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Jalandhar

Posted at: Dec 9, 2018, 1:54 AM; last updated: Dec 9, 2018, 1:54 AM (IST)

Sale of fruits, veggies with stickers goes on unabated

Sale of fruits, veggies with stickers goes on unabated
To maintain safety standards, the decision to remove stickers from fruits and vegetables has been taken by the FSSAI. Tribune photo

Ajay Joshi

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar December 8

In a notification issued recently to all district health officers and food safety teams, the State Food Commissioner has made it mandatory that from now onwards, fruits and vegetables with stickers applied on them should not be sold in the market.

However, unaware about the guidelines, fruit and vegetable suppliers, vendors and retailers are still selling fruits and vegetables with stickers on them.

Vendors said, they were receiving item with stickers applied on them from the mandi suppliers and they were not told to remove them.

Commissioner Kahan Singh Pannu said: “These stickers, pasted on fruits and vegetables, usually contain harmful chemicals and buyers consume them without knowing the toxicity of the chemicals.”

“Therefore, to maintain the safety standards, the decision has been taken by the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) at the central- level,” he added.

The Commissioner said: “The suppliers usually apply these stickers to make the eatables look genuine and earn extra bucks from them. However, these stickers were not needed to reflect the premium quality of the fruits. Sometimes the stickers were applied on the fake products as well.”

Secretary, Mandi Board, Rupinder Minhar, said: “Usually the imported high-quality food items have stickers applied on the items. But to sell their items on beneficial rates the retailers apply stickers on their items.”

“Good quality’, ‘Superior quality” and ‘imported’such terms are written on stickers, followed by some minute barcodes, whereas such stickers aren’t necessary to put on display as there is no fruit and vegetable brand in the country,” he added.

“In other countries such stickers are applied using vax- generated from honey bee. However, local traders use harmful adhesives, which are used for commercial purposes,” he added.

Minhar admitted that the information hasn’t been conveyed to all wholesalers and vendors presently and would be communicated shortly.

Pannu said, “The food safety teams have been directed to check the sale of such fruits and vegetables and apprise the traders aware of the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, as per which no food business operator will store, sell or distribute any food article which are unsafe.”

“In the advisory notice, the teams have also been advised to inform the traders that in case a sticker is a must to provide relevant information like grade, price or barcode as in case of sales in supermarkets, then stickers or labels should not be put directly on fruits and vegetables.” he added.

He said: “Rather a functional barrier like a safe transparent thin film must be used and sticker should be pasted on them. The ink used on the stickers must be of food grade quality.”

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