Food safety department seals medical store in Chennai for selling pasteurised breast milk

Speaking to TNIE, M Jegadish Chandra Bose, a food safety official, said that one Muthiah and his wife Satya were involved in running this illegal business.
During a surprise inspection on Thursday, food safety officials seized 40 bottles of pasteurised breast milk stored in freezers
During a surprise inspection on Thursday, food safety officials seized 40 bottles of pasteurised breast milk stored in freezers(Photo | Express)

CHENNAI: A private medical supplies distributor, Life Vaccine Store, located in KKR Garden First Cross Street, Madhavaram, was shut down and sealed by Tiruvallur district food safety officials on Friday, after it was found that the retail and wholesale store illegally sold pasteurised breast milk.

During a surprise inspection on Thursday, food safety officials seized 40 bottles of pasteurised breast milk. Samples from the bottles have been sent for testing. One 50ml bottle was reportedly being sold at Rs 500. Notably, the commercial sale of breast milk is banned in India. On May 24, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had issued an advisory stating that processing and selling of human milk is a violation of the FSS Act, 2006.

Speaking to TNIE, M Jegadish Chandra Bose, a food safety official, said that one Muthiah and his wife Satya were involved in running this illegal business. “We received a complaint regarding this 10 days ago from the central licensing authority. Subsequently, we inspected the store but could not find anything. Yesterday, we did a surprise inspection and found the bottles of pasteurized breast milk stored in freezers.”

He said that several of the bottles were collected and stored two or three months ago. “Inquiry is on to ascertain how safe the milk is. Fermentation could occur if the temperature is too high. If it is found to be unsafe we will find and alert the people who purchased it,” the official noted.

The bottles also featured details such as the names and details of women who provided the milk, and the date and time of collection. “The owners also have data on sales, but details of people who made purchases are not available,” Bose added.

A police complaint has been filed against the owners at the Madhavaram police station, and the food safety department will be taking action against them under FSS Act after inquiry.

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