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All packaged items under scrutiny.

TIGHTENING the noose over packaged products, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India ( FSSAI) has asked state food commissioners to inspect and evaluate all such products available in markets across the country.

" There are hundreds of packaged food products which are being sold in the country without registration, they need to be inspected and evaluated," an FSSAI official said. The directions were given in a meeting convened earlier this month.

The central food safety regulator has also advised the state food safety commissioners to prepare their line of action for the year and collect samples of all the packaged products, even those which are not registered with FSSAI. " The state officials were also told to take action if required.

FSSAI had also handed over a list of 500 products rejected by it as of April 30, 2015, to the state food safety commissioners,' the official added.

Earlier this month, the FSSAI had banned Nestle's Maggi saying it was ' unsafe and hazardous' after tests found presence of lead and Monosodium glutamate above permissible limits. Nestle had also withdrawn the instant noodles brand from the market.

Following this, FSSAI had ordered testing of noodles, pastas and macaroni brands such as Top Ramen, Foodles and Wai Wai sold and manufactured by seven companies, to check compliance of norms.

In a letter to Commissioners of Food Safety of all States and UTs, FSSAI had asked them to test samples of noodles, pastas and macaroni ( with tastemaker) on a set of comprehensive parameters. " Cake and masala/ tastemaker should be tested separately," the letter said.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of All India Traders ( CAIT) has urged Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan to formulate policy and guidelines for brand ambassadors endorsing such products.

" The Maggi row has given an opportunity to frame specific policy and guidelines for brand ambassadors to be followed while doing any endorsement for any product. Since it has vital bearing on consumers, there is a need of reasonable prudence and responsible conduct of the brand ambassador to avoid misleading and deceptive endorsements. Therefore, framing of policy and guidelines for brand ambassadors is the need of the hour," CAIT president B C Bhartia said.

FSSAI has handed over a list of 500 products rejected by it till April to the state food safety commissioners.

FSSAI asks states to test all products in market

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Jun 15, 2015
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