Alert on milk, water, edible oil packs issued in India
Indian food safety regulator has issued countrywide alert on adulteration of food items specially packed products like milk, water, oil, reported The Times of India.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) asked all states to keep a strict watch on milk, packaged drinking water and edible oils.
It has also asked all food safety commissioners to "increase surveillance activities" with a special focus on these packaged products, TOI said quoting an official source.
Countrywide alert on milk, water, edible oil packs http://t.co/tXVVQuFtFz
— Times of India (@timesofindia) June 22, 2015
The central regulator has also asked food commissioners across the country to collect more samples of these products and send them for comprehensive testing, the official said, adding the directives were given to food safety enforcement agencies in a recent meeting.
"State food departments have been asked to be more vigilant and to increase surveillance activities, especially on milk, water and edible oil. Serious violations of labeling requirements have been observed," the official said.
Several packaged food products including instant noodles, pasta and macaroni have already come under stringent scrutiny of the FSSAI in the past one month. While the regulator ordered countrywide recall and withdrawal of all nine variants of Nestle's Maggi instant noodles on finding added monosodium glutamate (MSG) and excess of lead than the prescribed limit, letters were also sent to companies like Kellogg's and Heinz asking them to explain labeling etc.
Recently, the UP food safety regulator had raised an alarm on allegedly finding detergent in samples of milk produced by Mother Dairy. However, the company denied the charges saying the it conducts "stringent quality tests", and the substandard milk was wrongly attributed to it.
According to sources, in its recent meeting the FSSAI has raised concerns that companies are not following the standards and labeling requirements as per law and consumers are being misled about these products through their packaging and endorsement.
Asking states to create "consumer awareness" on food adulteration, FSSAI has directed food inspectors to keep a close watch on products that are consumed in "large quantities" by large segments of the population.
Though the official said instructions were not given for specific brands and samples will be collected by food inspectors on a random basis, of late the regulator has cracked the whip on various leading brands while rejecting approvals to number of products from Tata Starbucks, Nestle, Ranbaxy and others.