The country’s Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has started a nationwide surveillance study on milk and milk products this month to curb the spread of such products, an official said on Monday. Adulteration.
FSSAI consultant (quality assurance) Satyen K Panda said the exercise will continue till October and the regulator is expected to submit its report to the health ministry by December.
“The surveillance survey will cover 766 districts across the country and more than 10,000 samples will be collected during the exercise. Two agencies have been involved for this purpose,” he told PTI.
“The Quality Council of India (an autonomous body under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry) and the National Dairy Development Board will conduct a probe for FSSAI,” Panda said.
“The scope of investigation includes milk, khoa, chenna, paneer, ghee, butter, curd and ice cream. Test parameters include adulterants, normal quality and composition parameters, contaminants, antibiotic residues and microbiological indicators,” he said.
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The study aims to assess whether milk and milk products sold in the country comply with food safety and standards regulations and identify adulteration hotspots. “One of the goals of the investigation is to develop a corrective action strategy,” Panda said.
The rationale for choosing milk, he said, was the integral role it plays in food culture, both as a fresh liquid and as a processed dairy product.
“We hope to submit a report on the findings to the Ministry of Health by December,” Panda said.
Since 2011, regulators have launched five investigations into milk and milk products. The FSSAI conducted a milk survey in 2022 in 12 states, including 10 states where lumpy skin disease (LSD) is endemic. It has also conducted the PAN India Dairy Survey 2020 to understand the true picture of safety and quality of dairy products sold in the market during the festive season.
A total of 2,801 dairy samples from organized and unorganized sectors were collected from 542 districts across the country for the 2020 study.
The products are tested on all quality and safety parameters including pesticide residues, heavy metals, crop contaminants and melamine.