44.9% of food samples fail Lucknow safety tests

By RJ Whitehead

- Last updated on GMT

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Related tags: Food safety, Monosodium glutamate

Almost 45% of the 289 samples collected by the Food Safety and Drugs Administration laboratory in Lucknow failed food safety testing in the final nine months of 2015.

The lab first drew attention to supposed excess levels of lead and monosodium glutamate in Maggi noodles last year ahead of a row that saw the Nestlé brand taken off the shelves for several months.

According to Times of India, the Uttar Pradesh FSDA authorities, which run the Lucknow facility, collected almost INR14m (USD$200,000) in fines from 33 defaulters.

"From April to December last year, we conducted as many as 1,019 inspections during which our team collected 289 samples​,” said JP Singh, chief food safety officer. 

Once the samples are found to be substandard or unfit for consumption, a period of one month is given to the defaulters, in case anyone asks for a re-analysis. After a period of one month, the file is sent to Lucknow to seek permission to file a case. We found that 130 samples had failed the test​.”

Out of these failed samples, 91 were found to be substandard, 13 were unsafe and 26 violated preparation regulations. Milk constituted the most fails, with 69 milk samples taken and 18 deemed unsuitable.

"The huge number of failed samples is an indication that the defaulters concerned will now think twice before selling adulterated food​,” Singh added. “This does not mark incompetency [on the part of food safety inspectors]; rather it points out the fact that we have been able to bring these defaulters to public notice​.”

Related topics: Policy, Food safety, South Asia

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