Samples to be tested after ‘plastic rice’ scare erupts in Dehradun
The purported video shows a diner at a restaurant near the Dehradun Railway Station showing rice balls that appear to bounce like plastic balls, and complaining about “plastic rice” being allegedly served at the eatery.dehradun Updated: Oct 29, 2017 19:48 IST
Samples of rice will be sent for testing at the state-run laboratory, food safety officials said on Sunday after an unverified video claiming “plastic rice” being served at a restaurant in Dehradun went viral on the social media.
The purported video shows a diner at a restaurant near the Dehradun Railway Station showing rice balls that appear to bounce like plastic balls, and complaining about “plastic rice” being allegedly served at the eatery. HT could not independently verify the claims made in the video.
GC Kandwal, designated officer of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for Dehradun district, said samples have been collected from the restaurant and that the same will be sent for analysis at the state-run food testing laboratory at Rudrapur in Udham Singh Nagar district.
“However, we’ll be able to comment on whether it’s plastic rice or not only once the (lab) report comes out. Till then, we’re also planning to inspect other places (like eateries, markets) as a precautionary measure,” Kandwal told HT.
He, however, asserted that “no such thing as plastic rice” had ever been confirmed in the state so far and that it was a “natural tendency” of rice to become hard like a ball due to presence of starch in it, but that doesn’t confirm that the rice is made of plastic.
“Food adulteration is a serious issue and the department will certainly take action if any irregularity is found anywhere. But such unconfirmed claims (of plastic rice) only lead to confusion and panic among the public,” Kandwal said.
In June, a similar scare of “plastic rice” being allegedly sold in the markets of Haldwani in Kumaon region had surfaced, following which the Nainital district administration raided several shops. Lab reports of collected samples, however, later dismissed the claims of “plastic rice”.
Notably, many experts including senior agriculture scientists have called out the “plastic rice” scare as “myth” citing how no conclusive proof for the same has been discovered so far. According to snopes, a fact verification site, the claims of plastic rice have yet to be proven.
Meanwhile, Kandwal said an improvement notice had been slapped on the said restaurant under Section 32 of the Food Safety and Standards Act for preparing food under unhygienic conditions.