With Ganesh Chaturthi just two days away, officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are on their toes and have decided to carry out surprise checks across all sweet shops in the city. This time around, officials will not only be inspecting the quality of mawa being used, but also examine the hygiene standards maintained by each sweet maker.
According to sources within the FDA, food safety officers (FSO) have been asked to maintain strict vigils at railway stations, entry points and octroi check nakas in the city. Confirming the same, FDA Joint Commissioner Suresh Deshmukh (Food), said, “I have asked all my FSOs to inspect all concerned food establishments and ensure that high standards of quality are maintained in order to help prevent any cases of food poisoning. This issue becomes particularly important during the festivals where sweets are consumed in large quantities.”
A senior FDA official told MiD DAY that the department has been looking for milk adulteration cases in the city, as they fear the same would be used to make mawa. “We are ensuring that before the festive season begins, the city is free of all adulterated milk. We don’t want customers to suffer, and hence we have set up a strict check.”
And in keeping with their crackdown on milk adulteration, officials nabbed eight people from Byculla last week for running a milk adulteration racket. Authorities recovered over 1,200 litres of milk worth Rs 41,000. “During this raid, we found several empty plastic pouches of branded milk companies,” said an official.
Pune mandals asked to prepare their own prasad
The FDA in Pune has called for a meeting with 25 to 30 Ganesh mandals in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad to issue guidelines for large-scale manufacturing and distribution of sweets and prasad. The mandals were advised to prepare their own khoya, mawa and ghee rather than buying it from other states.