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Health department to crack down on gutka sale









HUBLI: The district administration will crack down on gutka manufacturers, dealers and sellers. Companies found manufacturing gutka will be penalized up to Rs 10 lakh while shops selling the product will have to forgo their licence and face legal consequences.

The administration has formed special teams consisting of health safety officers and health department officers to curb the sale of gutka in the district after the state has banned its sale. Special teams have been conducting raids and seizing gutka since a week. But now the teams will act tough penalizing violators.

The ban was a crucial step forward, but the challenge lay in its implementation. According to sources, after banning gutka products on June 1, initially, the government had not issued guidelines on how to implement the ban. But the district administration has received a clear set of guidelines on June 7 from the state government on how to deal with people who defy the ban. Based on this, the district administration chalked out a stringent action plan to act tough against gutka sellers and manufacturers, said sources.

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Introducing “Business Associate Program”

After the introduction of the new FSSAI law in the country, the demand for Testing, Compliance and Training in the F&B and Corporate Industry has increased. Keeping this in mind, Equinox Solutions has started the Business Associate Program, an opportunity to partner with us.
An Equinox Business Associate would be marketing equinox services to Corporate, Hotels and Restaurants, Educational Institution, F&B (Food and Beverages), Government bodies, Builders, Housing societies. When you become an Equinox BAP with us, you get the experience of working with Equinox – a pioneer in Testing, Training and Compliance. Equinox BAP is responsible to generates leads of business, audit, inspection training and compliance. This will help Business Associate to generate revenue and also promote their branding in the industry.

Business Associate Program
Business Associate Program

What is Equinox Business Associate Program?

• Equinox Business Associate Program is an opportunity for individuals to render the services on behalf of Equinox and to generate revenue for themselves.

• Equinox BAP is responsible to generates leads of business, audit, inspection, Testing, Compliance and Training.

• Experience of working with Equinox – a pioneer in Testing, Compliance and Training.

• As and when Equinox has an opportunity of any business at your location, you get the chance to handle the business for Equinox

How To Become An Equinox Business Associate Program?

• In order to become a BAP with Equinox Labs, you have to fill online application form, after that we will shortlist the potential prospective BAP.

• On selection, you would be trained on marketing tactics and Equinox business environment.

• The training shall be provided to you by marketing team of Equinox via CD, Webinars, Skype or Classes.

• After the training, you shall undergo an Assessment, on the basis of  which you shall become a BAP with us.

 Who Can Be A Equinox Business Associate?

• Food Consultants

• Retired Food Technologists.

• Faculty and Professors from Food Technology colleges.

• Associates of Food Business.

• Associates of F&B Company

• Individual consultants.

• Food and Beverage Manufacturers.

Advantages Of Being An Equinox Business Associate:

• Equinox BAP will get the following commission structure: 10% on the invoice value of Rs 3, 00,000 15% above the invoice value of Rs 3, 00,000

• BAP will help in the growth and expansion of business.

• BAP will help to gain competitive advantage over other.

• The Equinox BAP shall help you to market your talent in the corporate industry and improve your networking within your industry.

Click For more information Or To Apply for the Equinox Business Associate Program

FSSAI files cases against 15 F&B companies for misleading advertisement

In a bid to crack down on tall claims in the print and electronic media, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has filed cases against 15 food and beverage companies, which have been found violating Section 24 of the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006 – which pertains to misleading advertisements – and the Food Safety and Standards (Packing and Labelling) Regulations (FSSR), 2011.

Nineteen top nutritional products marketed by 15 companies were found to have violated the rules and regulations, with claims that they make school children stronger and boost the stamina of sportspersons. The country’s apex food regulator has scrutinised the products and posted the names of the companies and products, along with the descriptions of their violations, on their website.

The errant companies are Heinz India Pvt. Ltd (Mumbai); Glaxo SmithKline Consumer Healthcare Ltd (Haryana); Emami Biotech Ltd (Kolkata); Marico Ltd (Mumbai); Hari Vegetable Products Ltd (Rajasthan); Trophic Wellness Pvt. Ltd (Mumbai); Kellogg’s India (Mumbai); Britannia Industries Ltd (Kolkata); Cadbury India Ltd (Mumbai); Today Tea Limited (Delhi); Abbott India Ltd (Mumbai); Dabur India Ltd (Delhi); Amway India Enterprises Pvt. Ltd (Noida); Hindustan Unilever Limited (Mumbai); and Rajdhani Flour Mills Ltd (Delhi).

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Inclusion of alcohol in FSS Act, 2006, no clash with Excise dept: FSSAI

Although alcoholic drinks have been included in the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006, and all the food business operators (FBOs) who sell alcoholic drinks like whisky, beer, rum, and vodka have to apply for licensing and registration, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has denied the possibility of any clash of interest with State Excise Departments.

A number of associations and organisations have made representations against licensing and registration for the business of alcoholic drinks. There has been apprehension that due to alcoholic drinks being included in the FSS Act, 2006, there is duplication of work with the Excise departments of states.

The matter has been examined and it has been clarified that the FSSAI will regulate with the framing of the standards of alcoholic drinks and issues concerned with the safety aspects of alcoholic drinks only from production to sale.

S N Mohanty, former CEO, FSSAI, said, “There will be no clash of interest between Excise department and FSSAI, because our work will be to issue licences to and register the FBOs which deal with the business of standard alcoholic drinks and wines. All FBOs may need to apply for licences and registration to the authorities at the Centre or state/Union Territory as per their capacity turnover.”

He added, “The other issues like revenue, trade, etc. will be dealt by the Excise departments of states and Union Territories. So there is clear-cut demarcation of the activities and no conflict in jurisdiction.”

Ganesh Naik, state excise minister, Maharashtra said, “We will be working in collaboration with FSSAI and the reason there will be no conflict in working of both authority.”

Unabated gutkha sale in State causes concern

The continuing sale of gutkha in Assam, disregarding public health interests, has prompted the Voluntary Health Association of Assam (VHAA) to express serious concern. Referring to the recent ban on gutkha production and sale in Madhya Pradesh and in Goa much earlier, the VHAA has questioned why such a step cannot be taken by the Assam Government.

Assam has one of the highest incidences of oral cancer in the country and a main factor has been identified as the widespread use of tobacco products such as gutkha and other chewable tobacco products.

The VHAA said that to safeguard the health of its citizens from the menace of chewing tobacco products, the Government of Madhya Pradesh has banned the sale and manufacture of products like gutkha, khaini and other chewing tobacco products based on the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) regulation to prohibit the addition of tobacco or nicotine in food, which was issued on August 1, 2011.

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The Expert’s Thought: Gutkha is an extremely popular herbal concoction sold throughout India and exported to a few countries. The most serious side effect associated with prolonged gutkha use is an increased risk of cancer.


Food free from fear

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has asked the States to put in place an adequate and effective structure to administer the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, which came into effect from August 5 last year.

The Act essentially involves putting in place an effective enforcement machinery to ensure safety in foods that are consumed. It was drafted as a consolidated Act bringing under its jurisdiction various individual Acts including the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.

In a letter to the States, K. Chandramouli, chairperson of the Authority has asked them to direct all concerned to initiate, set up and strengthen the implementing agencies so that “we could improve and put in place an adequate and effective structure to administer the Act.”

“You would agree that this is a very stupendous task and would need a very well coordinated effort involving local bodies like the municipalities, town areas and panchayats. A very strong information, education and communication (IEC) effort with local training and capacity building for government staff would also need to be put in place,” Mr Chandramouli said while adding that FSSAI would be supporting the States in terms of providing on-line software and material, training modules, training of trainers and resource persons. We have also sought budgetary support to strengthen the regulatory system in the 12th Plan, he said.

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Indians should stop excessive consumption of junk food, says diet experts

According to the diet experts, the habit of consuming junk food among Indian is increasing day by day and have warned that this could lead to severe health conditions.

Deputy Programme Manager at the Food Standards and Safety Authority of India (FSSAI) Savvy Soumya Mishra said that just blaming the international chains of fast food to spoil the pattern of diet in India is not enough.

She said that fast food has penetrated to the rural markets also in different forms such as potato chips and soft-drinks and wished that some remedial measures should be taken regarding this.

“Potato chips and similar snacks are available even in remote villages, where you may not find a school or a ration shop. These things have more reach. There will be soft-drink bottles in places that may not have even clean drinking water. McDonald’s and Pizza Hut may not have reached there, but chips and soft drinks have, what a pity!” Mishra said.

She also laid emphasis on the importance of reducing children’s reach to such trans-fat-laden junk food and suggested that such eatable items should be banned in schools.

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Our codes already go hand in hand with the FSSA

Advertisements are playing an important role today as more and more companies are coming up with new products to meet growing demands of consumers. But in the process, they tend to deviate from ethics and fall under the “misleading ads” category, which has shaken the industry.

Archana Aroor, in conversation with Allan Collaco, secretary-general, the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI), a self-regulation mechanism body, explores more on the topic

The Union government is looking to set up a separate inter-ministerial committee for checking misleading ads? As a council member what would you suggest?
Yes, ASCI’s suggestion is that we have been self-regulating on ads, since 26 years. We are willing to work with the government to ensure that consumers’ interests are protected completely. For this, we have held a conference in New Delhi on Nov 17, 2011, to discuss the various issues and to look at the major challenges faced. What is being conveyed to us from the conference was that ASCI needed to look into the speed that it takes for checking misleading ads.

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The Expert’s Thought: Advertisements are everywhere. Consumers have a need and advertisements direct the consumer to the company that has a solution for their need.They cater to your physical senses and bend your mind to what is possible.

Equinox launches Hygiene Shield, a certification standard for food industry

Mumbai-based Equinox Labs has launched the unique concept of Hygiene Shield, which according to the company, is an ideal certification standard for the food industry which is still staggering way behind when it comes to ensuring food quality.
“The Concept of Hygiene Shield was born 2 years ago, Equinox Labs soft-launched the concept four months ago. There was an overwhelming response from the market. The Hygiene Shield was officially launched on January 26, 2012,” informed Ashwin Bhadri, head, business relations, Equinox Labs, to FnB News.

According to Bhadri, one of the major problems being faced by the existing food safety standards in the country like ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) 22000, HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point System) and now FSSC (Food Safety System Certification) is that these are not followed by majority of the food businesses because of their inherent complexities and cost.

Bhadri believes that Hygiene Shield is a physical proof which would showcase that a particular establishment is hygiene certified.


The Expert’s Thought: Hygiene Shield, a representation of Hygiene Certification, is an answer to all the above mentioned concerns. The Hygiene Shield is a Physical Representation of the fact that this particular establishment is Hygiene certified, safe for human usage and its products are safe too.

Food authority to set standards for alcoholic drinks

Having framed safety standards for a variety of food products from honey to dietary supplements, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is in the process of drawing up standards for alcoholic beverages—right from the amount of alcohol content to the quality of grain used to produce it.

The authority’s expert group is at present working on the draft standards and officials say if things go as per schedule, new standards for all kinds of alcoholic beverages — spirits, wines and beer — should be notified by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare by July 1 along with those for health drinks and caffeinated beverages (energy drinks).

“…any item one ingests is to be classified as food. That is why we have decided to take up safety standards for alcohol. The standards will deal with everything from alcohol content to physical characteristics like boiling point, permissible amount of water, and even the quality of grains to be used for brewing beer. We will also frame standards for wines,” said a senior FSSAI official. The standards will also deal with the permissible amounts of moisture in the beverage and presence of pesticide residues in the bottled product.

The FSSAI has been mulling standards for alcoholic beverages for several months now, but the Distillers Association of Maharashtra had moved the Bombay High Court challenging its powers to legislate on alcohol on the grounds that it is the prerogative of the states to legislate on alcohol and that there are already a slew of state laws governing the manufacture and sale of liquor.

Source: Indian Express

The Expert’s Thought: Its good news that Government is thinking over the laws for alcohol regulations. This would bring less death due to bad level of alcohol.

India’s wine industry booming

Standing in front of a wine tasting class of restaurant managers, wine importers and producers, Cavaliere Subhash Arora declares: “People in India waste too much time in matching wines to food.”

The crowd looks up from their booklets filled with notes about each wine and stares at him curiously. Matching wines with food is why many of them are there. But most understand the frustration of trying to match wines with the spices in traditional Indian dishes.

“We had a dinner last night with the Indian Wine Academy and we heard members say it was hard,” Michele Shah, an Italy-based wine critic, told the audience about a dinner of 44 enthusiasts at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Delhi. “There aren’t that many wines to match to Indian food spices.”

Shah says it is best to find a rounder and fuller wine with pairing Indian dishes.

“In particular, wines that are fruit driven and have softer, velvety tannins are a better match,” Shah said.

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The Expert’s Thought: The Wine Industry in India is on the growth curve. This report traces the development of the Wine Industry in India and its efforts to become a global entity.

Traders stage protest against Food Safety Act

Food producers, dealers, traders and merchants joined hands to stage demonstrations simultaneously at 32 places across Tamil Nadu on Thursday demanding that the Central Government must postpone the implementation of the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act 2006, which was notified and implemented from August 5, 2011.

In Madurai, members of trade and industry bodies such as Madurai District Tiny and Small Scale Industries Association, The Tamil Nadu Foodgrains Merchants Association (TNFMA), Tamil Nadu Vanikar Sangangalin Perammaippu and Tamil Nadu Vanikar Sangangalin Peravai besides associations representing farmers and commodity dealers took part in the agitation.


Terming it as beneficial only to corporates, the agitators said that the food standards under the new Act had been drafted without factoring in local ground conditions and were suited only for Western countries, where even a small farmer possessed over 100 acres.

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The Expert’s Thought:Its very unfortunate that the people of India for whom the law was framed are unhappy. The GOI should figure it out what is their concern with the Act.

Milk safety as a global market factor

Analysts cite developing nations as the main source of world milk production growth over the next five years. Researchers at Rabobank say more than 80 percent of new milk will come from emerging markets, with China and India alone accounting for about 40 percent.

There are two important factors to remember when contemplating the implications of that kind of growth: 1) Even should emerging markets deliver, they still will not have enough milk to meet rising domestic demand, and 2) emerging markets, particularly China and India, face major milk safety questions that could both slow their milk output gains and encourage purchasing of import rather than locally produced products.

It is already happening in China. And India could find itself in the same position if it does not adequately address recent reports of rampant milk adulteration.

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The Expert’s Thought: Dairy products are perishable foods and must be stored in the refrigerator. Proper storage and handling of dairy foods will prolong shelf life and ensure food safety.

Ministry, FSSAI at loggerheads over import of damaged, impure food grains

If the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the country’s food regulatory body, is to be believed, the ministry of consumer affairs, food & public distribution is not concerned about the health of the people of India and continues to back the import of food grains that are not of good quality.

An importer from New Delhi, who spoke to FnB News via telephone on the strict condition of anonymity, said, “We cannot pinpoint who is responsible for the import of damaged food grains and those that contain hazardous foreign matter and impurities, but yes, that is rampant here.”

“When quizzed about it, the importers of these sub-standard food grains offer the flimsy excuse that India is not producing enough of the same. It is not that the farmers in this country cannot produce adequate and high-quality food grains,” he pointed out.

The ministry, backed by a group of influential importers, had appealed to the FSSAI to consider relaxing the existing norms for the import of food grains (including wheat, maize, jowar and bajra) and pulses, although they contained extraneous matter, including animal and mineral matter.

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The Expert’s Thought: Its sad that the trade is getting  affected  between the two ministries war. This is absolutely affecting the  country brand image

Unlicensed food firm served PM at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas function

A food safety officer has been suspended and three others were transferred after a report revealed that an unlicensed catering firm had served meals to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other VIPs during the recent Pravasi Bharatiya Divas.

Flight catering company Sky Feast, which had served meals to the VIPs at the Sanganer airport, was operating without food licence, a mandatory requirement under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. “AIR India had given the contract to serve the food to the catering company. Our food safety officers were deputed to take samples of the food to check its quality. The hotel was not having the food license and the officers did not take care of it, which is a negligence on their part,” an officer of the state medical and health department said.

Deputy secretary (medical and health) Sunil Kumar Sharma in two separate orders issued on Friday suspended Shree Ram Mishra and transferred three officers – Sandeep Agrawal, Sandeep Agrawal and Rajesh Tinkar.


The Expert’s Thought: Unfortunate Incident. It’s so inappropriate that the PM was served by unlicensed firm. The Governmental officials seem to be so careless.

Tricks to expose food adulteration

In a country where official systems set for food safety and prevention are constantly outdone by a booming adulteration business, the onus of safeguarding one’s family against contaminaed food, unfortunately falls on citizens themselves. From loose packed ground spices, to wet produce such as milk, khoya, paneer, to dry spices and grains, almost everything you can buy has a potential of being adulterated, if purchased from an unauthorized vendor in a box unmarked and tested by either Agmark or ISI.

While some of these could be less harmful, such as water or bran, chemicals and colouring agents such as Metanil Yellow, Lead Chromate, Sudan Red III, are known to be carcinogenic. The chairman of the Consumer Guidence Society of India, Dr Sitaram Dixit lists a few commonly used food items, and suggests simple home tests to check for their most common adulterants. In case the test asks for the presence of an acid, you could use common toilet-cleaning acid, or easily found citric acid or even lemon juice.

1 Turmeric, dals and pulses such as moong or channa

Metanil Yellow and Kesari Dal (Added to enhance the yellow colour of a food substance)

Dissolve half a spoon full of besan or turmeric powder in 20 ml of lukewarm water. Add a few drops of hydrochloric acid or any commonly available acid at home. If the water turns pink, violet or purple, it shows the presence of Metanil yellow.

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The Expert’s Thought: Adulteration is the act of debasing a pure or genuine commodity for pecuniary profit, by adding to it and inferior or spurious article, or by taking from it one or more of its constituents.

Karnataka plans new food lab, hires staff for better FSSA implementation

Karnataka has now speeded up efforts to ensure preparedness in terms of infrastructure and personnel to help the industry adhere to the Food Safety & Standards Act (FSSA), 2006.
The state, which has four food labs, is now looking to have a fifth facility in Bangalore, under the Karnataka Health Systems Development Project, which is funded by the World Bank.

The state is also contemplating on setting up mobile vans to simplify the surveillance of food units at a faster pace. Further efforts are on to offer online issue of licences and renewal. In this regard, the Union government has now software to network the state food commissionerates across the country. Karnataka is hoping to be among the first to install the same.

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The Expert’s Thought: Lab would be the markers of authenticity of the better Food & Hygiene  Practices. More labs would be the check pint for the Industry  and moreover the check can be done at regular basis.

Food samples found adulterated after milk

In a shocking revelation, the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has found that around 13% of food stuff is contaminated across the country. The results of the study came a day after another survey found that milk, an important nutritional component, was found to be adulterated across almost all major cities.

As per the data released by the FSSAI, the high percentage of adulteration in food samples puts a question mark on the safety measures taken by the health ministry.

The testing showed adulteration rates as high as 40% in Chhattisgarh, 34% in Uttarakhand, 29% in Uttar Pradesh, 23% in Rajasthan and 20% in West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh. Besides, nearly 17% of the food samples tested in Bihar and Chandigarh, 16% in Nagaland, 15% in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh and Orissa, 14% in Haryana, 12% in Tamil Nadu and 10% in Maharashtra were found to be adulterated. Interestingly, adulteration rates in Delhi were low at 4%, while in Karnataka it was just 5%.

FSSAI examined over 1.17 lakh samples of food articles and tested them in 2010. The result was shocking that around 13% of the samples were found to be contaminated.

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The Expert’s Thought: Its a major concern which has to be urgently overlooked by the government. The government must consider fast track courts for food adulterators, with harsh punishments. Such people condemn the public to ill-health and diseases. Not to mention harming future generations.