New Delhi: Popular snacks of various brands including Kurkure are now under the scanner of food safety authorities in Delhi.
The capital's department of food safety has devised a plan to test food items over the next eight weeks.
“In the past three days itself we have collected 32 samples of popular brands of chips, Kurkure and baby food for testing… We will pick up more in the days to come,” said city food safety commissioner KK Jindal.
Under the directive of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), various brands of instant noodles, pasta and macaroni have already been picked up for testing.
Meanwhile the ban on Maggi in various states including Delhi and Maharasthra continues as the Bombay high court gave no direction to lift the ban on the instant noodles.
Nestle India had moved to Bombay HC against the ban on Maggi in various states. In the hearing yesterday, the HC refused to orders of the central food safety regulator and Maharashtra government banning nine variants of its "Maggi" noodles from the market for being "hazardous" to public health.
A division bench of Justices V M Kanade and B P Colabawalla, hearing the petition filed by Nestle India Ltd challenging the ban orders, directed FSSAI and Maharashtra government to file their affidavits in reply to the company's petition within two weeks.
The court posted the matter for further hearing on June 30. The bench opined that the product (Maggi) was already off the shelf and hence no stay on the ban order was required at this stage.
The court, however, said if the FSSAI wants to initiate prosecution against Nestle then it should give the Indian arm of the Swiss multinational 72 hours notice.
Nestle has sought quashing of the June 5 order of Delhi-based Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and its Chief Executive Officer asking the company to withdraw and recall all its nine variants of Maggi from the market as they were unsafe and hazardous for human consumption.
The impugned orders also asked the company to stop production, processing, import, distribution and sale of their products with immediate effect, said Nestle.
The company said the orders do not comply with the mandatory provisions of section 34 of Food Safety and Standards Authority Act which deals with Emergency prohibition notices and orders.
It said the orders were passed without any authority and without following due process of law.
The company also said the orders were illegal, arbitrary and violative of the principles of Natural Justice as well as the Constitution of India.
“We are most concerned about what children are eating as even traces of toxins in food and drink can poison their bodies over time. Heavy metals may not have an immediate effect but can cause damage to vital organs in the long run,” said Jindal.
Over the last few days, the average number of food safety-related complaints made daily has doubled, with 50% of them being ‘bogus'. Complaints about adulterated milk are the most common. “People call and say the milkman mixes urea or detergent in milk but when we test it, we don't find these adulterants. In most cases, the milk quality is found to be sub-standard, with most loose milk samples found to be diluted with water,” said Jindal.
In Mumbai, there was some relief for Nestle India with the high court ordering central and state food safety authorities not to take any further action against the company or its officials without giving 72 hours' notice. It also asked FSSAI to defer proceedings undertaken for the withdrawal of product approval for nine variants of Maggi, posting the matter for further hearing on June 30.