Sixty firms come under the scanner for market malpracticesIn the first four months of the current fiscal year, the quality control watchdog has sealed and suspended production and distribution of 34 firms and filed cases against 26 firms involved in market malpractice.
The quality-control watchdog has sealed and suspended production and distribution of 34 firms and filed cases against 26 firms involved in market malpractice in the first four months of the current fiscal year.
According to the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control, of the total cases filed during the review period, five cases involved bad business practices by the processed drinking water industry and three by the edible oil industry.
Similarly, cases have been filed against three bakeries, two animal feed production factories, two noodle factories, two sweet shops and retailers of ghee, rice, sauce, dried fruits, food colouring and beer.
The department said that eight cases were filed for low standard, seven for polluted foods, seven for wrong labelling and four for violating the Food Act directives.
Mohan Krishna Maharjan, a spokesperson at the department, said cases were filed against Ganapati Vanaspati in Simara for low-quality edible oil production; Pokhara Noodles in Kaski for low-quality readymade noodle; Hetauda Dairy Industries in Makwanpur for the incomplete labels and Ganapati Sinke Chauchau Udhyog in Udaipur for low-quality stick noodles.
Similarly, cases have been filed against Trishakti Feed Industries in Kavre for polluted production and Yeti Beverage in Banepa for using polluted water. The cases have been filed in their respected District Administration Office.
The department and its divisional offices collected 1,189 samples through market inspection in the first four months of the current fiscal year. Of the total sample collection, 70 samples were found not complying with the quality standard as per the test report.
Of the total sample collected, 21 samples (30 percent) were of processed drinking water, 16 feed (23 percent), 14 samples of oil and ghee (20 percent), 10 samples of food items (14 percent) including other food items.
Similarly, the department and its divisional offices suspended the production and sealed 34 food industry and food traders during the review period after they were found not following production standards according to the Food Act, 1967 and Food Rules, 1970.
Among the total firms that were either sealed or had its production halted, 15 were involved in processed drinking water, eight in food items and lentils and legumes, six in milk and dairy-related products, three in edible oil and ghee related and three other food traders.
“Unless those firms destroy the substandard batch of products and submit applications to the department to resume business, they will not be allowed to resume production. The department will take the sample of a new batch before letting them resume production,” he said.
According to the department, Birat Golcha Ghee Packing in Biratnagar was forced to stop production after 250 kg of ghee were found to be of low-quality. Similarly, Baba Vegetable Oil in Morang was forced to halt operations after 2,880 litres of raw material (sunflower oil) was found stored in a ditch.
Similarly, the production and distribution of Triveni Aqua Industries, Nawalparasi has been halted after not meeting the quality standard.
The department and its divisional offices received 156 complaints during the review period with most of the complaints about processed drinking water, edible oil, hotel and restaurants, among others. The rapid response team deployed by the department took action based on the complaints.
Similarly, the Food Export and Import Quality Certification Office, situated in 12 different trade points, collected 25,154 samples and tested them. The office found that imported food items such as papadum, rice, peanuts, spices, refined flour and more were not up to standard and halted their imports.