Ban on wrapping food in newspaper

Regulator warns of slow poisoning of consumers

July 15, 2017 07:39 am | Updated 07:39 am IST - Thiruvananthapuram

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, KERALA:: 14/07/2017:: Tough days ahead: A groundnut vendor in Thiruvananthapuram seems to ponder over his future. Citing health hazards, the Commissioner of Food Safety has banned the use of newspapers for wrapping food articles, a common practice among vendors...........................Photo:S.Gopakumar

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, KERALA:: 14/07/2017:: Tough days ahead: A groundnut vendor in Thiruvananthapuram seems to ponder over his future. Citing health hazards, the Commissioner of Food Safety has banned the use of newspapers for wrapping food articles, a common practice among vendors...........................Photo:S.Gopakumar

The folksy newspaper cone, used to pack hot roasted peanuts, channa chaat or such wayside snacks, may soon be passe.

Citing health hazards, the Commissioner of Food Safety has issued an order prohibiting storage, distribution and sale of food articles packed in printed material including newspapers. The order issued on Tuesday says such wrapping could cause slow poisoning due to chemical and microbiological contamination. The restriction is for a year.

The Commissioner’s ban order is based on an advisory issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) last December about the health hazards posed by cancer-causing agents in printing ink. The advisory restricted the use of newspapers and other printed materials for packing of food, saying that its consumption is injurious to health, even if the food is cooked hygienically.

Risk analysis

Indians are being slowly poisoned due to newspapers being widely used as food packaging material.

According to the FSSAI, the chemicals in printing ink contain harmful colours, pigments, additives and preservatives. A risk analysis by the food regulator has found that the presence of chemical contaminants and pathogenic micro-organisms in used newspaper poses potential risk to human health. Older people, children and people with compromised vital organs and immune systems are at a greater risk of acquiring cancer-related complications if they are exposed to food packed in such material.

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