World Food Safety Day (WFSD) celebrated on 7 June 2021 which aims to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development.
This year’s theme, ‘Safe food today for a healthy tomorrow’, stresses that production and consumption of safe food have immediate and long-term benefits for people, the planet and the economy.
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Why food safety is important?
- Food safety and hygiene is of utmost importance, as it helps to protect the health of consumers from foodborne illnesses and food poisoning.
- Food poisoning occurs when food becomes contaminated by bacteria, viruses and other germs, making those who consume the contaminated food very ill.
- Each year million people suffers & thousands die from foodborne illnesses.
- This is a preventable problem that is damaging to both individuals and the economy, but many of these illnesses can be prevented.
- Many of the food products are available today in market are adulterated.
- And it’s very difficult to identify whether the food is safe for consumption or not.
- Food is one of the basic needs for the survival of living beings.
- Food is expected to nourish people & holds the life.
- Unsafe food like contaminated & adulterated foods may lead to unhealthy conditions.
- Some people are highly susceptible to the consumption of unsafe food.
According to WHO
76 Million cases each year are reported, 3.5 lakhs are hospitalized & 5000 deaths are noted.
Definition of Adulteration
The intentional addition of non-permitted foreign matter to food articles is known as Adulteration.
The process by which the quality of a given substance is reduced through the addition of a foreign or an inferior substance & the removal of a vital element is defined as Adulteration.
Reasons for Food Adulteration
- Decreased production & increased population.
- To get more profit.
- To increase the weight of food articles.
- To increase the volume of trade by showing lower prices.
- Adulteration is purposefully done by scrupulous people at various levels, by different people.
Levels of Adulteration
- Farm levels
- Milling & food processing levels
- Retailers level
- Shopkeepers level
Methods of Adulteration
- Mixing stones
- Decomposed food for sale- ex: vegetables
- Misbranding- ex: selling by false brand name
- Substitution- ex: used tea leaves
- Concealing the quality- ex : Adding water to milk
- Food package- ex: Shrinkwrap packing
- Food – ex: Labelling (Nutritional labeling) wrong information about the amount of dietary fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, dietary sodium, carbohydrates, dietary proteins, vitamins, minerals, manufacture date, expire date.
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Types of Adulteration
- Intentional– Intention to increase the margin of profit.
- Incidental – due to:- Ignorance, negligence or lack of proper facilities
Non-notorious substances are added intentionally to food to improve its appearance, flavor, texture or storage properties.
The process in which nutrients are added to foods to maintain or improve the quality of the diet of a group, a community or a population.
Food contamination occurs when food is not cooked properly or contaminants such as bacteria or toxic pesticides get on to the food.
It may be natural, not done intentionally, or may be due to the ignorance of humans.
FOODS COMMONLY INVOLVED
DISEASES OR HEALTH EFFECTS
|1.||Argemone seeds/ Argemone oil||Mustard seeds||Epidemic dropsy, Glaucoma, Cardiac arrest|
|2.||Artificially colored foreign seeds||Cumin seeds, Black pepper||Injurious to health|
|3.||Foreign leaves or exhausted tea leaves, saw dust artificially colored||Tea
|4.||Sand, marble chips, stones, filth||Food grains, pulses etc.||Damage digestive tract|
|5.||Lathyrus sativus||Bengal gram dal & pulses||Lathyrism (crippling spastic paraplegia)|
|6.||Rancid oil||Oils||Destroy Vitamin A & E|
Common Adulteration & Testing Methods
|1.||Asafoetida (Heeng)||Resin, gum scented or colored resin||Pure heeng dissolves in water forming a milk-white solution|
|2.||Sugar||Chalk powder||Dissolves in a glass of water, chalk settles down at bottom.|
|3.||Turmeric (Haldi)||Metanil yellow coloring||When concentrated HCL is added to turmeric powder, it turns magnet, if mentanil yellow is present in it.|
|4.||Chilli powder||Saw dust or color||Sprinkle on the surface of water, sawdust floats & added color will make water colored.|
|5.||Coffee powder||Chicory||Shake a small portion in cold water, coffee will float while chicory will sink, making water brown.|
|6.||Coriander powder (Dhaniya powder)||Horse dung powder||Soak in water, horse dung will float.|
|7.||Cumin seeds (jeera)||Grass seeds colored with charcoal dust||If rubbed in hand, fingers will turn black.|
|8.||Ghee (Clarified butter)||Vanaspati||Dissolves 1 teaspoon of sugar in 10 cc of HCL & 10 cc of melted ghee & shake thoroughly for 1 minute, allow it to stand for 10 min. If vanaspati is added then, the aqueous solution will turn red.|
|9.||Sooji||Iron fillings to add weight||Pass magnet over sooji. Iron fillings will cling to magnet.|
|10.||Milk||Mashed potatoes, water or other starches||Add a drop of tincture of Iodine. Iodine turns blue if starch is present.|
|11.||Pepper (kali mirch)||Dried papaya seeds||Papaya seeds are shrunken oval shape & greenish brown in color & has a repulsive flavor distinct from the bite of black pepper.|
|12.||Salt||White powdered stone, chalk||Stir a spoonful of simple salt in a glass of water. The presence of chalk will make the solution white.|
|13.||Honey||Molasses (Sugar & water)||A cotton wick dipped in pure honey when lighted with matchstick burns, if adulterated it won’t burn & produce a cracking sound.|
Control of Food Adulteration
- Government agencies in India
- Grading certification & inspection measures
- Grading, such as those under
- AGMARK (Agricultural marketing)
- BIS (Bureau of Indian standards)
- FPO (Food products order)
- Developmental acitivities of agencies like Ministry of Food Processing Industries.
- Commonly Boards such as those for Coffee, Tea, Coconut, Bee (Honey), Dairy, Tropical produce.
Regulatory framework in India
- Government rules for GMOs
- Prevention of Food Adulteration Act
- Taskforce on application of Agricultural of Biotechnology
- National Biotechnology Strategy
- Food Safety & Standards Bill, 2006
- Food Safety & Standards Authority of India
How to practice food hygiene at home?
- Practice good personal hygiene
- Properly clean & dry utensils
- Keep food refrigerated which needs to be kept
- Separate raw & ready to eat food
- Wash fruits & vegetables before use
- Keep dry & wet food separated
- Cook food for an appropriate time & appropriate temperature
- Always use clean water for cooking & washing
- Replace kitchen towels, scrubs timely.
It’s very necessary to be aware of food adulteration.
Good food hygiene is therefore essential for food factories to make & sell food that is safe to eat.
The first step is for the management & staff to have the knowledge & understand what food hygiene & food safety is.
So that our motto of- “Safe food today for a healthy tomorrow” will be fulfilled.