FSSAI Plans Quality Check For Dairy Products, Spices & More
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The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) have been looking into the alleged reports of contaminated spices which have led to bans in international markets recently. Brands such as MDH and Everest have been under the scanner and flagged for the usage of harmful chemicals in spice manufacture, due to which the regulatory body in India have been busy collecting samples of spices for testing purposes. In addition to this, plans are underway for testing samples of fresh fruits and vegetables, milk and milk products, fortified rice, fish (for salmonella) and culinary herbs.

The new plan, which will be put into motion following the concerns raised in countries like Hong Kong and Singapore, has already begun a pan-India collection of Nestle’s baby food called Cerelac to verify claims that the product contains high amounts of sugar. The surveillance mainly focusses on evaluating the compliance status of regulations that are in place and to see if they have been implemented effectively. Despite regular checks, reports have stated that the number of samples analysed over the years have only increased in number, indicating the alarming need for better protocols.

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From 1,07,829 samples tested in the year 2020-21, more than 4,51,000 samples have been tested in the year 2023-24 – suggesting a three-time spike in food safety checks. While 28,347 samples were found to be in non-compliance with the safety and standard regulations in 2020-21, more than 32,934 samples failed to pass the quality checks in the previous year. While the quality of exported spices do not fall under the regulatory body’s area of authority, food samples from the domestic market sourced from private and government sectors will be tested.