5,700kg of spurious ghee recovered in Shahdara, Khanpur
A joint raid by the Delhi food safety department and Delhi Police on Wednesday led to the seizure of at least 5,700kg of counterfeit ghee from two wholesale shop in Shahdara and Khanpur. The seized ghee were spuriously packaged under labels of popular ghee brands.
The raid was conducted following complaints from dairy brand Milkfood, which led to the seizure of 330 cartons of 15kg each filled with fake brand labels. During the raid, food safety officers also found fake ghee labelled under the ‘Gowardhan’ brand.
“The police had one complaint from Milkfood, but when our inspectors took a look at the other products in the store, they also found the fake Gowardhan ghee. We had seized at least 1,000kg fake ghee with the same batch number two weeks ago. Laboratory analysis confirmed that the previous samples were unsafe and hence the officers decided to confiscate the 44 cartons, each with 18 jars of ghee of one kilogram each,” a senior official from the food safety department said.
“We collected samples for lab analysis, and saw that the ghee was solid even though the temperatures are high. Ghee is semi-solid at room temperature in summer. Additionally, the colour was also paler than ghee. The smell was consistent, but that could be from essence. The samples that we had picked up earlier were rancid,” Ranjit Singh, designated officer, Delhi’s food safety department, said.
The food safety department on Thursday started a four-day campaign to test ghee samples in Delhi after huge quantities of fake ghee had been unearthed.
The earlier batch of counterfeit Gowardhan ghee, upon laboratory analysis, was found to be unsafe. “The accused had been arrested under the copyright violations case and are currently on bail. Another case under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, has been filed in court,” said an official from the food safety department, on the condition of anonymity.
“We received complaints that counterfeit ghee under our brand name was being sold in Delhi, so we registered a complaint with the police. The Agmark serial number of the products seized during the raid did not match our ongoing series of numbers, and was from the 2017 series,” said Dhanraj Singh Negi, assistant vice-president of Milkfood Limited.
“We realised there was a problem when we came to know that our ghee was being sold at ₹100 less than our market price. We also received complaints from some customers that the quality of the ghee was bad,” said Dinesh Bhatnagar, head, corporate affairs at Parag Milk Food, the company that manufactures Gowardhan ghee had said.