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Water bottling plants at the forefront in flouting Food Act

Kathmandu, Dec 1

The processed water bottling industries are among the businesses flouting the Food Act, the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control said.

The Department said it has taken legal action against the industries disobeying the Act as well as those businesses and traders operating without adhering to the standards. Out of the 1,189 samples related to food collected for testing in the first four months from Saun to Kattik, 70 samples did not meet the standards, Department’s spokesperson Mohan Krishna Maharjan said.

According to him, most of the samples not meeting the set standard belonged to the processed drinking water industries (21) followed by poultry feed industries (16), oil and vegetable ghee industries (14) and food grain processing industries (10) and other foodstuff related industries. Similarly, the Department had collected 876 samples for food purity surveillance during the first quarter of the current fiscal year. In this period, the Department filed cases against 26 industries on the charge of producing and selling substandard and contaminated products.

Most of the industries facing action in this charge also comprise the drinking water processing plants. Cases have been filed against five water processing plants, against three cooking oil producing industries, three bakeries and two each of feed, instant noodles and sweets. Likewise, cases have been filed against many more traders selling substandard vegetable ghee, rice, sauce, cashew nuts and raisin, beer and other packaged foods. Among these cases, eight are related to producing and selling sub-standard products, seven are related to contamination, seven are related to missing or faulty labels and other information and remaining four are related to flouting of Food Act Guidelines.

The Department stated that it carried out inspection and monitoring at the food and feed industries, hotels and restaurants and hotels alongside the highways for 1,873 times during this quarter. The Department has taken action on 153 complaints as well. Twenty five thousand one hundred and fifty four samples were collected at the food import and export quality certification offices at 12 various transit points during the four months and these samples have been regulated after conducting testing and analysis.

Of these samples, 25 samples including those of papad, rice, peanuts, spices, fine wheat flour, gram flour, among others were found faulty and their import was halted.

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