The Punjab government launched a state wide drive to intensify the ongoing check on food adulterationand contaminated food items which were playing havoc with the human lives.Addressing a meeting of the designated officers and Food Safety Officers of Health department, the Minister said that the government has already launched an aggressive campaign against the sale of adulterated food items including sweets, khoya and other milk especially during the forthcoming festival season.The Minister has asked the officers to increase the raids on the eateries, sweet shops and especially go downs suspected to be selling/storing/manufacturing such products. He said that the Punjab government was being really tough with all those selling adulterated and contaminated food items playing with the lives of people.
The Minister said that district level committees have already been constituted which would collect milk samples from all the sweet shops, dairies and other big or small shops would be collected and examined in the hi-tech labs. Traders indulged in selling adulterated milk or milk products would be prosecuted for selling commodities in violation of health and safety norms.To keep strict vigil on the milk products and khoya coming from other states, the Minister said that all the entry points including the railway stations, bus stands have been guarded against adulterated food items and synthetic milk. The adulterated food items would be destroyed there and then by the special task force deputed at various sensitive points, said Mr. Jayani.
Expressing concern over the water contamination also, Mr. Jayani has directed the officers to ensure the packed bottles carry the ISI/ BIS marks on the packages.Adding further Mr. Jayani said that according to the Food Safety and Standards Act, the punishment for selling adulterated food is seven years imprisonment and a Rs 10 lakh fine. For selling sub-standard food you could face a maximum fine of Rs 10 lakh. And for death caused by adulterated food, the offender could face seven years jail term to life imprisonment. He has asked the officers of the department to remain cautious against the sale of unsafe food in the state.Speaking on the occasion Principal Secretary Health Ms. Vini Mahajan said that 5272 food samples were collected in the month of August and as many as 1387 samples were found adulterated. Similarly in 89 milk samples collected as many as 33 found contaminated. The action was being initiated against the erring under Food Safety Act 2006.