Most food items in state found unfit for consumption

CHANDIGARH: The Health Department has launched a campaign to test various eatables, soft drinks and other consumable goods.

editorial@tribune.com

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, June 10

The Health Department has launched a campaign to test various eatables, soft drinks and other consumable goods. Reports emerging from various districts have indicated that most drinking water samples and food items are not fit for consumption.

Common forms of adulterants found in food products are artificially coloured foreign seeds in black pepper, sand, marbles and stones in foodgrains and pulses, artificially coloured saw dust in tea and white oil and petroleum products in edible oils and black pepper.

A report from Amritsar says that 43 per cent food samples collected by the Health Department have failed on quality parameters in the past three months. Of the 247 food samples from March to May, 107 failed the test.

District Health Officer Dr Shivkaran Singh said court cases had been filed against the erring shopkeepers. He said in the remaining cases, penalty would be imposed.

In Gurdaspur district, District Health Officer BS Bajwa collected 27 samples, including those of milk and allied products. Of these, two failed the test. In April, two of the 22 samples collected failed the test. We collected 21 samples in May, but the results are awaited.

In Pathankot district, of the 49 food samples collected in the last three months, four failed the tests.

In Bathinda, 28 samples of water out of the total 206 failed the test. These had high bacteria content. The samples were collected from various government schools and water works. Samples of various fast food items and soft drinks have sent for testing.

In Patiala district, 16 of the 43 water samples collected failed the test. These samples were taken from residential areas, slums, water supplied by the municipal committee, etc. The failed water samples mainly contained E Coli that often leads to gastroenteritis. The Health Department has issued notices to the departments concerned regarding the unclean water.

Moreover, the department collected 15 samples of cold drink, two of ice cream and four of packaged water in the past few days. While one of the samples of cold drink has failed the quality test, the reports of the others are awaited. In Jalandhar, at least 70 food samples have been taken from from mid-May till now.

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