Officials of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India checking the safety standards of food products at a bakery in Mandya on Friday.
Officials seize food products, the expiry dates of which had passed, from many bakeries
In a welcome move by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), a drive was launched on Friday to check the safety standards of food products being sold in shops here.
A nine-year-old boy had died in the taluk, after allegedly drinking a soft drink the expiry date of had passed.
The issue had been carried in these columns on Friday.
Subsequently, led by Food Safety Officer Nagaraju, the FSSAI officials raided several bakeries and shops on V.V. Road here.
“We have seized soft drink bottles the expiry dates of which had passed from several shops. We will initiate action against the guilty,” Mr. Nagaraju told The Hindu.
Meanwhile, the Mandya district administration has decided to conduct such raids throughout the district.
Mandya Deputy Commissioner M.N. Ajay Nagabhushan told this correspondent that sellers of fake, spurious, outdated, substandard and adulterated food products should be prosecuted.
“I will write to all gram panchayats, Mandya City Municipal Council and other urban local bodies asking them to deal sternly with sellers of such food products,” he said.
The sale of products that could adversely affect the health of consumers was an offence under the Food Safety and Standards Act. The officials should randomly collect samples of all food products, including Nandini milk packets, at regular intervals to ascertain adherence to safety standards, he said.
The samples could be sent to the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI) at Mysuru or food testing laboratory at Hubballi as there were no facilities to check the safety standards of food products at Mandya, he said.
In the case of the death of a boy after consuming a soft drink, appropriate action would be initiated against persons found guilty, based on the post-mortem report, he said.
The number of hotels, bakeries and shops selling food products in the district is around 10,000.
Of them, 1,300 are in Mandya. However, the mandatory practice of collecting food samples had stopped long back, a senior official of the Department of Food and Civil Supplies told The Hindu.
Posts of food inspectors throughout the district were lying vacant, he added.
No mechanism in place to check safety standards of food products in Mandya
Deputy Commissioner to order for stern action against sellers of products which have passed expiry date