Mumbai: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is rigorously pursuing those in violation of the Food and Safety Act, with the formation of 13 specialised teams tasked with inspecting sweet shops across Mumbai’s 13 zones and gathering samples for subsequent laboratory analysis.
“We have undertaken a stringent drive against substandard and adulterated food materials, especially sweets, edible oil, namkeen, mawa and khoya, as the Diwali festival is around the corner,” said Shailesh Adhao, Joint Commissioner (Food), FDA. Moreover, if anyone is caught selling adulterated, impure or substandard edible goods, he would face strict action under the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
Adhao further said that the drive against adulteration, spurious colours, substandard materials and spurious raw materials would continue in future. “If the collected samples are found unsafe and injurious to health, imprisonment up to three months and a fine would be imposed. If substandard material is found, the adjudicating officer can slap Rs2-5 lakh fine depending upon severity and profitability,” the FDA official added.
FDA officials inspecting sweet shop in Mumbai | FPJ
Senior FDA Official Speaks On Use Of Adulterated And Substandard Materials
A senior official, who is part of the team, said despite the guidelines given by FSSAI, the use of adulterated and substandard materials by manufacturers or sweets shops increased during festive seasons. Guidelines have strictly advised the shopkeepers selling loose/unpacked sweets to mention all details from manufacturing to expiry dates on trays so that customers should know for how long they can consume it after purchasing.
“We had learnt that several shopkeepers or manufacturers have been violating FSSAI norms and were selling adulterated sweets causing several health issues to customers. We have been instructed by the FDA commissioner to take strict action and suspend their license of those violating the law,” he said.
The FDA has also appealed to manufacturers and traders to use quality ingredients for sweets and namkeen items for sale in the festival season. “We are also tracking mawa coming from Gujarat,” added the official.