FDA destroys 19,000 litres of contaminated, adulterated milk bound for Mumbai
In a major operation, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) teams from Mumbai and Thane conducted surprise checks at all five entry points to the city during the wee hours of Wednesday to check for adulterated milk.
FDA Commissioner Pallavi Darade had ordered the raids in wake of the festive season, when the demand for milk and milk products is on the rise.
The FDA teams inspected a total of 227 milk tankers carrying 9.27 litres of milk at Mankhurd, Dahisar, Mulund, LBS Marg, and Airoli entry points.
Of the samples tested on location, 13 were found to be of substandard quality as they contained low-quality fats and SNF (solid-not fat). The substandard consignment, containing 3,444 litres of milk worth Rs 1.3 lakh, was sent back to the place of origin.
Another 8 samples reportedly tested positive for the contaminants ammonium sulphate, maltodextrin and sucrose. As a result, the contaminated milk, 19,250 litres worth Rs 5.7 lakh, was destroyed.
While the FDA did not name any manufacturers, officials said most of the milk came from renowned brands.
The FDA officials said since the adulteration was deliberate, owing to the nature of the contaminants, the accused will be liable for legal action under the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006.
“Action will be initiated against officers from the districts from where the milk originated. These people are knowingly playing with the lives of people,” FDA minister Girish Bapat was quoted as saying.
At present, adulteration of milk is a bailable offence carrying a jail term of six months to one year under section 29 of the FSSA.
However, the Maharashtra government is mulling over making it a non-bailable offence and increasing the jail term to a minimum of three years and maximum of life imprisonment.