FSSAI Strengthens Food Safety Vigilance For The Festive Season

Senior officials of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) have been issued memos to conduct routine checks on the manufacture and sale quality of food products which are consumed most during the festive season. With the frequency of inspections asked to be increased, along with drives to collect samples of items such as kuttu aata, singhara aata and samak ke chawal – all of which are considered to be fasting-friendly foods, the authorities have been told to ensure that the safety and quality standards are met in their areas of jurisdiction.

Since the current festive period is known to be a time when many people observe fasts across the country, fasting-friendly food products are in high demand. In addition to this, other ingredients like fruits, vegetables, dry fruits, milk, milk products, makhana and savoury foods like potato chips and sabudana namkeen also see a spike in consumption. In an official statement issued by the regulatory body, the Executive Director for regulatory compliance mentioned that the highest cases of food poisoning occurred during festivals like Navratri, where the consumption of expired or stale kuttu aata caused health concerns.

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Food business operators (FBOs), who are motivated by the profit-making due to high demand in the food products were held responsible for pushing stale consumption goods or adulterating the products – which meant a deterioration in the overall quality. Unethical storage practices which also lead to contamination of the food products are among the concerns the FSSAI plans to address during the course of its inspections to ensure that the sanctity of the festive celebrations is maintained throughout.