Mysuru, March 18:- On the occasion of National Consumer Day falling on March 15, the Mysore Grahakara Parishat, in its monthly virtual meeting-cum-interaction programme, invited Dr Prasad, Medical officer, Food Safety, Health and Family Welfare Department, to offer his advice to the public on “Safe and nutritious food at home” and also to interact with the participants virtually on various aspects of our day-to-day lifestyle in dealing with the food materials purchased, to have the basic knowledge to test the food items at home, about any cases of adulterations and mixing of chemicals and colours to make them to attractive before consuming them.
This will not only safeguard one’s health from various contagious diseases and even cancer. Some of the points he mentioned related to:
Colouring of dals by yellow chemicals which can be detected by mixing a sample of dal with water and after rinsing dal for some time, one can find the yellow water leaks out to show the adulteration.
The tea sold with the mixing of colour to the already used tea leaves, the fact is known when the tea with water is boiled.
Salt mixed with chalk powder, mirchi powder mixed with red chemical colours to give more attraction, castrol mixed with edible oils, mixing of animal fat with butter or dalda to get thickness and weight, etc.
Similarly in the cases of fruits like banana ripened by chemical process to enhance sales, pasting plastic papers around apples and polish them to show in attractive colours, selling of fake oil seeds and fertilisers to farmers. All these illegal activities by the traders to boost their sales will only lead to contamination and harmful diseases leading to cancer, TB and many other diseases that shorten our life span and healthy life, he added.
He also informed that the public should become aware of these illegal practices by some gullible elements and greedy traders at least at the kitchen level itself before consuming and when come across such cases, not to hesitate to lodge complaints with the Food Safety officer, MCCA, FSSAI, Mysuru with the bill as proof for the purchased food item. The department has a Government lab at Tilak Nagar in Mysuru apart from private labs also. The CFTRI also undertakes to test the commodity about its genuity at some cost, when complained, Dr Prasad informed.
As regards interaction from the participants, Dr Jagannath wanted to know whether ‘water’ is considered part of the food and tested by the FSSAI, whether the officials are also checking the quality of water supplied by the Vani Vilas Water Works (VVWS) at Yadavagiri in Mysuru, whether the NGT directions are being complied by them, for which the Food officer replied that the quality of RO water supplied in bottles are being checked by them and that the normal water supply by VVWS is not included in their duties for checking;
M R Manu, a participant through the mail, wanted to know who are the stakeholders identified, whether any awareness about their activities are being created amongst the public to be cautious against the illegal activities so that it becomes a preventive measure against spreading of diseases, the food officer, in his guiding reply, said that the several raids have been conducted to nab the criminals involved in these illegal activities, the department has been extending awareness on malnutrition and mixing up of chemicals in food products and to be careful while purchasing and to a basic test on these items at the kitchen level itself before consuming them through press, exhibitions and also at rural places.
Concluding his talk on guidelines for safe and nutritious food at home, Dr Prasad advised all consumers to take the matter seriously and initiate all precautionary tests and consume healthy food and live longer.
Dr Prasad, the Food officer can be contacted by mobile at 8618483404 and by email: [email protected] for any further details in the matter.
Dr Shivamurthy, president of MGP, welcomed the guest speaker and other participants to the virtual programme,
S V Raghavendra, executive committee member proposed the vote of thanks. Other participants included C R Awathanarayana, working president; Pradeep Kumar, secretary; K V Ramanath, treasurer; B Choudhary, Jayalaxmi Srinivasan, EC members; V Jagannath, Arunkumar Shettar, Venkatesh Kharidi, Vasanthakumar Mysoremath, Vijesh Chajjed, Purushortham and others. (MR)