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Kerala – Hide and seek game in food safety inspections; Collection of samples for namesake

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Kerala. While reports of food poisoning are pouring in from various corners of Kerala, the Food Safety Department’s inspection is being criticised. According to reports, the inspections are not only carried out for namesake but there is also hide and seek game by the officials.

During the inspections, most of the samples collected are of branded food items. Chicken or related food items have not been taken as statutory samples so far. Almost all food poisoning emergencies have been caused by chicken and related foods.

Only the test results of legal samples can be used as strong evidence in court. However, the officials do not bother to get involved in taking food samples from hotels for this purpose as the legal sample should be collected only with care and following the norms.

It often takes up to two hours to complete the sampling procedure. A report should also be submitted to the Central Authority regarding the results of each inspection. Legal proceedings should also be completed if found guilty.

To overcome this difficulty, officials often collect food products of leading brands as legal samples. This is because most problems are not detected during lab testing. That will complete the process. Other substances are often taken as quick surveillance samples without following proper procedures.

While the law requires that at least two samples be collected and tested at least once a month from each food safety circle office, officials are conducting only minimum tests. There are allegations saying the officials are offered bribes for this.

Courtesy – Indusscrolls

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