Kashmir Indepth

Food adulteration? Call toll free number ‘104’ to file complaint

Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, Mar 18 (KINS): To lodge complaints regarding food adulteration or sub-standard food, one can dial toll free number104 of food safety department Kashmir.

The government had launched a helpline for the citizens to address queries regarding food and food items sold in the city.

Assistant Commissioner Food Safety, Yameen Ul Nabi, Designated Officer under FSSA Srinagar, has urged people to play an active role in curbing the food adulteration.

The department has also decided to hold surprise checks apart from spreading awareness on food adulteration.

“Adulterated food leads to gastrointestinal tract disease and even cancer. Health of people would be impacted. We will not spare those who mess with the health of people. Strict action should be taken against them,” Yameen Ul Nabi told news agency KINS, in a video interview.

He said that in the coming days the department will increase surveillance and random sampling of food items to curb adulteration.

Nabi said that in cases where the food samples are found to be non- conforming, the appropriate measures are required to be taken.
Responding to the information, the officer asked people to not pay heed to rumours of plastic eggs Plastic rice. “Plastic eggs, plastic rice. These videos are prepared with ulterior motives. Sample reports received from labs of such commodities are testimony to this fact,” he told KINS.

He said that it is impossible to qualify a plastic egg as a natural egg. He appealed to the residents to eat eggs as it is the cheapest source of protein for everyone.

“The structure of an egg is complex and when a person breaks the shell, they can easily remove the shell membrane which looks like plastic, but it is not plastic. If the egg is stale, then the membrane is thicker and looks like plastic, but be assured that it is not plastic as it is not possible to make eggs from plastic,” he told KINS.
Amid apprehensions among people, the officer said that dressed chicken is safe to eat if kept in a cold chain store.

There are apprehensions among people in Kashmir that dressed chicken was unsafe to eat.

However, the Assistant Commissioner Food Safety Department said dressed chicken is safe to eat if kept in cold storage stores.

“They (dressed chicken) are not harmful if they are placed in a cold storage chain.

Meat is a perishable product with a short shelf life. Therefore, cold chain management in meat supply is of utmost importance for the maintenance of quality and safety of meat/poultry products. Raw meat/meat products are likely to support the growth of pathogenic microorganisms and/or spoilage bacteria, and should be kept at temperatures that do not result in a risk to health.
He said they want safe food for people. “We have to ensure there is no food adulteration. Our food safety officers collect samples then send them to competent laboratories and based on results we take further action,” he said.

He said they have put a curb on usage of synthetic colours in food items by restaurant owners or vendors. “But we are still receiving complaints that some chefs are using synthetic colours in Wazwaan. Similarly, some vendors are not maintaining hygiene. We warn them to avoid such things or action will be taken against them,” he said. (KINS)

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