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HindustanTimes Wed,27 Aug 2014

Health department acts tough on sweet makers

Mehakdeep Grewal , Hindustan Times  Patiala, October 02, 2013
First Published: 18:18 IST(2/10/2013) | Last Updated: 18:49 IST(2/10/2013)

The district health department has turned into a watchdog and is keeping a close watch on purchase and sale of spurious food items as the festival season takes off.

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The department has launched a campaign against the sale of adulterated food products including milk, ghee, khoya, paneer and sweet items.

A special team comprising food inspector, district heath officer has already collected 450 samples from sweet shops and diaries across the district including Rajpura, Nabha, Samana, and Patran.
Out of the collected samples 15% have been found adulterated.

District civil surgeon, Dr Varinder Singh Mohi said, "The health department collects 50 samples every month. With the festival season around the corner, the team has been asked to be more vigilant."

Mohi added that a fortnight before Diwali officials would be deployed at bus-stand and railway station to check milk imported from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan.

In 2012 around 540 samples of synthetic and adulterated milk products and sweets were seized and destroyed.

He added that the big sweet shops in city and in district would also under scanner next month and surprise raids would be on.

"We have got instructions from state health department to verify the quality of sweets; curb adulteration, unhygienic conditions and the illegal use of domestic gas cylinders,"he said.

District health officer Harsh Malhotra said, "We have been conducting raids and collecting samples under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2011. We will collect more samples than last year."

Malhotra added that written directions have been issued to all sweet shops owners. Defaulters would be penalised and punished under clauses of the Food Safety and Standards Act.

"Around three-lakh fine has already been imposed. The substandard food sample cases are registered in additional district magistrate court, whereas the unsafe sample cases are registered with chief judicial magistrate court,"he said.

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