Faridabad: Tardy lifting of samples raises worries over adulteration : The Tribune India

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Faridabad: Tardy lifting of samples raises worries over adulteration

Only 97 food samples taken in 15 months; staff shortage, lack of infra hamper operations

Faridabad: Tardy lifting of samples raises worries over adulteration

Officials seal food samples at a Faridabad outlet. file photo



Tribune News Service

Bijendra Ahlawat

Faridabad, May 17

The Food Safety Department took only 97 samples for testing from January 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024, in the district. The average rate of sample collection comes out to be around six per month.

This pace of sampling is inadequate in view of the threat of adulteration in food items.

The total number includes 30 samples from grocery shops, 28 from sweet meat shops, 18 of paneer, 15 from the kitchens of restaurants and hotels and six from oil mills, as per the details compiled by the officials.

In reply to a query raised by area resident Ajay Saini, it has been revealed that no sample has been lifted from the eateries or canteens located in the educational institutions in this period. The food items served in banquet halls, marriage places and farmhouses during weddings and meat shops have not been tested either.

Similarly, the items sold by the canteens and shops to the staff of government offices and the industrial or commercial organisations have also not been put to test.

An official on condition of anonymity said only one Food and Safety Officer (FSO) is available to look after the work in Faridabad and Palwal against the total sanctioned posts of four. Food samples are sent to a laboratory at Chandigarh, it is further revealed.

“Though the authorities need to collect samples every week, it is only done in and around festive seasons,” said city resident Varun Sheokand.

He had filed a petition in the High Court regarding adulteration in milk products in 2022. He claimed that the collection of samples ahead of festivals was useless as the report was usually made available after the food items were consumed. He asserted that prosecution also needed to be fast tracked to curb adulteration.

Meanwhile, Dr Sachin Sharma, Food Safety Officer here, said, “The department collects samples of food items at regular intervals and takes action against the offenders as per the rules.”

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