The administration has imposed a fine of Rs 23.22 lakh in 127 of 298 cases where food items failed quality and brand test. Nearly 40 cases are pending in the court of Patiala additional deputy commissioner Mohinder Pal.
The health department collects these food samples under the Food Safety and Standard Act every month from Patiala, Nabha, Rajpura, Samana, and other parts of the district. Of the samples, 99 were seized between April 1 and July 31, and the defaulters fined Rs 7.74 lakh in 58 cases. Between April 1, 2015, and March 31, 2016, the ADC’s court received 199 cases and imposed a total fine of Rs 15.48 lakh in 169.
Of the 44 food samples collected by the district health department from sweetshops, cafés and dairies in June, 17 failed the purity test. A health department official says substandard, misbranded, and misprinted food items were being sold in the district. “We found a coffee house selling ordinary water as mineral water, while its flavoured milk was impure,” a health official said.
The health department collected samples of sweets, water, dal, raita, cottage cheese, curd, pickle, ice-cream, sauce as well and send these to laboratories in Chandigarh. After a sample fails, it files a case against the company concerned. “The department is trying hard to contain adulteration. Raids will continue,” said food inspector Sandeep Singh.
A Patiala resident, Gurjeet Singh, said, “Defaulters deserve the heavy fine. Raids ought to be regular in all areas. People’s health must be safeguarded.”