Food safety dept seizes over 1,000kg counterfeit ghee after raid on market
Delhi’s food safety department on Friday seized over 1,060kg of counterfeit ghee during a raid in Shradhanand market near Lahori gate. Officers confiscated 60 cartons containing 18 one-kg plastic jars of ghee being sold under the ‘Gowardhan’ brand.
“Some of the packs had been opened. We confiscated all that was there in the shop. Legal samples were also sent to the food safety lab for testing,” said Ranjit Singh, designated officer, Delhi’s food safety department.
The raid was conducted on the complaint of the company whose products were being counterfeited.
“We realised there was a problem when we found out 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 Foods, the company that manufactures Gowardhan ghee.
“When we got some of the samples, we realised that it was counterfeit; the logo they were using was slightly different, the colour of the packaging was also off, and our products say ‘Parag Milk Foods Ltd’, but the counterfeit did not have an ‘s’ in the food. That’s when we lodged a police complaint,” Bhatnagar said.
Although legal proceedings will be filed after an analysis of the samples in Delhi’s food safety lab, even upon a physical inspection, the counterfeit ghee was not found to be up to the mark.
“The first thing we do while collecting samples is to check the physical appearance. I have been in the field for years and on just a visual inspection, I could tell something was off with the ghee. The colour was not consistent with pure ghee and it did not have the typical smell either. It was also surprising to see that even at these high temperature, the ghee had not fully melted. The samples smelled rancid as well,” Singh said.
HT had on Thursday reported that milk and milk products topped the list of unsafe food items, with 161 samples failing the food safety departments tests in the last 16 months.