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With Festival Season On, FDA Officials Step Up Raids To Check Food Adulteration

Come festive season the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) is abuzz with raids and surveys to check rampant food adulteration. Since the consumption of sweets is high during festive seasons there is a tendency to adulterate sweets and make a quick buck. This year between May and August 2022, the FDA raided 18 places and seized about 11,697 kg of adulterated foodstuffs valued at over Rs 19 lakhs according to the joint commissioner FDA, Shashikant Kekre. Though Mumbai is no longer a food manufacturing hub, the adulteration with cheaper stocks essentially takes place in the city during the repackaging stage. The FDA officials either track adulteration rackets with the help of tip-offs or trace them with their documentary evidence. If for instance, the final stock of packaged oil doesn’t tally or exceeds the bulk stock procurement, then clearly there is scope for investigation. Once the foodstuffs are confirmed as adulterated by the laboratories, the stuff is destroyed. In the case of milk which is either diluted with water or laced with urea, thus making it unsafe, it is drained off while items like gutkha are burnt out. But in case of palm oil, which is used as an adulterant in other costlier cooking oils like sunflower or groundnut or mustard oil, it is resold in the market to commercial users.