KOCHI: The Kerala High Court has directed the Food Safety Commissioner to ensure that no part of the wheat stocks which have been processed should be allowed to be sold without proper sampling and only if it is certified fit for human consumption.The court issued the order on an appeal filed by the Food Safety Commissioner challenging a Single Judge’s order. It was directed that 20 metric tonnes of wheat lying in the warehouse in the Cochin Port would be removed, transported, cleaned and processed at the writ petitioner’s flour mill and the Advocate Commissioner was ordered to supervise the same.
Peekay Roller Flour Mills, Kozhikode, had imported a huge quantity of wheat through Kochi port. It operates a modern roller flour mill. A substantial quantity of the wheat on arrival at Kochi was lifted and taken away. About 15,000 metric tonnes of wheat was left at the Cochin Port warehouse. Following some media reports, the Food Safety authorities conducted a search and took samples of the stored wheat. Their report indicated that the consignment had become unfit for human consumption. They accordingly passed orders under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, seizing the entire quantity of wheat at the warehouse in Cochin Port.
The court said further consignments would also be allowed to be moved if the first consignment is found to be fit for human use. But, even those consignments would be moved under the supervision of Food Safety Officers, and they would be processed and cleaned under the strict vigilance of the Food Safety Officers and after proper sampling, the analysis report is to be obtained certifying that the so processed and cleaned wheat is fit for human consumption. Only then the mill owner will be allowed to use it in any manner. If the reports are otherwise, then the authorities would direct them to take delivery of the entire stock and ensure its destruction so that there is no chance of the contaminated food item finding its way into the market in one way or the other.