FSSAI has issued a notice asking the state food authorities in the country to maintain complete surveillance on milk and milk products like khoa, paneer, dahi, etc., as the adulteration of dairy products are always on high during festive season.
The country’s apex food regulator, FSSAI has given a list of adulterants, along with the notice. The list explained each adulterant and its specific use in milk and milk products, as a reference for the enforcement purpose.
Meanwhile, the state food departments are also on high alert and have started making the necessary arrangements for the same.
H G Koshia, commissioner, Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA), Gujarat, said, “Milk is a commodity which is consumed by each and everyone. During festivals, the adulteration of milk and milk products are always high. In Gujarat, the drive to keep check on the adulteration in milk is continuous. With two Food Safety on Wheels (Mobile Vans) and on-the-spot detection kits to check various parameters like urea, artificial colors and their quality, the food safety officers (FSOs) are always on the move.”
Adding to this, Bhavin Solanki (medical officer of health, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation), said, “AMC FSOs are intensively carrying out surveillance on manufacturing, storage and sale of milk and milk products ahead of the festivals, when people in general use these items more. Utmost care is taken by the supervision team to ensure that citizens get safe and standard quality food.”
He added that they were also taking samples from market and manufacturers to check the quality of sweets and other food articles.
The Gujarat administration has also released guidelines for quality check to help consumers before they buy food products during the festivities. Same has been started in Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and other states also.
Further, the state government looks up to the awareness campaigns around this time to educate housewives and small shopkeepers to check adulteration in milk and its products.
Recently, Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, FSSAI, stated there was no alarming situation nationwide, as the majority of milk samples that were found to be safe contained water and have less low quality fat content.
However, in contrast, acting on a tip-off by a whistle-blower in Mumbai recently, FDA Maharashtra busted tankers and tempos transporting 9.27 lakh litre of sub-standard milk into Mumbai.
Of the samples tested, 13 were found to be of sub-standard quality as they contained low-quality fats and solid non-fat (SNF). Similar busting of adulterated milk and milk products kept doing the rounds in recent times.