FDA orders vendors and traders not to wrap food products in newspapers

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The Maharashtra Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued orders in the Mumbai division ordering street food vendors, confectioners and bakery owners not to use newspapers to wrap food products.

The ink used in the newspaper is harmful to customers, he said. Officials said they had ordered vendors to stop giving food items such as ‘vada pav, pohe, candy, bhel and other newspaper-packaged foods to customers, the FDA also warned against strict action if the practice is not stopped.

In 2016, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued an all-India advisory banning the use of newspapers to wrap food products.

FDA officials said they have held several outreach programs among street vendors to educate them about the dangers of wrapping edible foods in newspapers. However, “so far we haven’t received any complaints from people about newspaper-packaged food. But if we receive a complaint, action will be taken against the street vendors,” said one. senior official.

Shashikant Kendre, Assistant Commissioner for Food, FDA (Mumbai Division), said the ink used for printing the newspapers contaminates the food after it is packaged in the newspaper, which can have serious repercussions on the well – to be individual.

Food contamination indicates the appearance of harmful chemicals and infectious microorganisms that can have adverse effects on human health, he said.

“The ink used to print newspapers and magazines is made from chemicals. Wrapping hot cooked food in newspaper is harmful because the ink prints on the food. We asked vendors to use a other way to package the food, otherwise we will take action against it,” Kendre added.

According to FDA data, approximately 1,718 suppliers were inspected this fiscal year, of which 129 inspections were conducted in January 2022. The inspection included label verification, substandard food quality, verification of food licensing and packaging.

The FSSAI advisory warns: “Newspapers are widely used as paper towels in small hotels, by vendors, and in homes, but the printing ink contains several bioactive materials (including colors, pigments, binders, additives and harmful preservatives) which may have negative health effects. . Newspapers should not be used to wrap food or absorb excess oil from fried foods. It is urgent to discourage the use of newspapers as food packaging material by raising awareness among businesses, particularly in the unorganized sector.

A senior FSSAI official said consumers are unaware that newspaper-wrapped food can cause serious health problems because it contains heavy metals. There was a study conducted by the FSSAI that showed that food wrapped in newspaper contained heavy metals.

“The study was carried out in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP) in Mumbai and the National Test House (NTH) in Kolkata. No less than 380 food samples were taken from the unorganized sector and 13.4% of food was found to be contaminated,” he said.

Dr Honey Savla, consultant in internal medicine at Wockhardt Hospital, said the health risks can take many forms. The ink used to print the newspaper consists of components such as lead, naphthylamines and aromatic hydrocarbons. They found an increased incidence of neurological, heart, lung and liver diseases in addition to malignancies.

“These carcinogens accumulate in the consumer’s body for a period of time and then begin to change at the cellular level, resulting in various ailments. Nevertheless, newspapers are the articles from the transmission of various pathogenic germs that add to a load of infectious disease,” she said.

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Posted: Wednesday, March 16, 2022, 11:49 PM IST

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