Food Safety Officer calls for awareness, testing, action
Mysore/Mysuru: National Consumer Day fell on Mar. 15 and Mysore Grahakara Parishat (MGP) had organised its monthly virtual meeting-cum-interaction programme on Mar. 14 where Dr. Prasad, Medical Officer, Food Safety and Health, Family Welfare Department was invited to advice public on safe and nutritious food at home.
During the course of interaction, Prasad said that public should be aware of illegal practices like adulteration by some traders and merchants. “Awareness must start from the kitchen itself before consumption. If you come across adulteration, do not hesitate to lodge complaints with the Food Safety Officer, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) Mysuru with the bill as proof for the purchased food item. We have a Government laboratory at Tilaknagar apart from many private labs. The CFTRI also tests commodities to certify its genuineness, he informed.
Giving instances of adulteration and harmful practices, Dr. Prasad said that to make a food product attractive, chemicals and colours are mixed like green dyes are mixed to green peas for it to look greener. “The humble dal is coloured with yellow chemicals which can be detected by rinsing a handful of dal with water. After some time, you can find yellow colour oozing out,” he said.
Likewise, coffee powder is mixed with tamarind powder, tea powder is sold after it is mixed with already used tea leaves, salt is mixed with chalk powder, chilli powder is mixed with red chemicals to give it an attractive texture, castor oil is mixed with edible oils, animal fat is added to butter or dalda to get the desired thickness and weight, he explained.
Similarly in the cases of fruits, bananas and mangoes are ripened by chemical process and plastic coating is given to red apples to make it look redder and shiny. “All these illegal activities to boost sales will only lead to contamination and harmful diseases leading to cancer, tuberculosis and many other diseases that shorten our life span and healthy life,” he added.
During the interaction after the talk, Dr. Jagannath, a participant, wanted to know whether water is considered part of food and is the water supplied to Mysuru by Vani Vilas Water Works tested by FSSAI. Dr. Prasad replied that the quality of water supplied in bottles is checked and their mandate is not to check the normal water supply through taps.
Another participant Manu, wanted to know what action has been taken against some unscrupulous traders so that it becomes a preventive measure. Dr. Prasad said that the several raids have been conducted to catch people involved in these illegal activities.
Dr. Prasad advised consumers to take the issue seriously and initiate all precautionary tests and consume healthy food and live longer. Dr. Prasad can be contacted on Mob: 86184-83404 and by email [email protected]
MGP President Dr. Shivamurthy, Executive Committee member S.V. Raghavendra, Working President C.R. Ashwathnarayan, Secretary Pradeep Kumar, Treasurer K.V. Ramanath, B.Chaudhary, Jayalakshmi Srinivasan, V. Jagannath, Arunkumar Shettar, Venkatesh Kharidi, Vasanthkumar Mysoremath, Vijesh Chajjed, Purushotham and others were present.