The US FDA has reportedly rejected multiple snack items coming over from India. The concern was risen soon after the ban on Maggi Noodles from Nestle in India, with concerns over high level of lead and MSG content. The number of food items banned in this period has been highest against food products coming from India.
Read More About: Starbucks and Other Food Items Banned by FSSAI
FDA first found pesticides in Haldiram’s products in September 2014 and has since refused imports of the company’s products 86 times. Among the products rejected have been Haldiram brand cookies, biscuits and wafers. (source: Food Safety News)
During the first five months of this year, FDA reportedly has rejected more snack imports from India than from any other country. The main reasons given were high pesticide levels, mold and Salmonella bacteria.
Read About: Food Contamination and Science of Microbiology in Food
Video: How safe is your food?
Haldiram spokesperson said
“A pesticide that is permitted in India may not be allowed there. And even if it is, they may not allow it in the same concentration as it is here,”
It is time we focussed our food manufacturing standards, and take them to the international levels of quality and safety. After all, our food represents our country, and our quality standards.
Read More: Delhi Restaurants Require License Now
The Delhi Government is now adopting a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to maintaining food safety and security for the end consumers. All the restaurants in the national capital will now have to register themselves with the Delhi Government and get a food safety license within ONE MONTH.
No kind of adulteration shall be tolerated by the Delhi Government, said the Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain. Another top Delhi Government official said (source: TOI)
It will now be mandatory for all restaurants and hotels in the national capital to register and get food safety licences within one month, through a simplified online process
READ ALSO: Adulteration in Sweets
Section 31 (1) the Food Safety and Standards Act clearly states that “No person shall commence or carry on any food business except under a licence.”
The food safety commissioner, Ms.Mrinalini Darswal said, “up to six months imprisonment and Rs.5 lakh fine will be awarded on those running restaurants and hotels without food safety licences.” She said all restaurants and hotels applying for food safety licences will get it through a simplified online process. Applicants can apply online and the department will process their applications and send them their licences on e-mail.
WATCH: How To Protect Food?
According to the proposed policy, any food vendor, inclusive of roadside eateries, restaurants, hotels and food processors, with a turnover of up to Rs 12 lakh a year has to register themselves with the government. Those with larger turnover will have to obtain a licence from the government. A one-year registration will cost vendors Rs100. The licence, however, is expected to range from Rs 2,000 to Rs 7,500. The government said that the act aimed at ensuring that street food vendors observe better standards of hygiene.
Once the policy is notified, anyone found defaulting will have to either close down the business or shell out heavy penalties ranging from Rs 25,000 to Rs 10 lakh depending upon the gravity of the offence.
The science of microbiology in food
Microscopic organisms in food could be a single cell, multiple cell or have no cells at all. Microorganisms play an important role in our surroundings as all humans, plants and animals contain these organisms. Since microorganisms can survive extreme temperatures they can contaminate foods products and can become harmful if they multiply in large numbers and enter the human body through foods. They are responsible for foodborne diseases like typhoid, amoebiasis, botulism, cholera, dysentery etc. Testing of foods so that microbiological organisms are well within the permissible levels is required as per regulations.
(source: Food Safety Helpline)
In a publication, dated 26th August 2015, the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India has stated that it is no longer possible for them to continue with the existing Food Product Approval System. The process of product approval has been into action through their advisory of 11 May 2013. The FSSAI has published this information in view of the Supreme Court Order dated 19 August 2015. The Apex court has upheld the order of Bombay High Court decision on quashing the advisory that FSSAI had issued on the procedure for product approvals. (source : Food Safety Helpline). The process of product approval was brought to allow streamlining of the entire process of approving the food which is not standardized for the safety of the public.
Food Safety experts say; around the globe product approval is not required to launch products. If FSSAI still feels the need for a product approval system it can only be possible by an Act of Parliament and not through an advisory. However, experts are still awaiting clarifications as right now there is no way to ascertain if food companies are free to launch new products or not. Some experts opine that perhaps new product launches may not be permitted until regulations are in place.
Just about a month back, Mother Dairy was in news for all the wrong reasons, having failed tests where it was found that the milk samples contained detergents. And now, Ghaziabad FDA has again failed some milk samples.
A Kolkata based central laboratory had recently sent milk samples (fullcream and toned) to the Ghaziabad FDA for retesting, and it was found that the milk samples this time not only contained detergents, but also contained frozen fats.
District FDA teams had collected samples of “full cream milk” on January 11 from a Mother Dairy booth situated at H-Block in Govindpuram, while samples of toned milk were collected on January 30 from the booth situated at 100 feet road in Loni, in the district, he said.
A report from ABP News is here below:
Also Read : Is milk safer than milk powder?
In the past, there have been certain issues reported regarding Mother Dairy’s probiotic milk as well. It seems the food safety is now being taken care of, and very strictly, as many products have been put away from shelves recently under FSSAI norms and guidelines!
During proceedings on Wednesday, in regard to the ban on the Nestle product, Bombay Highcourt, it was concurred that NO ALCOHOL in India has received any product approval by the food safety regulator. Yet, it is being sold without any ban.
“The first thing that you should ban is alcohol. Nowadays, even schoolchildren have started consuming alcohol. It is injurious to health and is a food product. Cigarette is not because it does not fall in the category of food products,” said Justices V M Kanade and B P Colabawalla after the counsel of food safety regulator — Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) — defended the ban on Maggi noodles saying it was injurious to health.
Technically, alcohols fall under the category of Food Products. However, the same could not be done in the case of cigarettes or any other tobacco products, as they do not fall under the above mentioned category.
The hearing on Wednesday, 22nd July 2015, was to judge whether any action taken by the government, was arbitrary or was it justified. Nestle, obviously standing against the ban said that the ban was imposed merely on the basis of suspicion. Nestle cried foul, as many labs that tested the 2-minute noodles were not even accredited.
However the defence (state) claims that the said that Nestle India was giving an “erroneous impression” by putting a “no MSG (monosodium glutamate)” label on its products. A high content of MSG became the bone of contention over which Maggi noodles was banned on June 5.
According to the Indian Express:
The court also said that it was time to put section 22 of the Food Safety Act to test. The said section deals with all such food items that are banned unless the food regulator approves it. Section 22 of the Act states: “Save as otherwise provided under this Act and regulations made thereunder, no person shall manufacture, distribute, sell or import any novel food, genetically modified articles of food, irradiated food, organic foods, foods for special dietary uses, functional foods, neutraceuticals, health supplements, proprietary foods and such other articles of food which the central government may notify in this behalf.”
–See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/maggi-ban-alcohol-should-be-banned-first-as-it-is-injurious-to-health-says-high-court/#sthash.kvC1R5yb.dpuf
And FSSAI strikes again!
In another development, it seems that FSSAI is now in action in full power. It seems to be taking alcoholic beverages under its list of standards to monitor the quality that is inflowing for its consumers.
A senior official told PTI :
Work is going on to prepare standards for alcohol and alcoholic beverages, in next two months the FSSAI will come up with draft notification seeking comments from the public
Among the drinks, whiskey, vodka, gin, beer and even breezer will come under the proposed standards, the official said.
According to NDTV:
Earlier this year, a meeting of the Central Advisory Committee had also discussed having standards for alcohol and alcoholic beverages. It was decided that once standards for alcohol and alcoholic beverages were finalised it shall be intimated to all states and UTs so that they may suitably advise the respective excise departments.
As the trend is going on, it seems that India is going to witness international levels of food standards soon, which is a great news to all the consumers, and to keep them healthy and aware of what they consume.
Recently, there have been loud whispers about the presence of MSG and Lead in the famous Maggi Noodles, a Nestle product. Many individual labs tested the 2-minute noodle and found it to be carrying MSG and lead in high levels. People seem pretty upset about its presence, but the big question is, what exactly is MSG?
Assocham India has issued an advertisement in a national daily, Times of India, speaking about the Truth about MSG.
1. What does MSG stand for?
Mono Sodium Glutamate
2. What is Glutamate?
Glutamate is a naturally occurring substance in common foods such as milk, vegetables including tomato, corn, onion, green peas, cabbage, spinach, potato, mushroom, wheat flour, cheese and even mother’s milk.
3. What is MSG?
- A flavour enhancer and one of the many forms of glutamate.
- Mono sodium glutamate is a permitted additive under India law in many foods.
- Even if MSG has not been added, a product may show a presence of glutamate due to its natural occurrence in ingredients used in the product. The presence of glutamate in food products is usually interpreted as MSG.
- MSG is also generally recognised as safe by International bodies such as WHO, UNFAO and USFDA.
4. What do regulations say?
- If MSG is added to products, manufacturers must declare the same in labels.
- Manufacturers who do not add MSG to their products used to state “No Added MSG” in their labels, as per industry practice. However, given a recent FSSAI opinion, the industry is taking action to remove this phrase also from the new packagings, and consumers are being notified accordingly.