The Jalandhar district has attained an unwanted record and beaten other districts of Punjab. Reason being 46 % samples of sweet items and other food products failed the purity test last month, highest in the state in the festival season.
The local officials of food safety wing in health department had collected 95 samples of sweets, milk products, and others in October. Out of the collected 44 did not clear the quality test, as per the report gathered from sources here.
Patiala is the second district from where the health department collected 125 samples out of which 32 were found unfit, followed by Ludhiana. In Ludhiana 31 samples were found below quality standards out of a total 93.
Sangrur officials gathered 133 food samples, out of which 26 failed the test. As many as 18 samples in Barnala did not pass the purity standards out of the 52 collected. The health department in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar collected 39 samples and 17 failed.
In Jalandhar, health team including chief medical officer Dr Rajiv Bhalla, district health officer (DHO) Dr Balwinder Singh, food safety officers Rashu Mahajan, Harjot Pal Singh and others took 11 samples of sweets including barfi, milk cake, sweet colour, ghee, boondi laddu and other products from a manufacturing unit of Gupta Sweets at Gazigulla Road on October 20. Out of the samples collected many were found unsafe and misleading with excess fat content and mixture of other products.
Aluminium foil was found on chocolate barfi, khoya barfi, roasted barfi, plain barfi and milk cake.
The consumption of foil can cause health problems such as food poisoning, kidney disease and cancer in the longer run.
Moreover, boondi laddu was found to have been prepared with a mixture of ‘besan’ (gram flour) and rice flour, in which the besan was of substandard quality according to the report.
Even the test performed on the collected ghee revealed presence of free fatty acids which can cause heart problems.
An official said that in case of unsafe samples, cases will be registered against defaulters in the court of chief judicial magistrate while cases of substandard products will be registered in the court of the additional deputy commissioner (ADC).
He added the ADC can also impose a fine of up to five lakh and the court could sentence a defaulter to life imprisonment for unsafe samples.