FSSAI issues summons to KFC over use of chemical to clean oil

MSS was being used for polishing or cleaning used oil which is against FSSAI standards, sources said.
Disputing the claims of KFC on two counts, Food Safety Designated Officer Dr Mariappan said reuse of used edible oils/recycle of oil is not acceptable as per regulations governing food safety.
Disputing the claims of KFC on two counts, Food Safety Designated Officer Dr Mariappan said reuse of used edible oils/recycle of oil is not acceptable as per regulations governing food safety.(Photo | Reuters)

THOOTHUKUDI: Following the seizure of magnesium silicate-synthetic (MSS) from a KFC outlet on Thursday, the Thoothukudi unit of the Food Safety and Standards of Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued summons on Saturday to the restaurant chain’s Indian headquarters in Mumbai. As per the summons issued to the KFC licensee of the Thoothukudi outlet, KFC material godown in Tiruppur, and the nominee of KFC headquarters in Mumbai, they have been asked to appear before the FSSAI’s designated officer on July 8. A Delhi-based manufacturer of MSS and a packing unit in Telangana have also been summoned for an inquiry on July 15.

Meanwhile, the American restaurant chain, in a statement, said, “KFC India is committed to follow the best practices and international standards. High-quality oil and chicken is sourced from reputed suppliers, and all applicable safety and quality standards laid down by the FSSAI and other authorities are stringently followed. The use of Magnesium Silicate as a clarifying agent is approved as per FSSAI, and KFC chicken is completely safe for consumption after cooking.”

‘MSS has no place in food service businesses’

Speaking to TNIE, Food Safety Designated Officer Dr Mariappan said they carried out a surprise inspection at the outlet against the backdrop of declining quantity of disposal of used oils to the authorised biodiesel dealer from the outlet.

“The KFC restaurant was returning only 100 litres of oil per month to the FSSAI authorised used oil aggregators though it was consuming nearly 1,350-1,500 litres of refined edible vegetable oil every month. Thus the inspection turned towards management of used oil by the outlet as oil once used cannot be reused as per FSSAI rules,” Dr Mariappan said.

MSS was being used for polishing or cleaning used oil which is against FSSAI standards, sources said.

The FSSAI has permitted MSS to be used as a food additive, but restricted it to certain foods like salt and that too in manufacturing units. MSS has no role in food services businesses like restaurants. The FSSAI does not permit any additives to purify or polish used oils, Mariappan said.

Disputing the claims of KFC on two counts, Mariappan said reuse of used edible oils/recycle of oil is not acceptable as per regulations governing food safety.

“Also nowhere the FSS Act or rules or regulations permit the use of MSS, a food additive, to polish or clean used oil. Hence, there is no role for MSS in food services establishments like restaurants,” he said.

On the seizure of marinated chicken, the designated officer said that the frozen chicken should be used within 12 hours after ‘thawing’ as per FSS (Licensing and Registration) Regulations, 2011. But it was being used even after 24 hours, he said.

Late on Thursday, the food safety department officials confiscated 18kg of MSS, 45 litres of polished used oil and 56kg of marinated chicken allegedly kept beyond the prescribed time limit.

Samples of polished used oil and MSS have been taken for laboratory analysis. The KFC outlet has been shut until further orders.

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