In case you are planning to buy sweets for Diwali, there are chances that you play with you health by consuming them during the festive season. It is suspected that a large number of manufacturers are using spurious ‘Khoya’ procured from other states. There have been several cases of spurious sweets being sold to residents in the past.
The district health department is still sitting on its hands even when less than 19 days are left for the festival of Diwali. Sources in health department say that there were reports of spurious ‘Khoya’ bring brought in Ludhiana from Uttar Pradesh through trains. This ‘Khoya’ is taken off the trains at smaller stations around Ludhiana and brought to the sweet manufacturing units in vehicles.What is surprising that on one hand the district health department seems to be in no mood to collect samples from sweetmeat shops ahead of Diwali and on the other hand results of the samples that are collected are not brought in public domain before Diwali.
Last year many samples of sweets were taken from different shops across the district but results of not even a single sample was brought out by the health department before Diwali thus defeating the whole purpose of checking by food safety wing of the department.Residents of the city are forced to consume inedible sweets due to the absence of proper mechanism. In the past health department was also accused by the city residents of being in collusion with the sweet shop owners and supporting them during the festive season.Civil surgeon Dr Hardeep Singh Ghai said that he would direct the officials of food safety wing to hold massive checking of samples and bring out the results before Diwali.
Food Safety Act states that a penalty of upto Rs 2 lakh could be imposed on misbranding while a penalty of Rs 3 lakh on Sub standard material could also be imposed. In case food is not found to be of nature or quality demanded, a penalty of Rs 5 lakh could be imposed. A fine of Rs 1 lakh on food containing extraneous matter could also be imposed under the act.
Adulterated sweets found in past
As per official records in 2013, two samples of “cham cham” collected from Haqiqat Sweets, Hambran road, and Amar Sweets Shop, Haibowal, failed test. Besides these, samples of milk cake and “khoya peda” of Khateshwar Bikaneri Mishthan Bhandar in Sanjay Gandhi Colony were also found unfit for consumption.Food Safety and Standard Act
According to food safety and standard act, cases of less adulteration and labelling matters come in the categories of “substandard” and “misbranded”. While the use of synthetic and major adulterated products, including harmful chemicals, insects in food, come under “unsafe” category.
Methods to check purity
Put a drop of iodine liquid on khoya. If a blue layer is formed, it indicates the presence of starch in khoya. Rub the silver leaf layer on sweets with two fingers if it becomes powder then it is original. If after rubbing it forms a wick then it could be aluminium foil which is dangerous for health.
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