Jaundice Scare at Shimla

In the last 60 hours, 10 people have been reported with jaundice, with three deaths.


In December, last year, the first case of jaundice was reported in Shimla. At that time, no one could have imagined the extent to which the situation that has arrived now. In the last 60 hours, 10 people have been reported with jaundice, with three deaths. 

On Saturday morning, Shimla woke up to the news of the death of Jagdish Vats, a leading High Court lawyer who was referred to PGI Chandigarh three days back after being diagnosed with jaundice. Although he was put on ventilator at PGI Chandigarh, he died today morning. 25-year old Surpiya, wife of Raman Jamalta, a young lawyer, and another lawyer Rakesh Chandel have also fallen victims to the disease causing serious anger among the lawyers community, which now proposes to take up the issue with the State High Court through a PIL.

Water samples collected by National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune have confirmed the presence of a dangerous virus in the water which was being supplied to the citizens from Ashwani Khad source. Experts have written to the state government saying the virus has origins in untreated sewage.

Jaundice symptoms
Jaundice symptoms

Source: Indian Express

School Kids Die Due To Presence of Insecticides In Mid-Day Meal; Presence of Organophophates


In an unfortunate event in Bihar, the mid-day meal for 21 children, consisting of Rice, Beans and Potato curry, became the last meal for them. Another two dozen kids were admitted to hospital in Patna. It was found that a poisonous insecticide Organophosphate was found in the meal. India has a national school lunch program, serving free meals to 120 million children in its 73,000 schools. In Bihar alone, 20 million receive the free meals. The Supreme Court of India ordered school lunches be provided in 2001, and the program has since grown into the world’s largest.

While popular with the children and credited with increasing school attendance, delivery of school lunches in India is complicated. Charities and non-government organizations along with local politicians are all involved, sometimes resulting in fraud and poor quality meals.

Provincial police are investigating the deaths and the school’s headmistress has gone into hiding, according to local news reports.

Source: Food Safety News

Junk Food At Schools Under FSSAI Scanner


The food regulatory authority of India, FSSAI has now brought Junk Foods under its scanner, and issued a list of guidelines to all the schools over its website. As per the drafted guidelines, country’s top food regulator is set to restrict consumption and availability of junk food in schools. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued draft guidelines on availability of wholesome and nutritious food in schools to control junk food consumption among children. (Official PDF Here)

Under the draft guidelines, which were first submitted to the court last year, food high in fat, salt or sugar will not be sold within 50 metres of a school’s premises.(Business Insider)

No Junk Food In Schools Now On

The objective of releasing this document is to provide wholesome, nutritional, hygienic and safe healthy food to the students across the 14 lakh schools in India. The lack of availability of balanced diet, nutritional food, awareness about food safety coupled with lack of physical activity among the school kids is the main central cause of many health related issues among school kids.

Read Also: Baba Makes his own version with Maggi

A healthy lifestyle is cornerstone of good health, physical fitness, energy and reduced risk for disease. It is based on the choices one makes about his or her daily habits. Good nutrition, daily exercise and adequate sleep are the foundations for continuing health lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle includes diet based on balance, variety and moderation coupled with regular physical activity commensurate with one’s age, gender and body constitution. As  per  “Dietary Guidelines  for  Indians,  2011”   by National  Institute  of  Nutrition  (NIN),  a balanced diet is one which provides all nutrients in required amounts and proper proportions. It should provide around 50-60% of total calories from carbohydrates, preferably from complex carbohydrates, about 10-15% from proteins and 20-30% from both visible and invisible fat. In addition, it should provide other non-nutrients such as dietary fibre, antioxidants, which bestow positive health benefits.

Read Also: Why We Crave For McDonald’s Food

Childhood  obesity

Childhood  obesity  is one  of  the  most  serious  public  health challenges  of the  21st  century. Overweight children are likely to become obese adults. As per WHO, about 44% of the diabetes burden and  23%  of  the  CYD  burden  is attributable to  overweight  and  obesity.  Overweight children are more likely than non-overweight children to develop insulin resistance, hyper­ insulinemia, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age, which in turn are associated with a higher chance of premature death and disability”.

Diabetes and pediatric metabolic syndrome

Type  2 diabetes   which  is very  common  in adults  is now  increasingly   being  reported   in children. The  leading  risk factor  for kids  is being  overweight,   often  connected   with an unhealthy  diet  and lack of physical  activity.  According   to a study  done  by  Dr Anoop  Mishra  et alan   post  pubertal Indian  children,   67%  males  with  high  BMI  were  found  to have  insulin  resistance  while  overall prevalence   was  about   22%   in  males   and  36%   in females IS.    As per the Diabetes Atlas 2006 published by the International Diabetes Federation, the number of people with diabetes in India is around 40.9 million and is expected to rise to 69.9 million by 2025 unless urgent preventive steps are taken.

Read Also: How safe is our food?

Guidelines Drafted by FSSAI

  1. Restrict  / Limit  the Availability  of most common High Fat Sugar and Salt (HFSS) Foods in Schools and area within 50 meters.
  2. Develop  a  Canteen   Policy  to  provide   Nutritious,   Wholesome  and  Healthy   Food  in Schools.
  3. Regulate  Promotion  of ‘HFSS  Food’ among School Children.
  4. Food  Safety  and  Standards   Authority  of India  should  consider  reviewing  the Labeling Regulations  to enable disclosure  of all Relevant  Information.
  5. Establish  Stringent  Limits for Unhealthy  Ingredients.
  6. Encourage  Physical Activity by School Children.

Watch: How to protect food and make it last longer?

Haldiram Snacks Rejected by US FDA


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 FSSAIHaldiram Snacks

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

Research Paper: Study on Nutritional Efficacy of Pineapple Juice in the Treatment of Bronchial Asthma


Dr. Sujata Pandit, Head of The Department, Research and Development Department, along with Mr. Dr.Brajbhushan, Chief Medical Officer Balaji Nirogdham came up with a research paper on : Study on Nutritional Efficacy of Pineapple Juice in the Treatment of Bronchial Asthma

The paper was published in the month of January 2015, and can be view at: Study on Nutritional Efficacy of Pineapple Juice in the Treatment of Bronchial Asthma

The file can be downloaded from : Paper (pdf)

Abstract- The role of diet in the development of disease reported by many studies. The present study investigates the nutritional efficacy of pineapple juice in the treatment of Bronchial Asthma. This study has been conducted in a Nature cure and Yoga center, namely Hilltake Health Homes Pvt. Ltd. at Sanga, Bhaktapur, Delhi. Eighty-two (41 Male and 41 Female) subjects suffering with bronchial asthma were randomly allocated into the case and control groups. Forty-one subjects aged 30.22 (± 6.08) years formed the intervention group, while remaining forty-one subjects aged 32.15 (± 9.57) years constituted as control group. The general profile, medical and family history of the subject was obtained through a questionnaire cum Interview method. Intervention group was given with 100ml of pineapple juice diluted with 100ml of portable water, while the control group was given with 100ml of sweet lime juice diluted with 100ml portable water, twice a day for 90 days. Data collection was performed using a diurnal peak flow meter chart (every 10th day), a composite daily asthma score and BMI calculator (1st and 90th day). After the completion of 3 months (90 days) the results were analyzed using Microsoft Excel software. Pineapple juice significantly improved the PEFR values as well as helps in weight reduction in asthmatics, when provided in conjunction with positive lifestyle changes like yoga, breathing exercises, smoking cessation, massages etc.

Delhi Restaurants: Get licensed, or get Punished!


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?

Delhi Restaurants

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.

FSSAI To Stop Product Approvals


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.

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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.

Mother Dairy Bites the Dust


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!

“Ban Alcohol First”


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