Food safety checks at bakeries, restaurants

Use of milk past expiry date, artificial colours detected

The Food Safety Department conducted inspections at bakeries and restaurants at Aruvikkara, Nedumangad and Vamanapuram in connection with Christmas and New Year.

This follows the Food Safety Commissioner’s directions to intensify raids in view of the festive season.

Inspections were held in 32 establishments. Notices were issued and fine imposed on five units that had not renewed their licence, bakeries that had stored milk that was past its ‘use by’ date and hotels that had stored artificial food colours.

Frozen milk that was past its ‘best before’ date was found stored in bakeries and juice shops for use in shakes. Frozen milk in covers should be used before the use by date stamped on them, food safety officials said.

Twelve samples of cakes and other sweets stored in view of Christmas were collected and sent to Government Analytical Laboratory for tests. Once the results arrived, action would be taken against producers and sellers of substandard food, senior food safety officer Sakkeer Hussain A. said.

Artificial food colours

The officials found that artificial food colours were being stored by hotels. Restaurants were not allowed to add artificial food colour to food items, the food safety officers said. Use of artificial colours was allowed only in some bakery products in restricted quantities.

If bakery product manufacturers, particularly small-scale ones, used artificial colours, the legal limits to the quantity used should be understood, the officers said. The manufacturers should also take part in necessary trainings.

Use of ajinomoto or monosodium glutamate (MSG) in hotels to increase flavour has been restricted. Ajinomoto should not be used in food meant for children. The names of dishes to which MSG had been added should be displayed on the menu and display boards.

The inspections were led by Mr. Hussain and food safety officers Indu V.S. and Arshitha Basheer. The inspections will continue till December 31, they said.

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