In the current festival season, the use of hazardous milk and the indiscriminate use of aluminium leaf (vark) to adorn sweets has created a significant health concern in the state. With this, the FDA – Food and Drug Administration department of Punjab carried out laboratory tests on numerous samples of milk and sweets throughout the state, and the results are alarming for the people as well as the authorities.
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Shockingly, 41% of the milk samples were deemed to be of unsatisfactory quality, according to a study carried out by the state’s Food and Drug Administration department (FDA). Moreover, the FDA has gathered 676 milk samples over the last two months, surprisingly, 278 of which were deemed “hazardous”. Additionally, many of the subpar samples were contaminated with edible oil, making a sizable portion of them unfit for human consumption.
Similarly, the other significant health concern today, is the widespread practise of using “aluminium leaf” to decorate sweets instead of the “pure silver leaf”. Reportedly, up to 164 samples were gathered throughout the state this month to evaluate the silver leaf’s quality, and the results were dissatisfactory.
Furthermore, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) authorities stated that even though the laboratory examination of the samples was still ongoing, it was typical for many of the samples to include aluminium rather than silver. “Consuming aluminium is extremely dangerous for health,” according to the scientists. Moreover, the usage of aluminium in making sweets or any food item, violates the standards set by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
Moreover, the FDA also placed a strong emphasis on examining the dry fruit’s quality. Subsequently, more than 100 samples have already been gathered. According to Dr. Abhinav Trikha, the commissioner for food and drug regulation in Punjab, the department initiated a special campaign to verify the quality of milk, silver leaf use, and dry fruit before the festival season began, in accordance with FSSAI guidelines.
He further stated, “Each and every district was tasked with taking at least five samples of milk every day during a week-long special campaign we initiated in August to monitor the practises of adulteration of milk.” Moreover, the results of the ongoing tests seem to be hazardous ahead of the upcoming festive season.