Sale of unhygienic sweets rampant, says food deptA large number of sweets shops operating in Kathmandu Valley are found using the sub-standard raw materials as well as overlooking maintenance of hygiene in their production plants, posing a health risk to the consumers, according to government monitoring teams.
A large number of sweets shops operating in Kathmandu Valley are found using the sub-standard raw materials as well as overlooking maintenance of hygiene in their production plants, posing a health risk to the consumers, according to government monitoring teams.
The market monitoring carried out by Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) had found popular sweets shops, including Ram Bhandar and Shree Ram Bhandar in Thapathali, Anmol Sweets in Bhatbhateni, Bagmati Sweets in Tripureshwor and Sangam Sweets in Baneshwor, selling sub-standard products during the Tihar festival when these edibles are in high demand.
Out of the 24 sweets outlets it had inspected last week, the department barred Mangal Siddhi Jhigu Mari Pasa in Kalimati from production, on charge of poor hygiene at its production plant.
According to DFTQC Spokesperson Purna Chandra Wasti, a number of sweets sellers have been found using colours exceeding the quantity prescribed by the food standards.
The standard has maintained that the colours can be used only up to 200 milligram per kg of sweets. “However, a number of samples that we have collected are suspected to have been prepared breaching the norm.”
Similarly, substandard raw materials, including the use the same cooking oil repeatedly to prepare various sweets and spoiled flour, ghee, sugar and dry fruits, are rampant.
Besides, the unscrupulous traders have been failing to follow proper storing mechanism, leading to deterioration in the quality of products.
The department has also collected 35 samples from 19 other outlets on suspicion that they were selling products of poor quality.
“If these shops are found guilty, they will be penalised under the existing Food Act,” Wasti said. The act has divided misconduct under four categories: selling contaminated food, selling sub-standard products, doing business without obtaining operating licence and compensation payment.
Under the first three categories, the penalty ranges from Rs1,000 to Rs10,000 and a jail term of up to a year.
The compensation amount ranges from Rs25,000 to Rs100,000 and the jail term in such cases is up to three years.