BMC To Inspect Sweet Shops, Storage For Food Contamination
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With Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations kicking off on September 19, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is gearing up with steps to keep food contamination and illnesses at bay during the festive season. In an effort to keep people in Mumbai safe from gastroenteritis and food poisoning during the festive season that begins with Ganesh Chaturthi and ends with Dussehra, Diwali and then the New Year, the BMC is now inspecting sweet shops and mawa (milk solids) storage facilities. The efforts, a spokesperson said, will continue till the end of December 2023. 

The need to take rigorous steps against food contamination and food poisoning was, in part, also catalysed by the closure of Mumbai’s iconic Colaba eatery, Bademiya last week. The Food and Drugs Administration had sealed Bademiya outlets last week after maggots, rats and cockroaches were found in the kitchen. Two more Mumbai restaurants have also been sealed and fined for violating food safety and hygiene standards, which pose major health risks to people by causing food poisoning, and in extreme cases, even death. 

Video Credit: YouTube/Hebbars Kitchen

The inspection of sweet shops under the BMC’s guidance will witness all medical officers and sanitation inspectors conducting meticulous inspections of all sweet shops and storage facilities in the greater Mumbai area. “In the past, customers had developed health complications by consuming adulterated sweets. During the season, many even require hospitalisation due to gastro issues. So, we have also kept the hospital on alert,” said Dr Sudhakar Shinde, additional municipal commissioner of health, BMC, in an interview.  

Dr Shinde also highlighted the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration) First Amendment Regulations of 2017, which state that the overuse of edible oil is prohibited since recurrent oil usage has a negative impact on the physical, chemical, nutritional and sensory characteristics of food. Overuse of oil during frying leads to the development of total polar compounds (TPCs), which in turn can cause a number of health issues.  

BMC’s executive health officer, Dr Daksha Shah, also said during an interview that the BMC has initiated a campaign to distribute informative leaflets and create more public awareness about the dangers of food contamination in general, and specifically the contamination of sweets. Dr Shah also recommended that if customers note that there are changes in the colour of sweets, if they emit a strong odour or if they have visible mold on top, then sweets should be unequivocally avoided. If any such signs are seen by customers, they should immediately report the matter to the BMC’s divisional medical health officer.