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Food safety not in unsafe hands

NEW DELHI: Despite their doubtful hygiene, it is hard to resist the golgappas, aloo tikkis, ram laddoos, momos, etc., sold on the roadside. Though Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has formulated guidelines to regulate this unorganized sector, Delhi government has failed to effectively implement them. Now, the street vendors, themselves, are coming together to ensure acceptable standards of food quality and hygiene.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, National Association of Street Vendors of India has launched a catering service to be run and managed by street vendors. “If street vendors want to be taken serious, they will have to stand united. This initiative will give street vendors an opportunity to expand their base. Through this, we can keep a check on the quality of food served and hygiene standards maintained by street vendors,” NASVI president Arbind Singh said.

On Monday, NASVI organized a large scale workshop on hygiene and food safety for street vendors. Street vendors from across the city were taught ways to maintain food quality and also informed about how this will help boost their income. “There is a need to create awareness about food safety among public and street vendors. If customers demand it, they will be forced to maintain hygiene. This will result in increase in their monthly income as they can charge more for providing good quality food,” said K Chandramouli, chairperson, FSSAI, who inaugurated the workshop.

Delhi was one of the first states to implement the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006. But sources in FSSAI claim it has failed to deliver the goods. “There are many states which have done a lot of work to streamline street food vendors. But Delhi has not done much,” said a senior official.

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Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to conduct periodic checks of soft drinks

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to monitor and conduct periodic checks of all carbonated soft drinks as the issue relates to citizens’ fundamental right to life guaranteed under the Constitution.

A bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and A K Sikri passed the direction while disposing of a PIL that had sought constitution of a separate panel to regulate soft drinks to protect citizens from their “deleterious effects”.

“The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India will conduct periodic checks of the carbonated drinks,” the bench said, adding the matter relates to the fundamental right to life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

The apex court had on December 13, 2012, reserved its order on a PIL filed in 2004 for setting up a committee to evaluate the alleged harmful effects of soft drinks on human health and to properly label the beverages, detailing their ingredients.

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Worms found in sandwich served on Air India flight

The incident occurred on Air India flight (AI102) with a Rajouri Garden resident who asked for a sandwich and was served an infested one, sources said.

The incident occurred on Air India flight (AI102) with a Rajouri Garden resident who asked for a sandwich and was served an infested one, sources said.

NEW DELHI: An Air India flier got the shock of his life when he found worms in the sandwichserved to him on a New York-Delhi flight.
The incident occurred on Air India flight (AI102) with a Rajouri Garden resident who asked for a sandwich and was served an infested one, sources said.
He complained with Air India authorities at the airport after arriving in Delhi on September 28, but claimed to have not received a response for a fortnight about the action taken in that regard.
When asked, an Air India spokesperson said that “suitable action had already been taken against the caterer”.
He termed the incident as “very rare” and said, “We get our food prepared by the best caterers under very hygienic conditions”, adding that Air India follows the “strictest procedure” for selecting a caterer.

Equinox Labs introduces link between FSSA & pest control at India Pest

Equinox-Labs-New-Logo-1Equinox Labs introduces link between FSSA & pest control at India Pest

India Pest 2013 – a three day event that took place in Hyderabad recently – was hosted by Stelson Quadros, secretary, Indian Pest Control Association (IPCA). Ashwin Bhadri, head, business relations, Equinox Laboratories in mumbai, spoke about the introduction to the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006, and its co-relation to pest control and pest management. At the session, which was pest control experts, he spoke about the opportunities that lie within the pest control industry.

Speakers from Bayer and Intensive Pest Control Pvt Ltd made presentations. Jason Nash of Bayer moderated a panel discussion on bio-control in termite management. The panelists included Dr Shrinivas, Dr Ashish and Dr K Malla. Ganesh spoke about fumigation and its importance to the Indian economy. The highlight of the post-lunch session was a networking and stall visit, with closing comments by D D K Sharma, additional plant protection advisor, Plant Quarantine Division.

The first session of the afternoon was titled ‘BASF and professional pest management’. It was delivered by Hans Athaide, development and regulatory affairs manager, Pest Control Solutions, Asia Pacific, BASF South East Asia Pvt Ltd, Singapore. It was followed by a panel discussion titled ‘Efficacy of rodent repellers’.

Food security & regulations discussed at 7th essay of Food World India

The seventh edition of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FICCI) Food World India seminar commenced on Monday at Mumbai’s The Lalit. The theme of the seminar, which focussed on food security and regulations in the country, was ‘Feeding a billion: The role of the food processing industry’.

A report on the same was released at the event by Krishna Byre Gowda, Karnataka’s minister of agriculture and food processing; D K Samantaray, chief executive officer, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), and Siraj Hussain, secretary, ministry of food processing industries (MoFPI).

Addressing the stakeholders, Samantaray said, “When someone from the industry asked me what I know about oil, I answered that I know only about the oil I use for my car. Likewise, the only thing I know about food is the food I eat. And as FSSAI chief, my job is to ensure a better quality of food quality to the 120 billion people of India.”

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Equinox Labs introduces link between FSSA & pest control at India Pest

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India Pest 2013 – a three day event that took place in Hyderabad recently – was hosted by Stelson Quadros, secretary, Indian Pest Control Association (IPCA). Ashwin Bhadri, head, business relations, Equinox Laboratories, spoke about the introduction to the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006, and its co-relation to pest control and pest management. At the session, which was pest control experts, he spoke about the opportunities that lie within the pest control industry.

Speakers from Bayer and Intensive Pest Control Pvt Ltd made presentations. Jason Nash of Bayer moderated a panel discussion on bio-control in termite management. The panelists included Dr Shrinivas, Dr Ashish and Dr K Malla. Ganesh spoke about fumigation and its importance to the Indian economy. The highlight of the post-lunch session was a networking and stall visit, with closing comments by D D K Sharma, additional plant protection advisor, Plant Quarantine Division.

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Centre allowed to get junkfood guidelines examined by experts

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court today allowed the Centre’s plea that an expert committee would examine its recently-drafted guidelines on regulating sale of junk food and aerated drinks in and around schools premises.

“We have a seven-member expert committee. We would place the draft guidelines (on junk food) before the expert committee. Kindly give us four weeks time,” Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Rajeeve Mehra, appearing for the Centre, told a bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana.

The bench, also comprising Justice Pradeep Nandrajog, allowed the plea of the Centre and said that in the meantime, private parties like the Restaurants Association may file their representations to the expert committee on the issue.

During the hearing, senior advocate A M Singhvi, appearing for one of the parties, opposed the draft guidelines of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) saying that private firm AC Nielsen QRG-MARG Pvt Ltd cannot be allowed to frame them.

“At best, it (AC Nielsen QRG-MARG Pvt Ltd) can collect the data, but it cannot frame guidelines,” he said. Similar plea was taken up by another senior lawyer Ashok Desai who said that the Food Safety and Standards Act has a specific provision and a private body cannot do this.

“The term junk food is a subjective term. A food item may be junk food for one and may not be for others,” Singhvi said.

“Such submissions would derail the process. The issue raised in the PIL goes beyond the Act (Food Safety and Standards Act),” the bench said. “We are looking at health issues. Obesity and even hypertension are becoming prevalent among children. We are aping the West,” the ASG said.

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Govt silent on FSSAI report on milk quality

The State government and the department responsible for maintaining food safety standards in Nagaland, it appears, have chosen to keep mum on a recent Food Safety and Standards of Authority of India (FSSAI) survey report on milk quality in Nagaland. According to a Press Information Bureau (PIB) report released on August 28 last, Nagaland stood fourth among states not conforming to Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011 with regard to milk produced and sold here. The information, the PIB release stated, was provided by Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad at the Rajya Sabha. Local dailies had also carried the PIB report subsequently.
“In the National Survey conducted by the FSSAI to ascertain the quality of milk throughout the country, 68.4% samples were found to be non-conforming to Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011,” the PIB release stated. Nagaland stood fourth (at 86 percent) in the state-wise details of non-conforming samples in the descending order of percentage with respect to the total samples collected in different states and union territories. The report did not specify what kinds of adulterants were found in the samples which deemed the samples as not conforming to safety standards.

Food Safety and Standard Authority of India to study street food hygiene, quality

MUMBAI: The Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) has received the Uttar Pradesh government’s go-ahead to study quality of street food in Lucknow and Varanasi, known for tunda kebabs, jalebi and rabri.
The six-month study would cost a few crores and look at the number of street vendors, their personal hygiene besides the number of people consuming the food along with quality of water used.

UP food commissioner would conduct the study, which would also look into the nutritional value of the street food by measuring its fat and mineral content.

“Indians love street food. But it is important to ensure it is prepared and served in hygienic settings. We had asked the UP government for permission to carry out the study to look at the street food quality in 15 districts, but have received clearance to carry it out in Lucknow and Varanasi,” said FSSAI director Pradip Chakraborty.

The decision to standardize street food came after a successful pilot project carried out in Kolkata. The city’s safety standards in its street food inspired the Union health ministry to emulate the model across India.

A recent survey of the ministry in 16 cities found over 90% street food unsafe for consumption.

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Centre appoints 15 members under FSSA’s Sections 5, 7

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Exercising the powers conferred upon it by Sections 5 and 7 of the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006, the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, appointed 15 members (other than ex-officio members) in the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for three-year-terms that commence on the date they enter office or until the age of 62 years or until further orders, whichever is the earliest.

The duo appointed under Clause (b) of Sub-section (1) of Section 5 of the Act is Shreya Pandey of the All India Food Processors’ Association (AIFPA), New Delhi, and Meetu Kapur of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), New Delhi.

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Mr. Ashwin Bhadri outlines details on facing FDA audit while speaking at Goa expo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Equinox Labs was among the key participants at Goa Food and Hospitality Expo (GFHEX), a hospitality event, held in the state recently.

To mark the occasion, a networking dinner was held where Salim Veljee, director, department of food & drugs administration (FDA), participated and spoke on  “Food Safety & Standards: A Food Business Operator’s Perspective.”

Ashwin Bhadri, head, business relations, Equinox Labs, gave an introduction on “How to face a FSSAI /FDA Audit.” The session was attended by 150 hoteliers and representatives from companies catering to hotels, restaurants, cafes, bakeries, fast food joints, and specialty retail.

Gaurish Dhond, president, Goa Hotel and Restaurant Association, stated that the seminar and expo were fantastic and should be conducted every year, as they proved to be a value addition for the food and beverage community.

FSSAI moots regulations for infant milk, substitute food, fortified atta

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has proposed new regulations for infant milk and substitute food, fortified atta and ingredients for different foods – Food Products Standards and Additive – Amendment Regulations 2013.

For infant nutrition – the regulations defined substitutes for infant milk as milk protein between 10 and 16 per cent of by weight and total milk fat not less than 18 per cent. The draft also has regulation related to processed cereal-based complementary food for use in specific conditions. It provides that such food shall conspicuously be labelled as mono cereal-based complementary food – it can incorporate single cereal like rice or ragi and for use under medical guidance.

The regulations also defined the amount of nutrients for fortified atta and maida. Nutrients like calcium, iron, vitamin A, C, B1, B2, B6, B12, folic acid and niacin.

Some more ingredients were covered for use under the new regulations like oligofructose, not more than 10 per cent of the product. This ingredient could be used for dairy products like yogurt, spreads, frozen desserts, ready-to-eat dry breakfast, and milk product-based sweets.

Second ingredient that was included in draft regulations – phyto or plant stanol esters again for milk-based drinks, juices and so on with limit of 3 gm per day consumption. Third ingredient is Trehalose for carbonated beverages, biscuits, macaroni, noodles, pasta, sweets and candies with an amount 0.5 per cent to 75 per cent.

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EQUINOX LABS participated in Goa Food and Hospitality Expo (GFHEX) on 9th August ,2013

Goa’s first ever Biggest Hospitality Event hosted by professionals, the exhibition was for 4 days of innovation and inspiration. The event in Goa was conducted from 8th -11th August,

A Networking Dinner was held on  Friday ,9th Aug,2013 Hotel Mandovi, Panaji, Goa  at Taleigao Community Centre, Taleigao where Mr. Salim Veljee, Director , Department  of Food & Drugs Administration participated and narrated a small speech about  “Food Safety & Standards:  A Food Business Operator’s  Perspective” detailing about FSSAI and its importance, he mentioned FBO’S part of implementation related to FSSAI.

Mr.Ashwin Bhadri – Head Business Relations (EQUINOX LABS)   gave a brief introduction on  “How to face a FSSAI /FDA Audit”  the session was attended by 150  Hoteliers, a wide variety of exhibiting companies with leading edge  products catering to hotels, restaurants ,cafes, bakeries ,fast food joints, specialty retail and manufacturing sectors from established brands that  participated from across the country.

Mr. Gaurish Dhond President of Goa Hotel and Restaurant association commented stating that the seminar and the expo were fantastic and should be conducted every year, as it added a value on Food and Beverage (F&B) community.

Equinox Labs conducts Free Live Webinar on FSSAI Product Approval

Chance to gain vital knowledge on FSSAI Product Approval and its impact on the Industry according to your own convenience and Another advantage is that it was ABSOLUTELY FREE.

Mr. Ashwin Bhadri, Head Business Relations & FSSAI Expert – Equinox Labs. Also Author of 13 steps to protect yourself from consumer, will explain the challenges of FSSAI Product Approval faced in the Industry by giving live Customers example.

Throughout the Webinar Equinox experts will cover the insights of FSSAI Product Approval. Plus Experts will be accessible live after the Webinar for your Questions and Queries, where you will be able to chat live and download in depth resources.

The Webinar will include:

  • Who needs to go for Product Approval.
  • New Product Approval Procedure.
  • Product Categorization.
  • Required Documents for Product Approval.
  • Q&A Session.

So Join Mr. Ashwin Bhadri for the Webinar on FSSAI Product Approval.

Date & time: Friday, July 26, 2013 02:00 PM IST

Duration:  90 mins

The Webinar is being delivered at no cost to you, Compliments of the Equinox Labs, expert in Testing, Compliance and Training.

FSSAI facing Infrasturcture Hurdles

Online food licensing and regn faces manpower & infrastructure hurdles

Even technology has failed to speed up the snail-paced licensing and registration of FBOs procedure being undertaken across the country under the Food Safety & Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011.

That is because, fraught with glitches like lack of tech-savvy users and officials and inadequate infrastructure – software, hardware and manpower – the online version of the procedure, which meant the entire process will be completed in a few minutes at the click of a few buttons, has failed to gather steam in most parts of the country where it has been launched in recent times.

While the above-mentioned glitches are a matter of grave concern for now, they are also likely to impact the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) goal of completing the licensing and registration procedure in the country before the deadline – February 4, 2014 – be it manual or online. Interestingly, the deadline has been extended by the Authority twice earlier.

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Equinox Labs to conduct Free Live Webinar on FSSAI Product Approval

This is your chance to gain vital knowledge on FSSAI Product Approval and its impact on the Industry according to your own convenience and Another advantage is that it is ABSOLUTELY FREE.

Mr. Ashwin Bhadri, Head Business Relations & FSSAI Expert – Equinox Labs. Also Author of 13 steps to protect yourself from consumer, will explain the challenges of FSSAI Product Approval faced in the Industry by giving live Customers example.

Throughout the Webinar Equinox experts will cover the insights of FSSAI Product Approval. Plus Experts will be accessible live after the Webinar for your Questions and Queries, where you will be able to chat live and download in depth resources.

The Webinar will include:

  • Who needs to go for Product Approval.
  • New Product Approval Procedure.
  • Product Categorization.
  • Required Documents for Product Approval.
  • Q&A Session.

So Join Mr. Ashwin Bhadri for the Webinar on FSSAI Product Approval.

Date & time: Friday, July 26, 2013 02:00 PM IST

Duration:  90 mins

The Webinar is being delivered at no cost to you, Compliments of the Equinox Labs, expert in Testing, Compliance and Training.

Click here to sign up for free webinar

Safe street food project

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vendors wearing gloves while serving up plates of pani puri or donning a chef’s hat while stirring spicy bhel may soon be a regular sighting to Mumbai’s street food culture.

Street food is set to become certifiably safer with the central government kicking off their Safe Street Food project across fifteen cities in India including Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Ahmadabad, Kolkata, Patna, Lucknow, Varanasi, Dehradun, Bhubaneshwar, Agartala, Jammu, Trivandrum and Chennai. The project will take off in November this year.

Food Safety and Standard Authority of India’s (FSSAI) that launched the Safe Street Food project plans to use officials from the state Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) to narrow down food stalls at Juhu and Girgaon Chowpatty as a part of the pilot project.

Prior to the implementation, a detailed project report has been sought by FSSAI from all states. FDA officials are currently seeking information on 80 food stalls in Juhu and 28 stall in Girgaon about their working practices.

“We are closely studying the cooks to see if they maintain hygiene while cooking. We are also observing how they store food and dispose garbage,” said Kamlesh Sankhe, joint commissioner (food), FDA.

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SC asks to curb sale of adulterated milk

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday expressed concern over the sale of adulterated milk in the country, saying it is a serious issue and action needs to be taken by the state governments to curb it.

“It is a very serious issue. There is no doubt that it is happening all over the country. What action is being taken by the government?” a bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and Pinaki Chandra Ghose asked.

The bench directed the governments of Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Delhi to file their response stating what action they are taking to put an end to the menace of milk adulteration, after the Centre submitted that it is for the state governments to take action on the issue.

The court said that it would later on expand the ambit of the PIL to include all the states in the country on the issue.

The bench posted the matter for hearing on July 31 and made it clear that no further time will be given to the states to file their submissions.

The court also observed that the adulteration is because of gaps in demand and supply of milk.

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FDA issues food-borne salmonellosis warning

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the national food regulatory body, has issued an advisory following the outbreak of salmonellosis, a food-borne bacterial infection, in the US and New Zealand.

Use of Tahini sesame paste from Turkey in food preparations has been found to be the origin of the infection. The FSSAI issued the advisory in the country because imported sesame paste is used in Indian cuisine and there is a possibility that the product have entered our food chain.

“The particular outbreak appears to be over. But, this product has a long shelf-life and it may still be at people’s homes. The product has been recalled. Consumers unaware of the recall could continue to eat the product and fall sick. Hence, the FSSAI issued an advisory on June 19,” said Shashikant Kekare, joint commissioner (food), Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), Pune division.

FDA assistant commissioner Dilip Sangat said, “Soon after receiving the FSSAI’s advisory, we carried out thorough inspections at food stores that stock imported food items. We have not found Tahini sesame paste from Turkey. But there are chances that it may be used in households in Pune. Hence, people need to be made aware that they should immediately stop using the product. We are keeping a vigil to ensure that the product does not enter the city’s imported food supply chain.”

As per the FSSAI’s advisory, the recalled consignment of Tahini sesame paste has expiration dates from January 1 to June 8, 2014 and from October 16, 2014 to March 15, 2015. The manufacturer of the paste in Turkey is called GESAS Genel Gida Sanayi Ve Ticaret A S of Konya, Turkey.

Food-borne salmonella is a leading cause of food-borne illnesses. Traditionally, most cases of salmonellosis were thought to originate from meat and poultry products. But, an increasing number of outbreaks are occurring as a result of contaminated produce, say researchers.

Several produce have been specifically identified in outbreaks, and the ability of salmonella to attach or internalise into vegetables and fruits may be factors that make these items more likely to be salmonella sources. In addition, environmental factors, including contaminated water sources used to irrigate and wash produce or crops, have been implicated in a large number of outbreaks, experts said.

Salmonella is carried by both domesticated and wild animals and can contaminate freshwater by direct or indirect contact. In some cases, direct contact of produce or seeds with contaminated manure or animal waste can lead to contaminated crops.

The US-based Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that consumers do not eat recalled Krinos brand tahini sesame paste and discard any remaining product at homes.

Outbreak of salmonellosis in US

* Total 16 people infected with the outbreak strains of Salmonella Montevideo or Salmonella Mbandaka were reported from nine states till June 21

* The number of ill people identified in each state was as follows: California (1), Georgia (1), Iowa (1), Louisiana (1), Minnesota (2), New York (1), North Dakota (1), Texas (7), and Wisconsin (1)

* One patient hospitalised who died later

* Collaborative investigation efforts of state, local, and federal public health and regulatory agencies indicated that tahini sesame paste distributed by Krinos Foods, LLC of Long Island City, New York was the source of this outbreak

Equinox Labs inaugurates 20,000sq ft food testing laboratory in Rabale

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Equinox Labs’ new food testing laboratory in Rabale, Navi Mumbai, was inaugurated by Suresh Deshmukh, joint commissioner, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Maharashtra, recently. The facility, which covers an area of 20,000sq ft, houses microbiology and chemistry laboratories, a seminar hall with a seating capacity of fifty and a sensory evaluation area.

In his inaugural address, Deshmukh said, “There is a dearth of good laboratories in India, and such facilities will fill the gaps in implementing food safety and compliance with the guidelines laid down by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Every food business has to be approved and registered/a licensee under the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006, and Regulations (FSSR), 2011.”

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Contact Information

Equinox Labs

Call: +91 22 276 44 111

Email: info@equinoxlab.com