Contaminated food products may soon face a recall

Contaminated food products may soon face a recall

New Delhi: In a first for India, packaged food items may soon be recalled if found to be lacking seriously in safety standards, as the government is preparing draft guidelines, expected in a month, to deal with the issue.

Concerned over the existence of fake and adulterated food products that do not conform to the norms, the Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSA) with the Ministry of Health is coming up with suitable quality parameters to force a recall of contaminated items.

Once the norms are in place, a manufacturer needs to inform the authority if his products are vastly out of sync with the quality parameters set by the body. The authority will also raise the alarm bells about a product on its own if the item does not conform to the guidelines.

To provide further impetus to the safety standards, the authority will put in place a mechanism by 2010 to scrutinise all imported items to avoid the inflow of any products that do not conform to the Indian standards.

“By 2010, we will have a resonably good safety action plan to check the imported items. The present system of scrutinising such items needs to be revamped drastically," FSSA chairman, P.I. Suvrathan said.

Currently, India does not have a full-proof system to review the inflow of all imported products, he added.

With the new guidelines, the authority will set up a panel of scientists to gauge the risk factor associated with the imported items and act accordingly, he said.