As many as 29 per cent samples of milk products and sweet items collected by the health department from separate areas of the district, had failed the purity test this year.
Out of 494 food samples collected in the district during this year, as many as 141 were found manufactured with sub-standard raw material, unsafe for human consumption under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006.
The health department has claimed to launch civil or criminal proceedings against defaulters as the cases of sub-standard have been filed in the court of the additional deputy commissioner and unsafe cases have been listed in the court of the chief judicial magistrate.
The health department had also collected around Rs 4.47 lakh as fine imposed on defaulters this year.
According to the health department, failed samples of different items have included sweets, bakery products, grocery items and milk products.
However, as per sources, mostly local milk and milk products, bakery products and other samples were being collected by the health department this year as per guidelines issued by higher officials.
As per the directions, authorities have fixed a minimum target of 100 every month. But due to the lackadaisical attitude of health officials, they usually fail to cover the target.
As Diwali is just after a day, sale of sweets has increased and sweet manufacturers prepare items in bulk with complete disregard of hygiene and food safety. They totally ignore the health of people in order to earn huge profit.
The apathy of the health department can be gauged from the fact that only 58 samples have been collected by the department this month in the district.
An official on condition of anonymity said that due to an interference of political leaders and officials, the drive against those found selling adulterated sweets is being affected.
When contacted, district health officer (DHO) Jasbir Singh said that during the month of October, 95 samples of various milk products, sweets and other products, respectively were taken and reports are still to reach in his office.
He said that the ADC can impose a fine of maximum up to Rs 5 lakh on the defaulter and court can sentence a defaulter to life imprisonment for the unsafe sample.
In another shocking revelation, the department is unable to find records of food samples lifted in 2013 and 2014. The department depends either on the headquarters in Chandigarh or online for the records related to Jalandhar.