INDIA – The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has climaxed the nation-wide campaign against adulteration in edible oils, trans-fatty acids and sale of Multi Source Edible Oils without proper labelling.

The fortnight long massive surveillance drive ended with the FSSAI having collected 4,431 surveillance samples of vegetable oils, multi-source edible oils, vanaspati (alternative to ghee) etc., across 35 States.

The regulator had directed Food Safety Commissioners in all States to lift surveillance samples of these products in a staggered manner from the markets. This was to enable a wider sample base that is representative of all Food Business Operators (FBOs)/ Brands being sold in the country.

According to FSSAI, all States/UTs Food Safety Departments carried out intensive surveillance to track down heavily upon the delinquent FBOs who may be found selling adulterated edible oils or loose edible oils.

Further, as a specific focus of the campaign to check sale of loose oil in the country, a hefty quantity of loose edible oil i.e., more than 27,500 liters was nabbed across the country on the spot during the course of inspection.

The samples have now been sent to accredited food testing laboratories for swift analysis, said FSSAI.

“The results are expected in the next few days and any suspected case of adulteration shall be followed by immediate drawing of regulatory samples to take legal action against such FBOs as per the provisions of FSS Act, 2006 and Rules/Regulations made thereunder,” noted the food safety watchdog.

The campaign was monitored by all State Food Safety Commissioners and FSSAI at the highest level with daily updates being given by the States/UTs via press release, mirroring the seriousness of the government in curbing adulteration.

The States also ensured mass sensitization of the public on adulteration through print and digital media.

The Odisha State was one of the States which took part in the surveillance campaign, to ensure that the citizens get pure and good quality edible oil from the markets.

As part of the campaign, specials teams of Odisha Food Safety visited many markets and businesses and collected samples which have been sent for testing.

“Our priority is to ensure that people get pure and good quality edible oils from the market and enforcing applicable standards. While this was a special campaign of two weeks, our officials regularly check for the quality of food items. Those indulging in food adulteration will face stringent action,” said Dr. Brundha D, Commissioner of Food Safety, Odisha.

Under this campaign, it was ensured that two samples per Food Safety Officer in the districts and Urban Local Bodies were lifted under surveillance in a random manner.

The samples, which covered both packaged and loose edible oil, were drawn from the retail markets. The test and analysis will be prioritized on presence of Mineral Oil, Argemone Oil, Castor Oil and Trans Fatty Acid at a lab in Kolkata.

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