The FSSAI already has standards for milk, paneer, ghee, butter and a number of other milk products. However, the Apex Food Regulator is now planning to tighten the standards for fat content in milk. New quality standards are also on the anvil for ice-cream and flavoured milk. The food regulator also intends to stiffen safety norms for a number of other milk and milk products.
Earlier this year the Parliamentary Panel on Consumer Affairs had raised their concerns to the FSSAI about the widespread incidents of milk adulteration that are rampant in the country. The FSSAI’s CEO has taken up these concerns with the state food safety commissioners and has asked them to be more vigilant.
The FSSAI has also been instrumental in extending the ban on Chinese milk and milk products for another one year till June 2016. Chinese milk products are banned because of the presence of melamine. Melamine is extensively used in the plastic and fertiliser industry. It can cause health issues when found in milk or milk products.
FSSAI also proposes to standardise limits of melamine in milk products manufactured in the domestic market, particularly in infant formula. The FSS regulations already have explicit limits for the presence of insecticides and metal contaminants to this they will add melamine limits. The presence of these contaminants cannot be above the prescribed limits. The FSSAI has also begun the process of reviewing safety standards on a wider scale and for this Apex regulator is in consultation with all stakeholders.
Since food safety has become a burning issue and customer fears are on the increase the FSSAI has asked all states to increase surveillance and act against all those selling contaminated packaged drinking water, adulterated milk and edible oils. Water, milk and edible oil are products of mass consumption and any contamination in these can affect a large number of consumers. In another move that will ensure that consumers eat healthy foods the regulator has formed an 11 member team to study the effects of salt, sugar and fat content in food products that are sold in eating joints in the country.