Hotels told to display MSG use

Food items with MSG should not be given to children below 12 months of age

The Commissioner of Food Safety has issued orders that all hotels, restaurants, bakeries, and other eateries which use monosodium glutamate (MSG or ajinomotto) in food items should display this information clearly on their premises.

“In the case of packaged foods, food manufacturers are expected to give clear label information that the food item contains MSG, with the warning that it should not be consumed by children below 12 months of age. We are insisting that the hotel industry should comply with the same regulation by declaring that food items contain MSG,” senior Food Safety officials said on Monday.

The orders issued by Commissioner of Food Safety T.V. Anupama said that all eateries should display a public notice which declared that “this establishment uses MSG as a flavouring agent in the following food items. These food items should not be given to children below 12 months of age.”

Food Safety officials said they wanted all hotels and eateries to comply with this regulation.

“We decided to bring in this regulation as MSG is being used indiscriminately by many eateries. In one of our recent inspections, in one eatery we found that table pepper was mixed with MSG,” an official said.

MSG is a naturally occurring chemical glutamate, which though has no flavour of its own, enhances other flavours and imparts added taste to the food and is a widely used as food additive.

No limit for ‘added MSG’

State Food Safety officials said that as far as the food additive MSG was concerned, the food regulatory authorities in the country had not fixed any limit for “added MSG.”

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