A raid on a food factory in Moradabad unearthed mounds of animal bones on Tuesday, officials said, raising fears that the cattle remains were used to adulterate biscuits. Officials of the food department raided an Armoa Foods factory in Katghar area of Moradabad on Monday and confiscated a heap of bones and melting devices from the premises.
It is believed that the bones were being mixed in the food products to enhance their taste.
“We’ve collected samples of finished and semi-finished products along with other ingredients (Vanaspati etc) used to prepare rusk and biscuits and have sent them for testing,” said Moradabad chief food security officer VK Rathi.
Designated officer of food security and drug administration Umesh Pratap suspended the license of the factory. “We found a heap of bone residuals inside the premises, which is a violation of food security norms,” said Pratap, adding “If tests confirm adulteration or presence of unsafe ingredients, the owner could face a jail term and a fine (upto R5 lakh)”.
Armoa Foods owner Azim Iqbal had, during the raid, failed to explain to officials why he had allowed storage of such a large volume of bones inside the premises.
Medical professionals said the bones – in powder or other form - may have been used to make rusk and biscuits crispier. “Its consumption could lead to infections and sometimes chronic diseases,” said Dr Tanuraj Sirohi, former secretary of Indian Medical Association in Meerut.
Alleging that the factory was engaging in child labour, city magistrate AK Srivastav said, “Children under 14-years of age were working there”.