Unsafe Paneer, Khoya Samples Found In Noida And Ghaziabad

The question of food safety continues to make headlines. From Goa and Karnataka to Kerala and Punjab, cases of unsafe food, use of chemical dyes, and unhygienic conditions continue to alarm foodies and families across the nation about their safety and health. In a recent case in Patiala, Punjab, where a 10-year-old died of severe food poisoning after eating her birthday cake that was ordered online. 

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Now, Noida is also under the radar of food safety officials. According to the data published by the Food and Drug Administration, at least 846 samples of food were collected in the city between April 2023 to February 2024. The officials found that 168 of those samples were unsafe for consumption. In fact, many milk-based products were found substandard and misbranded as well.

Fine Levied On Shops

Among the unsafe food samples, paneer topped the list. At least 47 samples of paneer and 32 samples of khoya were found not ideal for consumption. The shops and eateries that were selling these compromised products had to collectively pay a fine of Rs 3.4 crores in 2023.

Speaking to a renowned media outlet, NN Jha, who is currently a food safety officer in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, said that 415 cases of fine imposition have been pending in the ADM (Additional District Magistrate) court since 2022. Not many are aware, but the officials seized 57 quintals of khoya during the 2023 Diwali celebrations. This highlights the fact that even if you decide to make things at home using raw ingredients like paneer and khoya, you are more likely to feed your body with poor-quality food.

Milk Products Are Being Made From Milk Powder

During the food sample collection around Diwali 2023, the officials seized packed food and milk products. They continued with this drive in the non-festive seasons as well. NN Jha said that they had seized trucks carrying these food items from Baghpat, Meerut, and Aligarh. The study of samples revealed that manufacturing units in the country were making paneer and other milk-based products using palmolein oil, milk powder, acetic acid, and glyceryl monostearate, which is an emulsifier. 

In 2023, the officials impost Rs 3.5 lakh worth of fines on a renowned pizza outlet because they found the cooks were using cheese of poor quality. Their red chilli flake samples also failed the quality check test. Following this, the officials imposed another fine worth Rs 2.9 lakh. Kalchhina, Modinagar, is the area where the officials found the most adulterated samples of paneer. The alarming aspect of this raid was that officials found not only small shop owners selling unsafe food items but also branded stores. 

NN Jha has urged people to report such items to the FDA. An unadulterated paneer is soft, bright white, and boasts a smell of good quality cream. If the product looks yellow, chewy, and has no smell, it is adulterated. Citizens can directly approach the food safety department and report their findings.