Keeping in mind large-scale consumption of food items and the consequent increase in food adulteration around Diwali, Delhi Health Minister A. K. Walia on Tuesday instructed the Department of Prevention of Food Adulteration to work towards curbing adulteration by picking up as many food samples as possible.

However, a closer look at the data revealed by the department showed that the number of samples lifted so far was insignificant in a city of over 1.60 crore people.

The Minister directed the department officials to lift samples in large numbers and to expeditiously get them tested from the laboratories so that cases of adulteration can be registered against violators under the new Food Safety and Standard Act.

Focus on sweets

In particular, Dr. Walia directed the officials to concentrate on eliminating cases of adulteration in sweets during the next two weeks.

On the amount of work already put in to curb adulteration, Dr. Walia said 652 samples had been lifted between August 6 and October 17 and results of 539 of these had been received.

Of the tested samples, he said 15 were found to be misbranded, 14 sub-standard and 15 were found unsafe. Hence 15 cases have been filed against adulterators under the new Food Safety and Standard Act.

The Minister said of the samples lifted, 174 were of non-standard items, 159 of dairy products, 82 of salt, spices and related products, 80 of cereals and cereal products, 79 of fats, oils and fat emulsions, and 24 of fruits and vegetables.

The department has in the last three days intensified action against adulteration and lifted 30 samples of sweets, khoya and besan sweets between October 14 and October 16.

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