KOLLAM: Eateries planning to conduct popular ‘payasam melas’ to make a quick buck during the Onam fest will have to atleast think twice before adding adulterated products for taste enhancement. The Commissionerate of Food Safety has embarked on an aggressive plan to ensure the quality of food and check adulterated food products used by eateries.
The Commissionerate will launch ‘Intensive Squads for Onam’ across the state to keep an eye on the eateries that would mushroom during the Onam fest. “Special emphasis will be given to ‘payasam melas’, a regular feature in the season”, said an official with the Food Safety Department.
‘As it is often noted, many organisations use artificial ingredients while making ‘payasams’, that can have detrimental health effects. The Commissionerate has already given specific directions to all its field level officers to become a part of the ‘Intensive Squad for Onam’, which will start functioning on Wednesday.
“The squads will conduct raids till the festivities end. Surveillance and additional surveillance teams have been deployed to check food festivals, payasam melas, restaurants and food courts during the Onam season”, said T V Anupama, food safety commissioner. Though specific targets are not given for the surveillance squads, it has been given for the collection of statutory samples of milk, pickles, chips etc. Mobile labs have been set up in all border districts to curb adulteration of milk and milk products that come from the neighboring states, she said.
The mobile labs will have a research officer, junior research officer and a food safety officer. It is learnt that these squads and labs will have to carry out their duties on Sundays also.
At least one team will be pressed into service during the holidays. Officers in the squad will have to work on a shift basis during Onam holidays.