Relief food found to be contaminated

A number of food products brought from India and Singapore for distribution to earthquake victims have been found to be substandard , the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) said Thursday. It has barred the food products from being issued to the quake affected people after discovering the contamination.

According to the department, it has dumped 1,000 kg of Vaishali brand paratha bread sent from Mujaffarpur, India.

The DFTQC’s airport based monitoring unit seized the products that arrived by air cargo. “The products did not have any batch number or manufactured date on the packaging, and they were found to be covered in mould,” said DFTQC Spokesperson Purna Chandra Wasti.

Similarly, the department has barred the distribution of Lapooz, a synthetic mango drink produced by an Indian company based in Varanasi. DFTQC Director General Sanjiv Kumar Karna said the products were found to have bacterial contamination.

“Almost all the packets in the 33 cartons of the beverage were swollen due to microbe contamination,” he said.

Likewise, a consignment of noodles brought from Singapore for earthquake victims were found to be of poor quality.

According to the department, it destroyed 43 boxes of Koka noodles, a Singaporean brand, as they were date expired. The department has also found many locally produced goods to be substandard .

Karna said the problem was seen mostly in the case of bottled water intended for earthquake victims.

On Sunday, the department destroyed a batch of Metromint brand mineral water produced by DS Polytechnik, Dhanusha. Karna said they seized the bottled water that was found to be contaminated with coliform, a type of bacteria which could cause diseases like diarrhoea and cholera.

“We have sent an inspection team to check the company’s production plant. If found guilty, we will take action against the manufacturer under the Food Act 1966.”

Likewise, the department has seized four 20-litre jars of Aqua Best brand water produced by Sakchham Food and Beverage, Bhainsepati. According to Karna, the department confiscated the products after discovering that the jars contained sediment. The company had also been operating without a licence. Karna said they had asked the manufacturer for an explanation.

Source: ekantipur