Food safety is an essential aspect which is directly related to our health and wellness. While there have been a lot of theories and suggestions about what to do to ensure food safety one thing that is still concerning is how to wrap the food items to ensure that they do not degrade.
Wrapping food in plastic is a big NO as plastic releases dangerous chemicals which is why street vendors switched to newspapers for wrapping. But do you know that newspapers are harmful too?
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India( FSSAI) has asked the food vendors and consumers to stop using newspapers for wrapping, packing, storing or serving food immediately. As per the reports, the ink which is used in the newspapers is made with certain chemicals which are very harmful.
As per the CEO of FSSAI, “strongly urged consumers and food vendors across the country to immediately stop using newspapers for packing, serving, and storing food items”.
What are the health risks involved in storing and packing food items in newspapers?
The CEO of FSSAI, G Kamala Vardhana Rao has talked about some health risks that are associated with packing and storing food items in newspapers. As per Nr Rao, “The ink used in newspapers contains various bioactive materials with known negative health effects, which can contaminate food and lead to health issues when ingested”.
The authority also warned, “Moreover, newspapers are often subjected to various environmental conditions during distribution, making them susceptible to contamination by bacteria, viruses or other pathogens that may transfer to the food, potentially causing foodborne illnesses”.
The authority has also notified the Food Safety and Standards ( packaging) Regulation 2018 that prohibits the use of newspapers from packing or wrapping food. According to the regulation, food vendors must refrain from using newspapers to pack their food items and these materials should also not be used to absorb excess oil from fried snacks such as pakodas or samosa.