26% food samples fail quality test

Food quality has been facing a rapid decline over the years, particularly during festive season in Haryana. The ongoing scenario continues to remain unchanged as a sizable chunk of the food samples taken in festive season this year has been found of sub-standard and poor quality.
According to the data made available by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Haryana with a view to checking adulteration or the quality of food items, as many as 1,076 samples were taken from 1 October
to 30 October.
Of the total samples, 243 failed the test that comes around to be 26 percent which is a matter of serious concern while remaining 145 sample are under analysis in labs. For the greed of money, the shopkeepers and traders involved in food adulteration have left no stone unturned to put the lives of people at stake as it is clearly evident from the lab results.
The samples included those of milk, sweets and spices. Thus, what statistics depict is that every fourth sample of food items taken in Haryana during the last festival season has failed the quality test.
However, the reports of the remaining sample is yet to come. Experts are of the opinion the number of failed samples is most likely to witness a spurt. According to experts, 26 per cent is quite a high number and also an alarming trend.
Despite the stern action, defaulters don’t hesitate and refrain from selling and producing food of substandard quality.
What the regulations of the Food Standard and Safety Authority of India (FSSAI) says penalty is minimum imprisonment of six months that may extend up to 3 years and minimum fine of Rs 1000. Import, manufacture, storage, sale or distribution of any food article which is adulterated or any adulterant which is injurious to health is being used is punishable under Law.
It was also informed by the authority that the sample with failed quality test fall in three categories namely unsafe for human consumption, of substandard quality and misbranded. If the shopkeepers fail to submit their reply within given time, action will be taken against them as per the Food Safety Act and cases will be registered against those whose samples have been found to be unsafe for human consumption.
Ashok Meena, the Commissioner of FDA, Haryana said that a large number of food items found unfit for consumption were also destroyed on the spot.
Following the results, the necessary action will be initiated against the defaulters soon. Most of the food samples that failed the test are dairy products. Even prior to this dairy items have come under the scanner of the FDA for adulteration, he added further.
According to the officials of the FDA, Sonipat district topped the list with 25 failed samples to be followed by adjoining district Panipat and Faridabad with 21 and 18 failed samples respectively. In Fatehabad, Gurugram, Bhiwani also, a large number of samples failed which is a worrying situation.
This year, the FDA carried rigorous sampling drive to curb food adulteration menace and following the lab results. shopkeepers and food dealers whose products have failed the test, will be summoned. Besides, the authority now issue show-cause notices to the persons concerned and initiate necessary action against them in accordance with the law.
The samples included those of milk, sweets and spices. Thus, what statistics depict is that every fourth sample of food items taken in Haryana during the last festival season has failed the quality test.

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