LAHORE: The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) Tuesday sealed 11 food businesses, including two pickle and fruit preserves (murabba) manufacturing units, over violation of the food regulations.

During the special checking camping, the authority targeted 73 pickle and murabba units in 36 districts of Punjab and slapped fine on five food outlets.

The PFA also warned 58 food business operators out of 73, asking them to improve hygiene conditions. In a daylong operation, it inspected 40 pickle and murabba units in Central Zone, 14 in North Zone and 19 in South Zone.

PFA DG Irfan Memon said the teams took action against over substandard production, non-compliance of instructions and usage of prohibited ingredients.

He said the PFA sealed ‘Al Basheer Food Product’ in Sheikhupura and ‘Abdul Rehman Murabawalay’ for using rotten fruits with hazardous chemicals and rongalite (rungkat) in preparation of pickle and fruit preserves.

The raiding teams also witnessed poor storage system, tobacco smoking and worst condition of hygiene.

The DG said that PFA watchdog teams discarded 4,000kg poor quality pickle and murabba along with 5,000kg raw material.

In south region, the PFA sealed three food points during food inspection/operation. It raided Raza Spices Store in Khanewal and sealed it over proved contamination in red chilli. While two stores were shut down in Lodhran for selling expired food items, unhygienic conditions besides violating the food law. The teams also punished numerous eateries with Rs138,500 cumulative fine.

Similarly, the PFA shut down New Hayyat Store and Jamal Store in North Zone.

The teams sealed both food points in Chakwal for selling expired food items, poor cleanliness arrangements and non-compliance of instructions.

The Authority also imposed fines totalling Rs43,000 in Rawalpindi division and served warning notices for improvement to 167 food business operators.

The provincial food regulatory body has sealed Pakistan Foundation College’s canteen in Narowal during operation in Gujranwala division.

A canteen was shut down for selling carbonated drinks and expired food items. Besides, the workers of the canteen did not have medical certificates. The PFA officials imposed Rs45,000 fine on shopkeepers and issued warning notices to 121 FBOs.

In the Sargodha division, the authority shut down Saleem Enterprises on account of forgery, poor storage system and worst condition of hygiene.

Further, the teams stopped the production of three food joints by serving emergency prohibition orders over violations. The teams also served warning notices for improvement on 60 FBOs.

Published in Dawn, January 29th, 2020