To ensure availability of pure and unadulterated milk products, sweets and bakery items in the fast-approaching festive season, Punjab Health and Family Welfare Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu on Sunday issued directions to set up district level teams for checking of raw material manufacturing and other units concerning the food industry.
Sidhu, presiding over the review meeting of District Health Officers, Assistant Food Commissioners, designated officers and Lab Analysts of the Health Department, said that the State Government was fully committed to provide nutritious, hygienic and unadulterated food products to the people of the Punjab.
He told the health authorities that if any retailer or manufacturer is found to be indulged in unethical practice, a strict action should be taken against violator under the ‘Food Safety Standards and Regulation Act’.
Sidhu categorically said that the people, who would indulge in food adulteration, would not be spared at any cost and no one would be allowed to play with the health of the people in the state.
The Minister said that checking does not mean to harass anyone but to ensure availability of hygienic and quality food products.
Making a passionate appeal to the people indulged in unethical practice, Sidhu said that the accused seller and manufacturer have to suffer the consequences as well, so they should completely stop the wrongdoing and start a professional and ethical business which in turn would benefit them a lot.
He appealed the people to not to compromise with the quality of the food products. .
Soliciting support and cooperation of the food business manufactures and operators, the Minister urged them to ensure that the citizens of Punjab get pure and healthy food and make the Punjab healthiest one State in the country.
Giving details of the activities of the Food Safety Teams across the state, the state Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Kahan Singh Pannu said that a total of 853 samples have been collected from different parts of the state in August, out of which, 690 samples found safe while 159 samples were found substandard.
“A total of 340 cases have been filed before Additional Deputy Commissioners (ADC) whereas the number of cases filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) is eight. Fines worth Rs 24.50 lakhs have been imposed on the offenders,” said Pannu.