Cracking the whip on adulterated food items this festive season, the department of food safety has been conducting inspections and collecting samples of sweets from different stores in various pockets of the city.
More than 48 sweet stores, big and small, have been inspected in the last one week. The department has collected samples of milk-based products such as paneer, khoya etc. apart from varieties of sweets including rasgulla, gulab jamun and dhodha.
“We have collected samples from big stores in the city such as Bikanerwala in Sector 29, Om Sweets in sectors 14 and 31, Haldiram’s stores, Sham Sweets, and Gulab Sweets among others. The department has also inspected shops in rural belts and in areas on the outskirts of the city such as Pataudi and Badshahpur. A team of officials is completely concentrating on the task of ensuring safe food for people,” said KK Sharma, food safety officer, Gurgaon.
Sources in the department of food safety revealed that rapid action was taken after some instances of adulterated food items were reported in the city.
The food samples collected by the department have been sent to the Haryana Food Laboratory in Chandigarh where these will be tested. Reports of these samples are expected to arrive in the next 15-20 days.
If the samples are found adulterated or unsafe for consumption, the manufacturer can face imprisonment from a period from six months to life. Also, if the items are found to be substandard or misbranded, that is, missing the batch number or label declaration, the manufacturers can face a fine ranging from Rs. 3 lakh to Rs. 5 lakh.
“There are strict measures that will be taken if any manufacturer is found guilty. The punishment can even lead to life imprisonment and fine up to Rs. 5 lakh under the Food Safety and Standards Act,” the food safety officer added.
The food safety department also sought public intervention in finding any violations.
“If any person finds any adulterated food items, they can directly report it to the food safety office and further action will be taken,” Sharma added.