In a special drive conducted by the FSSAI, 104 units – including manufacturers, wholesale and specialty dealers were found to be using artificial food colourants beyond permissible limits. Read to know more.
Ahead of the Diwali festivities in Coimbatore, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) seized and destroyed around 501.3 kilos of sweets meant for sale – as a way of curbing the excessive usage of artificial food colouring. Divided into nine teams, authorities conducted inspections at 104 different locations between November 1 and 6, that included producers, manufacturers, wholesale and specialty retailers. Mainly consisting of sweet items like ladoos and jalebi, the primary issue identified during the investigations indicated indiscriminate use of artificial colourants that exceeded permissible limits.
45 traders were issued notices for violations under Section 55 of the Food Safety and Standards Act of 2006. Among other things, the FSSAI authorities also discovered an unhygienic manufacturing unit which was immediately ordered to cease operations and fix the anomalies that were identified, with a follow-up inspection to be conducted in due time. Additionally, seven shops were asked to pay a fine of INR 2,000 each for using single-use plastic bags in order to deliver sweets. The inspection also found 16 traders selling prohibited tobacco products and were asked to pay up fines of INR 5,000 each.
With a total value of approximately INR 1.10 lakh worth of sweets being disposed as a result of these surprise inspections, the FSSAI has notified manufacturers to use quality raw materials to make sweets and savouries that are in high demand during the festive season. In addition to this, customers have also been asked to keep a close watch on expiry dates of food products as well as report any inconsistencies that they may come across. With a special mention in an official statement, the authorities have instructed consumers to be watchful of not purchasing packaged milk-based confections due to their short shelf life.