Top brands fail food standard tests

Top brands fail food standard tests

While some samples were unsafe, some found to be misbranded

The Delhi government’s Food Safety Department has found at least 16 per cent of the sweet samples lifted for analysis did not conform to the standards.

Though the figures are not alarming, the shops found selling unsafe items or not declaring ingredients include big chains.

While some samples were found to be unsafe, some retailers have been pulled up for misbranding and violating the food safety norms by not declaring ingredients used for making of these sweet items.

Even though other food items were collected for sampling, the violations were mostly found in sweets.

The unsafe items tested include from shops like Bikaner Sweets in Badarpur, Trinagar and Mahipalpur, Shree Ram Sweet Centre, Vasant Kunj and Dhikka Ram Sweet Products, Chandni Chowk, among others, according to food analysis reports. 

Of the 144 samples of sweets and snacks lifted, seven sweet samples have been found to be unsafe, four items have been found to be misbranded and 13 items had violated food safety regulations by not declaring the ingredients or having other discrepancies. These samples were lifted between October 28 and November 17. The results of five sweet samples are pending.

During festivals, the food safety department intensifies its drive as the production of dairy products is scaled up and there are higher chances of shops flouting norms.

The unsafe items were found to contain the dye content of the synthetic colour well beyond the permissible limit. “The maximum limit for colour is 100 ppm (parts per million). The unsafe samples were found to be exceeding this limit. Food colours are often used in excess during festivals to make the packages more attractive,” said a senior official of the Food Safety Department.

“The milk supply remains almost constant while the production of paneer and sweets is scaled up. Therefore, the items are often substandard,” said another food department official.

Some shops were found giving “false declaration” on food composition by not declaring particular ingredients. “This is treated as a lighter offence compared to selling unsafe food items,” said the official.

The Food Safety Department has pulled up Bengali Sweet Centre, South Extension, Nathus Food, Laxmi Nagar, Aggarwal Sweet Corner, Mayur Vihar, Haldiram Marketing Pvt Limited and Bikaner Sweets, Jahangirpuri, among other shops for not maintaining transparency in declaring ingredients.

The department had earlier announced plans to roll out food safety kits to help people conduct simple tests at home to check adulteration in food items. The plan is still in the pipeline.

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