GMP to be enforced in milk, water industriesThe Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) has moved to enforce Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in the processed milk and bottled water industries in a bid to keep substandard products out of the market.
The Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) has moved to enforce Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) in the processed milk and bottled water industries in a bid to keep substandard products out of the market.
The department acted to tighten controls after a string of incidences involving unhygienic milk and bottled water came to light.
GMP is the standard regarding production methodology, equipment, sanitation procedures and operating procedures that processed food manufacturers have to maintain during the production process.
The system ensures that minimum sanitary and processing requirements are followed to produce food items and that they are safe for consumption.
DFTQC Director General Sanjeev Kumar Karna said they had been implementing GMP as a pilot project at six dairies based in the Kathmandu Valley. “To enforce GMP, we have also started preparing a directive,” he said.
After the department implements GMP, milk and bottled water production plants will have to fulfill minimum requirements in personal hygiene, infrastructure, production environment, quality of raw materials and processing lines, according to Karna.
“We have provided training to the management and technical teams of these six dairies, and we will be reviewing their progress shortly.”
The DFTQC decided to enforce GMP after a large number of dairies and bottled water plants were found to be selling contaminated products.
Among the 31 cases involving sales of bad products that the department pursued in the first seven months of the fiscal year, half were related to drinking water or processed milk.
Last year, among the 200 cases filed by the department, 27 cases were against manufacturers of drinking water and 16 were against processed milk producers.
Karna said that the department was trying to bring down the coliform count in milk to nil by enforcing GMP. In most cases, bad dairy products were found to be contaminated with coliform bacteria.
Even state-owned Dairy Development Corporation faced action last year for selling milk contaminated with coliform.
Similarly, the department wants to enforce GMP in the bottled water industry to ensure that only safe products reach consumers. According to Karna, most cases of contamination are due to lack of timely maintenance of the water treatment system.
After GMP is implemented in the bottled water industry, producers will have to maintain their equipment on time.
Among the measures the industry will need to take, filtering devices have to be neutralised periodically by using ultraviolet light.
“The department will keep a close watch on bottled water producers to make sure that they follow the rules and safe products are shipped to market,” Karna said.