A day after HT reported residents' demand for raids to check adulterated sweets, the health department on Tuesday seized and destroyed around five quintals of unsafe sweets and raw material at Muskan Sweets Factory being run in the residential area of Salem Tabri on Tuesday.
HT in its report “Residents demand raids to check adulterated sweets in festival season” on September 30 had highlighted that even as sweet shops had already started arrangements to prepare sweets, despite complaints by residents, samples of sweets were not being collected from shops.
The health team found the sweets being prepared under unhygienic conditions and duplicate silver leaves being used on “barfi” and coconut “pedas”.
According to the team, non-permitted synthetic pink, green and other colours were being used for preparing sweets.
“The owner, who was identified as Vinod Prasad, used to collect waste 'chashni', condensed sweetened water, at very low rates from different shops in the city and then prepare sweets in unhygienic way. We found that non-permitted synthetic colours, which are harmful for human body, were being used,” Dr Abnash Kumar, district health officer, Ludhiana said.
Dr Kumar, who was leading the health team, said, “We raided the factory following a tip-off. These sweets were to be supplied in the market during the upcoming festival season.”
Giving further details, Dr Kumar said, “Non-permitted synthetic colours and adulterated sweets can lead to cancer and kidneys stones, besides other diseases. I warn all sweet shopkeepers to sell only safe and healthy sweets. We will continue to carry out such raids to ensure only safe products are sold in the festival season. The residents can inform the civil surgeon's office if they have complaints about adulterated sweets.”
Manoj Khosla, food safety officer, said duplicate silver leaves were being used on these sweets, adding that some items were destroyed on the spot, while some were seized. The reports of collected samples would come within two weeks, he added.
Harpreet Kaur, food safety officer, who was also part of the department's team, said according to the Food Safety and Standards Act, the cases of adulteration and labelling matters came in the categories of “substandard” and “misbranded”, while the use of synthetic and major adulterated products, including harmful chemicals fell under the “unsafe” category.
Check purity yourself
Put a drop of iodine liquid on khoya. If a blue layer is formed, it indicates the presence of starch in khoya.
Rub the silver leaf layer on sweets with two fingers if it becomes powder then it is original. If after rubbing it forms a wick then it could be aluminium foil which is dangerous for health.
Three samples of food items failed test
Food safety officer Harpreet Kaur said two samples of chicken curry and fish curry collected from Aman Chicken shop, near railway crossing in Shastri Nagar, failed laboratory test. These samples were found unsafe during the test. One sample of bread pakora, which was collected from Sharma Sweets, Model Town in September, also failed test. The sample was of substandard quality.