LAHORE: Punjab Food Authority (PFA) sealed 640 food points and stopped production of 344 food outlets during September.
Official statistics released by the provincial food watchdog highlights that food safety teams of the authority had slapped over Rs19 million fine on food business operators for violations of PFA regulations. The authority has also served warning notices to 32,963 eateries while conducting dozens of special operations and routine checking drive across Punjab.
PFA Director General Captain (retd) Muhammad Usman said the teams examined as many as 40,526 food points in all 36 districts of Punjab, including dairy shops, ice cream parlours, general stores, bakeries, confectionery units, poultry shops, factories and food manufacturing units.
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The provincial food regulatory body also guided 4,647 food business operators about to apply for a food license. He maintained that adulterators and counterfeiters have been rooted out from Punjab.
He said the authority would allow food business operators to run their food businesses as per the PFA Act. He said all food points are being checked to sustain the food standards permanently in Punjab.
The PFA DG further said the top priority of PFA was to ensure the provision of safe and healthy as per the mission of the Punjab government.
During the recent week, PFA food safety officials seized a big lot of 500 kilogrammes of dead animals meat, which was being carried to Lahore from Kasur for selling purpose in Lahore.
The meat safety team on the tip-off vigilance raided the vehicle number with a dead animal. Usman said that the dead animal killed by the disease was being carried to prepare meat to Lahore. However, the driver of the vehicle managed to escape from the spot.
He said PFA was regularly taking action against this mafia for the provision of health and safe food.
Punjab Food Authority also inspected around 144 production units of jams and pickles. Owing to the poor management four units have failed while halted the production of two others.
The food safety watchdog teams also found 2,640 kilogrammes of fungicide jams, 873 kilogrammes of expired pickles, overlaid food colours and spices were recovered in the operation.
PFA to start food sampling campaign
A fine has been imposed on 26 production units for failing to adhere to the health rules while 107 notes were also issued. As many as 82 food production units in Lahore zone, 29 in Rawalpindi, 26 in Multan and 7 in Muzaffargarh zone were checked, respectively.
The food production units were sealed due to the use of rotten ingredients and the use of chemical fertilizers in fruits and vegetables. Dead flies and mosquitoes were found in the pickles which were stored in dirty blue drums.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2019.
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