INDIA – The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has conducted a joint inspection with customs officials unearthing a blatant violation of the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act of 2006, as a Food Business Operator (FBO) was found hoarding 45 metric tonnes of expired beer, valued at Rs. 1 crore (U.S$ 120306).

Promptly taking action, FSSAI, under the direction of its Northern Region Director, S. Vijayarani, seized the entire stockpile, emphasizing their commitment to consumer safety and regulatory enforcement.

The seized products will undergo a thorough investigation to determine the extent of the violation, in accordance with the regulatory framework set out by the FSS Act, 2006.

FSSAI’s swift response underscores its dedication to ensuring the safety and well-being of consumers by enforcing stringent regulations and taking timely action against FBOs found in violation.

FSSAI is actively encouraging consumers to report any food safety concerns through the dedicated “Food Safety Connect” portal.

This initiative aims to maintain the highest standards of food safety across the country, emphasizing the role of public participation in upholding regulatory standards.

FSSAI urges adoption of bio-pesticides for tea production safety

In a separate development, FSSAI CEO G Kamala Vardhana Rao emphasized the adoption of bio-pesticides to ensure the safety and quality of tea production.

Addressing tea growers and planters in Kellyden, Assam, Rao highlighted the importance of traceability and testing measures for raw materials.

The discussion focused on screening batches for pesticide residues, adhering to Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) as prescribed in the Food Safety and Standards Regulations of 2011.

The interactive session witnessed active participation from key stakeholders, including officials from FSSAI, the Tea Board, Tea Research Institute, tea planters, processors, industry associations, and the state’s Food and Drug Department.

Rao emphasized collaboration with the Tea Board for joint inspection, sampling, and testing processes, advocating for the use of bio-pesticides.

Planters expressed concerns about unauthorized pesticide use in tea cultivation, urging the state government to impose bans.

Processors called for rapid testing kits at the farm gate level to streamline pesticide testing. Scientific panel members engaged in detailed deliberations on specific pesticides, monitoring procedures, and the prevention of off-label use.

FSSAI is providing financial assistance to Assam for upgrading laboratories dedicated to pesticide testing.

Key speakers at the event stressed the need for regular interaction with stakeholders and the formulation of a time-bound action plan to ensure the availability of safe tea to consumers. The collaborative efforts showcased a united front in addressing challenges and ensuring the quality and safety of tea production in India.

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