KARACHI: The Sindh Food Authority (SFA) on Tuesday informed Chief Secretary Mumtaz Ali Shah that 17 companies selling bottled water and nine commercial concerns dealing in loose ghee were sealed in Karachi as the drive against hazardous food continued.
Action against illegal abattoirs in the city was also initiated, SFA officials told a meeting chaired by the chief secretary.
They said that the bottled water companies were sealed in compliance with the relevant order issued by the chief justice of Pakistan.
The meeting was also informed that inspection of food being sold at school canteens, which had largely been ignored in the past, was being conducted and sale of cold drinks in schools was prohibited due to public health concerns.
A spokesperson for the provincial government said that the CS appreciated SFA’s efforts and advised it to maintain coordination with the Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) vis-à-vis authentication and registration of food items and commodities.
According to SFA officials, 40 food inspectors would soon be recruited in order to evolve an effective mechanism to inspect food outlets.
The CS called for a permanent campaign to keep people aware of dangers of hazardous/expired food.
The SFA director general informed the meeting that notices had been issued to 5,806 businesses asking them to improve quality of their food products. They included factories, restaurants and school canteens, he said, adding that fines to the tune of Rs1.6 million had been imposed on various restaurants found serving substandard food to consumers.
CS Shah said that necessary legal action be taken against those found marketing adulterated and substandard food products and include poultry products in their inspection. He said SFA would require a food testing lab of its own.
Food Secretary Mohammad Rashid informed the meeting that the SFA raided various places to check quality of commodities/items being produced at ice factories and confectionery concerns.
Published in Dawn, November 21st, 2018