In a drive against the adulteration of edible oils, the Food and Drug Administration between August 31 to September 8, seized as many as 96 food samples worth Rs 7 lakhs.
Of the 96 samples, 51 samples of sweets, six samples of snacks, seven samples of edible oil, 10 samples of ghee and vegetable oil, and 22 other product samples were collected during the drive till September 8. Officials said the seized samples will be sent to laboratories for further quality tests.
This comes after the FDA started a drive against adulteration of edible oils and multi-source edible oils, which are used during festival season. These samples have been sent to laboratories to check on such substandard quality practices.
Edible oil is sold in large quantities during festivals. During this period, adulterated oil is also sold in the market in a huge amount and hence to put a stop to this, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in New Delhi ordered the FDA to take action against those selling adulterated oil.
"Before the festive season we had started the campaign and we began to collect samples of sweets, snacks, ghee and edible oil sold in the market for quality check purposes. The drive mainly focuses on identifying and checking adulterated or substandard quality edible oils used to make food items, sweets," said an official.
Shashikant Kenkre, Joint Commissioner, Food (Mumbai region), said they had issued guidelines for the customers buying sweets. Besides sweets and oils, chocolate and tea powders were seized for suspecting substandard quality products across the city.
According to the FDA data, around 2,400 litres of edible oil worth Rs 4,84,822 was seized by the FDA during the drive for suspecting substandard quality and samples are sent for analysis. Moreover, Poor quality chocolates and tea powder worth Rs 2,20,660 were also seized.
"Every year, we conduct a special drive to check the quality of foods, sweets and other eating products used during the festive season. This time from August 31 until September 8 we have seized 96 samples and these will be sent to laboratories for analysis strict action would be taken against those found involved in adulteration and also against the officers who have been negligent during the drive," said the Joint Commissioner.
According to the FDA officials, sweets and snacks products made up of milk, edible oil, and vegetable oil (vanaspati), are sold in huge quality in the market during the festive season, because of which there are higher chances of selling substandard and poor quality products.
The festivals' special inspection drive by FDA will go on until December this year.
FDA officials added, "We have been advising the shopkeepers to prepare sweets in hygienic conditions and a mention of 'use by date' must be displayed on the sweets and snacks for sale."
If the shopkeepers are found to be selling substandard quality food after the analysis, they will face action under Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, FDA said.