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Spices of big brands found unfit for consumption in Rajasthan

June 08,2024

New Delhi: Prominent spice brands failed quality tests conducted by the Rajasthan health department as part of the state’s campaign against food adulteration, with samples from reputed Indian companies – such as MDH, Everest, Gajanand, Shyam, and Sheeba Taza – found unfit for consumption.

State health minister Gajendra Singh Khinvsar has directed stringent action against these companies under Indian Food Safety and Standards Act, including the immediate confiscation of the unsafe spices. MDH’s garam masala contained acetamiprid, thiamethoxam, and imidacloprid while its vegetable masala and chana masala had tricyclazole and profenofos.

Shyam’s garam masala contained acetamiprid, Sheeba Taza’s raita masala had thiamethoxam and acetamiprid, Gajanand’s pickle masala had ethion, and Everest’s cumin masala contained azoxystrobin and thiamethoxam.

The health department investigation revealed that pesticide/insecticide levels in these spices were significantly higher than permissible limits, posing serious health risks.

A targeted operation was launched on May 8 to gather spice samples from all districts in the state. During this drive, 93 samples from various companies were collected. A report by the State Central Public Health Laboratory indicated that certain samples contained alarmingly high levels of pesticides and insecticides, Shubhra Singh, additional chief secretary (health) said, adding that letters had been sent to all designated officers and chief medical and health officers throughout the state, instructing them to seize the unsafe spices.

Since MDH’s manufacturing units are in Haryana, that of Everest and Gajanand in Gujarat, letters have been sent to food safety commissioners of these states for necessary action. Additionally, a letter was sent to the chief executive officer of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India in New Delhi, requesting their intervention.

Food safety commissioner Iqbal Khan said samples of other spices from these companies – as well as additional batches of the unsafe batches – will also be collected. He has directed the chief medical and health officers to seize affected lots or batches of these spices from these brands, manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers. Directives have also been issued to collect samples of other spices and spice powders from these brands.

Source: Healthworld

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