PUDUCHERRY:After the Maggie noodles controversy over food safety, now alcoholic beverages, including whisky, brandy and wine of some branded companies sold in Puducherry, were found to fall short of the food safety standards fixed by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) under Food Safety and Standards (Contamination, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011.
The Puducherry Food Safety Department had found 23 samples that it tested randomly in 2014 (till September 30) to be not in conformity with safety standards. Action may be taken on companies as the alcohol content in 22 samples were found to be lower than what was indicated. Improvement notice was issued to one company, the report said.
In all, 972 food and beverage samples were collected randomly and tested in the UT of Puducherry in 2014 (till September) out of which 30 samples have been found not conforming to the prescribed standards fixed by FSSAI, according to Annual Laboratory Testing Report in states and UTs released by Union Health Minister J P Nadda in the Lok Sabha recently. This includes 23 alcoholic beverages, one non-alcoholic beverage (soft drink), one sample each of jaggery, ripe mangoes, pickles and three samples of iodised salt did not comply with standards. “We are taking action. Improvement notices have been issued for jaggery, mangoes and pickles. The non-alcoholic beverage case is in Consumer Court,” said an official.
In neighbouring Tamil Nadu 1,047 food samples were found wanting in food safety standards. This resulted in 486 criminal cases, 64 civil cases and 203 convictions with a penalty of Rs 34,99,700 raised.
This is part of 12,077 samples failing to meet the food safety standards in the country out of 60,548 samples tested in the entire country in 2014-2015. While 1,989 civil cases and 7,241 criminal cases were launched resulting in 1,355 convictions and a penalty of Rs 10,64,03,414 was raised, stated the report. Even in 2013-2014,319 food and beverage samples have been found to be adulterated or misbranded in Puducherry out of 4,741 samples collected and tested in Puducherry. A good number of the samples are drinking water which were found to be contaminated, sources said. The Food Safety Department has issued directions to the Public Health Department to rectify the water supply, said an official of the department.
In the country also 13,571 samples found adulterated and misbranded out of 72,200 samples tested in 2013-2014. In the action taken 3,105 criminal cases and 7,130 civil cases were launched and 913 convictions resulted and an amount of Rs 7,29,89,474 was raised.