TN food safety officials continue crackdown on human breast milk sale

Notably, both establishments procured them from the same distributor located in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
During a surprise inspection on Thursday, food safety officials found 40 bottles of breast milk stored in freezers at a medical supplies store in Chennai
During a surprise inspection on Thursday, food safety officials found 40 bottles of breast milk stored in freezers at a medical supplies store in Chennai(Photo | Express)

CHENNAI: In view of the Food Safety Standard Authority of India’s (FSSAI) recent advisory against the commercial sale of human milk, the Tamil Nadu food safety department has continued to crack down on distributors and sellers involved in the illegal sales of human milk.

The department seized a total of 350 bottles of human milk and 900 packets of human milk powder on Monday from a firm located in Arumbakkam and a private hospital. Notably, both establishments procured them from the same distributor located in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

Speaking at a presser, R Satheeshkumar, designated food safety officer for Chennai, said that the seized samples were sent for testing to check whether the milk is safe for consumption.

The Bengaluru-based distributor will shortly be issued a notice seeking an explanation, and if they fail to respond, action will be taken against the firm, he added. Across Chennai, 18 teams are engaged in conducting inspections, the officer noted.

“If sick babies are in need of breast milk, they should get it from licensed human milk banks in hospitals by producing the proper prescriptions. Action will be taken on all unauthorised sales of milk,” Satheeshkumar said.

In its advisory issued on May 24, the FSSAI stated that it has not permitted the processing and sale of human milk under the FSS Act, 2006. Commercialisation of human milk and related products must be stopped immediately, it said, instructing state and central licensing authorities to ensure that no license or registration is granted to firms involved in the illegal trade of human milk.

During a surprise inspection on Thursday, food safety officials found 40 bottles of breast milk stored in freezers at a medical supplies store in Chennai
Food safety department seals medical store in Chennai for selling pasteurised breast milk

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