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Updated: July 7, 2013 11:47 IST

‘Mineral’ water units under scanner

Shastry V. Mallady
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At whose cost?: Thirst-quencher on the move.
The Hindu At whose cost?: Thirst-quencher on the move.

Food Safety officials send samples to laboratory for quality analysis

Over 30 mineral water plants in Madurai, which are supplying drinking water to homes and offices in cans, have come under the Food Safety Wing’s scanner.

Water samples were collected from their premises during surprise checks conducted recently and sent to the Government Food Laboratory in Chennai for analysis. A team of officials from the Food Safety Wing in the district conducted inspections in mineral water processing and packaging units on instruction from the Commissioner of Food Safety and Drug Administration.

The action comes following doubts raised by the authorities over the quality and genuineness of branded ‘can water’ being supplied for public consumption at various places in the state. Laboratory analysis will reveal whether all samples of drinking water meet the prescribed quality standards or not. Based on the results, penal action like sealing of the plants will be initiated.

“Since water is for public consumption, we are focusing on mineral water plants. More than 30 water samples have been sent for lab analysis and the results are expected in 15 days,” J. Suguna, Designated Officer for Food Safety, Madurai District, told The Hindu on Saturday.

In cases where ‘negative’ results came for packaged drinking water, the officials would initiate action against the drinking water suppliers under the Food Safety and Adulteration Act, she said.

Ms. Suguna stated that severe action would be taken against those selling adulterated food products to the public, and special attention was being given to tea dust and cooking oil which had high level of adulteration.

“We have now started with mineral water and our food safety officers have been asked to inspect all food items in the coming days. Drinking water suppliers should have proper processing and reverse osmosis plants,” she added.

Ms. Suguna noted that similar inspections would be conducted in rural areas as well. Those who wanted to complain about adulteration of food products could contact the Designated Officer for Food Safety on mobile number: 98423-03625, she said.

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