Diwali 2023: Adulterated Sweets, Oil Seized In Punjab, Mumbai
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Every year, Diwali celebrations across India witness increased demands for many popular food items, including and especially sweets and fried snacks that are either gifted or served to loved ones. And yet, this year, cases of food safety violations and reports of food contamination have alerted the Indian government bodies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), state health departments and even municipal bodies.  

These bodies are now conducting strict checks on the sweets and snacks being sold across the nation, and their increased vigilance is already proving beneficial for consumers with early spotting and seizing of adulterated sweets, food items and even edible oil. Two such cases of timely intervention have now been reported, the first from Moga, Punjab and the second from Mumbai, Maharashtra. Here is everything you need to know. 

Video Credit: YouTube/MasterChef Pankaj Bhadouria

In Punjab’s Moga tehsil, the health department has seized over 1,647 kilos of sweets and food materials that are suspected to be adulterated. Acting on a tip-off, a team from the health department and the civil surgeon Dr Rajesh Attri conducted a raid on the Lakshmi Patisa factory. The civil surgeon, on finding adulterated sweets, then called in food safety inspector Yogesh Goyal, who then seized 1,392 kilos of adulterated milk cake and 255 kilos of khoya barfi that was brought in from Jodhpur and Abohar. Other food products from the factory were also seized. 

Goyal revealed after the raid that all suspicious goods prepared and ordered from other cities had been seized and all collected samples had been taken to the government laboratory. Once the reports are out, action will be taken against the factory owners. Dr Attri on the other hand has asked Moga residents to be extra vigilant while buying sweets and other foods during the festive season. They have also appealed to shopkeepers to not compromise public health for the sake of profit during the festive season. 

In Mumbai, the FDA has recently raided three food establishments in the Western suburbs and seized not only adulterated sweets but also edible oil worth Rs 1,64,655. Following a tip-off, the FDA seized refined sunflower oil and palmolein oil from Pragati Oil Mill in Sakinaka, mawa from Brijwasi Mawawala in Boriwali and used cooking oil and palmolein oil from Mangaldeep Foods in Sakinaka. Officials have revealed that they are also tracking adulterated mawa coming from Gujarat.  

Further, the FDA has also initiated an inspection drive across all sweet shops in Mumbai keeping the Diwali festive season in mind. “We had received several complaints regarding manufacturing and sale of adulterated milk products. Moreover, we got a tip-off following which three teams were deputed, who carried out raids in zones 12 and 7 of the city,” an official from the FDA reportedly said.