From packaged drinking water, soft drinks, baby food to cooking oils—some of the products that you consume on a daily basis may be unfit for consumption or misbranded across four states in the country, according to authorities.
All the products which were found to be "substandard", were from well-known brands including multinationals.
Deepak Patel of The Indian Express reports that in most of the cases, the companies responded either by dismissing the findings of the authorities, or saying they did not receive any communication regarding the same.
Here is the full list:
`1) Packaged drinking water, Parry Enterprises (Murugappa Group)
The IE report says that the food safety wing of Kanchipuram in Tamil Nadu found the aerobic microbial count was 32 colony forming units (CFU)/ml in a sample of its packaged water while the permissible limit was 20 CFU/ml. The test was conducted in July 2016.
2) Mirinda, Pepsico India Holdings Private Limited
In its latest report (January, 2017) on the product, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) Haryana found Mirinda to be “unsafe as well as substandard”. Four other previous reports from January, April, May, and October 2016 found the soft drink to be “misbranded, substandard and unsafe”. In its RTI reply to IE, the officer said that permission has been sought for prosecution from the FDA Commissioner.
3) Frooti, Parle Agro
As per three probe reports in June, July and August 2016, the state public health laboratory of Assam deemed the drink to be “substandard” after it failed the “physical” parameter. The samples tested were from batches manufactured in Guwahati by Padmesh Beverages, which has a contract with Parle Agro.
“The action against samples which have been declared substandard by the food analyst to the government of Assam is being taken and are at different stages of adjudication in the court of the adjudicating officers in the district headquarters of the state,” IE quoted the RTI reply from FDA Assam.
4) Saffola Gold, Marico Ltd
A Food Safety Officer in Rajasthan found the acid value of the sample of the blended vegetable oil to be higher than the permissible limit by 0.62 units in May 2016.
“The sample of Blended Edible Vegetable Oil (Saffola Gold) Loose bearing code number and serial number H-875 of designated officer cum the CMHO of Sawai Madhopur is substandard as it does not conform to the prescribed provisions of food safety and standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additive) Regulation, 2011,” the probe report had said.
5) Fortune, Adani Wilmar
Incidentally, another Rajasthan food safety officer found the acidic value of the refined rice brand oil to be 0.67 (higher than the permissible limit of 0.5). The authority said the matter was currently under investigation while the company said they were not informed about the same.
6) Aloo bhujia from Haldiram Foods International Private Ltd
FDA Haryana found the product to be “misbranded” and said that it did not comply to the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labeling) Regulations, 2011 in its July 2016 report. The FDA said that the matter does not fall under their department when IE asked if any action was taken against the company.
7) Fresh energy drink mix, Herbalife International India Private Ltd
The Food Safety Officer of Sonepat found this product picked up from a retail store in May 2015 and found it to be “substandard”. The issue is currently being heard in the Additional Deputy Commissioner court.
The company declined to comment citing the case was sub judice.
8) Cerelac Wheat, Nestle India
The Chief Medical Officer of Rajasmand district of Rajasthan in his October 2016 report said that the baby food was not “total protein” and was found to be substandard. In its RTI reply, the authority said that investigation was still on and the company refused to comment.
9) Processed cheese spread, Subway Systems Indian Private Ltd
The Food Safety Officer of Faridabad said that one sample of “processed cheese spread” from one store in Faridabad Sector 15 was found to be substandard as it was misbranded. The authorities told IE in their RTI reply that “the case was pending to be launched”.
A Subway spokesperson told the newspaper that the company does not use processed cheese spread.