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Food safety dept to check on oil merchants

Guntur: With the increasing adulteration of edible oils posing a serious threat to public health, the district food control department is all set to conduct inspections.

In a recent survey conducted by the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI), the officials have identified that edible oils are adulterated, which is being sold to customers at retail and grocery stores for huge profits.

Following this, FSSAI has given instructions to all States and UTs to conduct inspections at oil manufacturing companies, wholesale shops and supermarkets for collecting the samples.

A comprehensive strategy has been developed for testing these samples at State Food Testing Laboratories or FSSAI notified food labs in order to analyse various parameters, including fatty acid composition as well as adulteration of any other oils and presence of harmful chemicals.

In addition to this, the district officials have identified nearly 1,500 wholesale dealer shops and over 200 oil manufacturing companies in the erstwhile Guntur district.

Several local merchants are mixing various oils to gain more profits and selling multi-source vegetable oil without following AGMARK (Agricultural Marketing). Consumption of such adulterated oils can cause cancer, paralysis, allergy, liver damage, cardiac arrest and epidemic dropsy.

District assistant food controller Shiak Gouse Mohiddeen said that the food inspectors will carry out inspections and collect two surveillance samples of various edible oils and send them to laboratories every day.

Stern action will be taken against the shop owners and merchants if the oil is being sold without proper packaging logo and labels, Shaik Gouse Mohideen said.