradip Chakraborty, director IEC, FSSAI, while speaking at the third National Health Writers and Editors’ convention organised by Heal Foundation recently.
According to Mahesh Zagade, till August this year, the FDA had recorded data of 3.98 lakh food business officers (FBO) out of which approximately 1.25 lakh are licence holders and 2.72 lakh are registered. Around `75 crore has been collected from them.
The ones who have their annual turnover above `12 lakh need a licence, while those with turnover below that are registered, including street vendors. “We have conducted workshops to educate and train them. Till now, we have also prosecuted 1,600 FBOs, including around 800 for selling gutka,” added another official.
The official said there are only 204 FSOs for Maharashtra with districts like Gondia and Gadchiroli having less than four FSOs. Mumbai has just 17 FSOs out of the sanctioned strength of 66. “There needs to be one FSO for a 1,000 vendors which simply means the number of sanctioned strength needs to increase over two-fold,” he added.
The FDA has written to the state government in this regard. Meanwhile, 33 FSOs from local bodies across Maharashtra have been roped in. The FDA plans to set international food standards for Mumbai and will start with FBOs at Juhu and Girgaum beaches soon.

Ice cream Vs. Frozen dessert - The chilling truth

Ice cream Vs. Frozen dessert - The chilling truthAs a consumer, whether I am buying a shirt that claims to be linen, or whether it's a face cream, I like to know whether I am getting my money's worth. And it's no different when it comes to food.  So how do you think I felt when I got a carton of ice cream and in a small, inconspicuous corner, I see the label - frozen dessert. And it only got worse from there.

Today, in India, frozen dessert has taken over as much as 40% of the ice cream segment. Is that such a bad thing?

Before going into great detail, the big difference between ice cream and frozen dessert is this. Frozen desserts are made with vegetable oil. Also, this is usually the vegetable oil that we want to avoid in our diet like coconut oil or palm oil. Ice-cream on the other hand, is mainly made from milk and dairy fat.
To do a fair comparison, I randomly picked up a box from each - a frozen dessert and an ice cream carton. Here is what I saw.

The Label Comparison

Ice Cream

Claim: Labels it as Ice Cream on the top of the carton.

Ingredients: Water, milk, solids, sugar, permitted stabilizing and emulsifying agents (412, 410, 407, 471, 466). Contains added vanilla flavors (artificial flavoring substances).

Frozen Dessert

Claim: The larger font says - Creamy Delights: Strawberry. In a corner on the side of the box, it says - Frozen Dessert.

Ingredient List: Water, sugar, milk solids, edible vegetable oil, liquid glucose, vegetable protein, emulsifier - 471, stabilizers - 410, 412, 407 Acidity regulator - 330. Contains permitted synthetic food colors and added flavors. Nature identical and artificial milk and strawberry flavoring substances.

Case filed against tea manufacturer

In a first step towards initiating legal action against those involved in manufacturing and distributing of misbranded and unsafe tea powder, officials of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India filed a case in the Omalur court here on Tuesday.
The accused were mentioned as vendor V. Selvam of Omalur, his wife S. Bagyalakshmi, who is the licence holder and the manufacture V. Nibhana of Ayanavaram, Chennai. A case was filed on behalf the FSSAI under Section 52 (misbranding) and 59 (unsafe) of The Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
Adulterated tea powder
A team led by T. Anuradha, District Designated Officer, Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Administration Department, during an inspection in Omalur found 250 kg of adulterated tea powder packets kept for distribution in the region.
Samples confirmed
Samples confirmed that the tea powder was unsafe for human consumption and notice was served to the three. If they were found guilty for misbranding, they would be liable to a penalty of less than Rs. 3 lakh and if found guilty for distributing unsafe food, they would be served with six months imprisonment and Rs. 1 lakh. This is the first case to be registered in a court of law for initiating action under the act since implementation, authorities concerned said. 

ഭക്ഷ്യ സുരക്ഷാ ജോ. കമ്മീഷണര്‍ക്ക് ദുബായ് മുനിസിപ്പാലിറ്റിയുടെ അംഗീകാരം

തിരുവനന്തപുരം: ഭക്ഷ്യ സുരക്ഷാ ജോയിന്റ് കമ്മീഷണര്‍ കെ. അനില്‍കുമാറിന് ദുബായ് മുനിസിപ്പാലിറ്റിയുടെ അംഗീകാരം. കെ. അനില്‍ കുമാര്‍ മലയാളത്തില്‍ തയാറാക്കിയ ഭക്ഷ്യ സുരക്ഷ സംബന്ധിച്ച കൈപ്പുസ്തകം കേരളത്തില്‍ നിന്ന് ദുബായിലെത്തി ഭക്ഷ്യമേഖലയില്‍ പ്രവര്‍ത്തിക്കുന്നവര്‍ക്ക് ഉപയോഗപ്രദമായിട്ടുണ്ട്. ഇത് ദുബായ് മുനിസിപ്പാലിറ്റിയുടെ ഭക്ഷ്യ സുരക്ഷാ പ്രവര്‍ത്തനങ്ങള്‍ക്ക് കൂടുതല്‍ സഹായകരമാകും എന്ന സാഹചര്യത്തിലാണ് അനില്‍കുമാറിന് അംഗീകാരം നല്‍കുന്നതെന്ന് ദുബായ് മുനിസിപ്പാലിറ്റി ഫുഡ് കണ്‍ട്രോള്‍ ഡിപ്പാര്‍ട്ടുമെന്റ് ഡയറക്ടര്‍ ഖാലിദ് മുഹമ്മദ് ഷെരീഫ് അല്‍ അവാധിയുടെ അറിയിപ്പില്‍ പറയുന്നു. ഒക്ടോബര്‍ 10ന് ദുബായ് നഗരസഭാ ഓഫീസില്‍ നടക്കുന്ന ചടങ്ങില്‍ അനില്‍കുമാറിന് അവാര്‍ഡ് സമ്മാനിക്കും

Friday, September 13, 2013

Food Adulteration And How It Affects You (Part 1)

Food Adulteration And How It Affects You (Part 2)

Dead snake found in Green Peas Curry at Kerala

6 more tonnes of gutka seized in Chennai

The banned substance was seized during a routine vehicle check near Vaidyanathan bridge.A routine vehicle check during a traffic jam led to the seizure of nearly 6 tonnes of banned chewable tobacco products from a lorry near Vaidiyanathan bridge on Ennore High Road in Tondiarpet on Thursday. The seizure was the second such instance in less than a month after the consignment confiscated near the bridge on August 12. However, the volume of the seizure this time was almost double that of the previous occasion.
Police said that the consignment might have been heading to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, where there is no ban in place, via Chennai port.
On Thursday, around 1 p.m., a team of policemen from the R.K. Nagar police was checking vehicles amidst the chaotic traffic. They stopped a lorry bearing a Tamil Nadu licence plate and found gutka packed in 160 gunny bags, each containing 40 kg of the banned product. The police immediately seized the vehicle and questioned the driver, M. Aruldoss (40), a resident of New Washermenpet. During the interrogation, the driver stated that the consignment was being transported from a warehouse in Tondiarpet to Mint Street in north Chennai. However, police officers expressed doubts regarding his account and said that it was unlikely that the consignment was being transported across such a short distance, that too within the city limits where there is a ban on the transport and sale of gutka. Police officials suspected that the consignment was instead being transported to the islands.
The police then informed officials of the Food Safety and Drug Administration department. A team of food safety inspectors led by S. Elagovan took possession of the banned products and the vehicle.
“The seized products will be destroyed at the Kodungaiyur dumping yard along with another tonne of gutka that was seized from Sowcarpet last week,” said an official. The Tamil Nadu government banned the manufacture, storage, distribution and sale of carcinogenic chewable forms of tobacco in May. Ever since, the contraband has been smuggled into the city through various means. On August 3, officials seized over 16 tonnes of products at Central Railway station on a train that had come in from Nizamuddin.

Medical college patient gets dead snake in curry

THIRUVANATHAPURAM: A woman got the shock of her life on Wednesday morning when she found an unusual and nauseating ingredient in her pea curry: a dead snake hatchling.
The finding led to the closure of the Medical College Teachers' Co-operative Society canteen, which served the dish. After finding worms and millipedes from food items, it is the turn of snake.
The dead snake was found in the appam-curry set ordered (as parcel) by a patient at Medical College hospital here for the breakfast.Food safety officials closed down Medical College Teachers' Co-operative Society canteen following a complaint.
Nedumangadu-based V Omana found the snake in the curry only after her son ate some portion of the curry and left the rest for her. Shocked to see the worm-like creature in the curry, Omana approached a doctor at the hospital. The doctor informed that it was a young snake. Soon, Omana informed food safety officials.
The food safety wing led by Satish Kumar collected the samples and sent them to laboratory. "It looked like a worm at first. Later we confirmed that it was a young snake. We have inspected the canteen and sealed it. The samples and the snake were sent to laboratory for analysis," Satish Kumar said.
A food safety official said that the matter was serious and they won't allow the canteen to open. "Once we get the lab report, we will file a detailed report to food safety commissioner and Medical College superintend," the official said.
Barring the mental shock, Omana and her son did not complain of any health problems, the official said.
A senior doctor at the Medical College hospital said that some private parties were functioning under the name of Medical College teachers' society, but the teachers had no role in it.
"A number of unauthorised canteens is functioning on the campus. Most of them function with the support of local politicians. When Usha Titus was the special health secretary, some steps were taken to regularise canteens. The Medical College Teachers' Co-operative Society has nothing to do with Medical College teachers. Some local politicians are behind the canteen. The Medical College is planning to give IRCTC the contract to run the canteen on the campus," said a doctor on condition of anonymity.
The canteen was functioning near the old superintend office on the campus. The food safety official said the hygienic condition of the canteen and the premises was not satisfactory.

Meat seizure could blow up in civic body's face

Did the corporation blow the chances of nailing a stale meat seller by playing the lone ranger?
It seems so. A senior official of the Food Safety Authority has come out against the recent seizure and sampling of 1000kg of suspected stale meat by the civic authorities. A senior official of the Food Safety Authority said the corporation officials didn’t have any legal authority for collecting food samples, calling it an “unauthorised act”. Going by the provisions of the Food Safety Act, only a qualified food safety officer can collect food samples. Certain mandatory procedures will also have to be followed for collecting statutory food samples. The samples collected in violation of the provisions of the Act will not have any legal backing.“There are chances that such cases could fall flat in courts when the procedural formalities are flouted,” he said. The corporation authorities had been inspecting hotels and collecting food samples by invoking the provisions of the Travancore-Cochin Public Health Act 1954. But with the enactment of the Food Safety and Standards Act, only the Food Safety Authority officials can act and collect samples in these cases. With the new legislation coming into play, the role of the civic authorities had been bracketed into checking sanitary and hygienic conditions in eateries, he said. Considering the legal implications of the Act, the corporation officials should share intelligence and plan joint operations for curbing the sale of low quality foodstuff in the city, he said. The secretary of the Kochi Corporation wrote to the Food Safety Commissioner on Wednesday requesting the Authority to take up the case.
The officials of the Authority were sceptical about the outcome of the case as sampling was not done as prescribed by law. A health official of the corporation said the meat samples were collected in the presence of a veterinary doctor of the civic body. The non-availability of the officials of the Food Safety Authority for collecting food samples had been a drag on the efforts of the civic body.Recently, a health official and the chairman of the Health Standing Committee of the corporation had to wait at a hotel for nearly two hours for the Food Safety Authority officials to arrive and collect samples. The Kochi corporation would take into account the concerns raised by the Food Safety Authority officials regarding sampling and seizure of stale food, the civic administrator said.

Two TN ghee brands banned by food safety department

KOCHI: The food safety department on Wednesday banned two brands of ghee for substandard quality. According to officials of the department, the banned brands are A1 SKG Ghee and Amritham Pure Ghee, both manufactured by Tamil Nadu-based companies. The squads had collected samples of these brands from Tripunithura and Muvattupuzha during an inspection on September 5. They were later sent for lab tests, which proved that ghee of both the brands were of substandard quality. Based on the lab tests, food safety commissioner Biju Prabhakar issued orders banning the brands.
Storing and selling these banned brands would invite punishment including imprisonment up to six months or fine up to Rs 2 lakh, officials said. The department had begun intensive checks in the wake of huge demand arising during the Onam season. "We have already collected samples of milk from different parts of the district, which have been sent for lab tests to be conducted at the regional analytical laboratory at Kakkanad. Besides, tests will also be conducted by a government accredited laboratory," said an official of the food safety department. Routine checks and collection of samples will be conducted till the weekend, the official added.As the milk production in the state is not sufficient to meet the demand, milk is being brought from other states such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra. There are as many as 316 registered cooperative societies in the district involved in the production and procurement of milk.

റേഷന്‍കടയിലെ ആട്ടപ്പൊടിയില്‍ രക്തക്കറ പുരണ്ട ബാന്‍ഡേജ്‌

പെരുമ്പിലാവ്: റേഷന്‍കടയില്‍ നിന്ന് വാങ്ങിയ ആട്ടപ്പൊടിയില്‍ രക്തക്കറയുള്ള ബാന്‍ഡേജ് കണ്ടെത്തി. പെരുമ്പിലാവ് ആല്‍ത്തറയില്‍ പ്രവര്‍ത്തിക്കുന്ന റേഷന്‍കടയില്‍ നിന്നുവാങ്ങിയ ആട്ടപ്പൊടിയില്‍ നിന്ന് ആല്‍ത്തറ കൊച്ചുമണ്ണില്‍ കാര്‍ത്ത്യായനിക്കാണ് ശനിയാഴ്ച ബാന്‍ഡേജ് ലഭിച്ചത്. സപ്ലൈകോയുടെ ലേബലോടുകൂടിയ പാക്കറ്റില്‍ ഉള്ളതാണ് ആട്ടപ്പൊടി. ചൊവ്വാഴ്ച രാവിലെ ഭക്ഷണം പാചകം ചെയ്യാന്‍ പാക്കറ്റ് പൊട്ടിച്ചപ്പോഴാണ് ഉപയോഗിച്ച രക്തക്കറയുള്ള ബാന്‍ഡേജ് കണ്ടത്. ഫുഡ് ആന്‍ഡ് സേഫ്റ്റി അധികൃതര്‍ സ്ഥലത്തെത്തി പരിശോധന നടത്തി.

സുനാമി ഇറച്ചി വില്‌പന: ജാമ്യമില്ലാ വകുപ്പില്‍ പള്ളുരുത്തി പോലീസ് കേസെടുത്തു

പള്ളുരുത്തി: കൊച്ചി നഗരത്തില്‍ സുനാമി ഇറച്ചി ശേഖരിച്ച് വില്പന നടത്തുവാന്‍ ശ്രമിച്ചയാള്‍ക്കെതിരെ ജാമ്യമില്ലാ വകുപ്പുകള്‍ ചുമത്തി പള്ളുരുത്തി പോലീസ് കേസെടുത്തു. പള്ളുരുത്തി ആനക്കുഴിയില്‍, കൊച്ചുകോയ (48)യ്‌ക്കെതിരെയാണ് കേസെടുത്തത്. പത്തുവര്‍ഷം വരെ ശിക്ഷ ലഭിക്കാവുന്ന കേസാണ് ചുമത്തിയിട്ടുള്ളതെന്ന് പോലീസ് പറഞ്ഞു. കഴിഞ്ഞ ഏഴിനാണ് 1000 കിലോഗ്രാം സുനാമി ഇറച്ചി ഇടക്കൊച്ചിയില്‍ പീലിങ് ഷെഡ്ഡില്‍നിന്ന് പെട്ടി ഓട്ടോറിക്ഷയില്‍ കയറ്റുന്നതിനിടയില്‍ നഗരസഭാധികൃതര്‍ പിടികൂടിയത്. പഴകിയ ഇറച്ചിയില്‍ അപകടകരമായ വിധത്തില്‍ രാസ പദാര്‍ഥങ്ങളും ചേര്‍ത്തിരുന്നു. എന്നാല്‍ നഗരസഭയുടെ ആരോഗ്യവിഭാഗം ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥര്‍ നേരിട്ട് കേസെടുക്കുമെന്ന് ആദ്യം പറഞ്ഞുവെങ്കിലും അതു നടന്നില്ല. ഇതിനിടയില്‍ ഇറച്ചി നശിപ്പിച്ചു കളഞ്ഞു. തെളിവില്ലാത്തതിനാല്‍ കേസ് ഏറ്റെടുക്കാന്‍ ഫുഡ് സേഫ്റ്റി വിഭാഗം ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥരും തയ്യാറായില്ല. തുടര്‍ന്ന് ക്രിമിനല്‍ നടപടികള്‍ക്കായി നഗരസഭാ അധികൃതര്‍ പോലീസിനെ സമീപിക്കുകയായിരുന്നു. ഇറച്ചി പിടികൂടിയ നഗരസഭാ ഹെല്‍ത്ത് സൂപ്പര്‍വൈസര്‍ ബീനയില്‍ നിന്ന് സ്റ്റേറ്റ്‌മെന്‍റ് എടുത്ത ശേഷമാണ്‌പോലീസ് നടപടികള്‍ തുടങ്ങിയത്. ഇറച്ചിയുടെ സാമ്പിള്‍ പരിശോധനയ്ക്ക് അയച്ചതായി നഗരസഭാധികൃതര്‍ പോലീസിനോട് പറഞ്ഞിട്ടുണ്ട്. അതേസമയം യഥാസമയത്ത് പോലീസിന് പരാതി നല്‍കാതിരുന്നതിനാല്‍ ശരിയായ രീതിയിലുള്ള നടപടിക്രമങ്ങള്‍ യഥാസമയത്ത് പൂര്‍ത്തിയാക്കുവാന്‍ പോലീസിനു കഴിഞ്ഞിട്ടില്ല. എന്നാല്‍ നിയമോപദേശം തേടിയശേഷമാണ് കേസെടുത്തതെന്ന് പോലീസ് പറഞ്ഞു. ആദ്യഘട്ട അന്വേഷണത്തിനുശേഷം അറസ്റ്റ് ഉണ്ടാകുമെന്നും പോലീസ് പറഞ്ഞു.