Customers swarm sweet shops as Tihar starts

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Customers swarm sweet shops as Tihar starts

Oct 22, 2014-

Festive shoppers have been thronging sweet shops in the Kathmandu valley to stock up for the Tihar celebrations which have just begun. Confections are one of the special foods on the occasion. Sweets like rasbari, laddoo, peda and lalmohan are in high demand currently, said confectioners.

“We have been extremely busy for the last two-three days due to the increased flow of people wanting to purchase sweets,” said Ranjita Dhami, a staffer at Sangam Sweets. “Sales have jumped by around 30 percent.”

According to her, sales of sweets have risen this year compared to last year. “Last year, people were scared to consume confections due to reports of adulteration. But this year, no such reports have been circulated, and consumer confidence is high,” she said.

Similarly, Rachana Agrawal, manager of Gulab Sweets, said, “We started seeing a steady rise in sales from yesterday. Laddoos and pedas are the highest selling sweets at our shop.” She added that customers were also increasingly asking for sugar-free confections these days due to rising health consciousness.

Meanwhile, the Department of Commerce and Supply Management (DoCSM), Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DoFTQC) and Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) have intensified market monitoring in view of the festive season. According to DoFTQC officials, they have found some shops selling sweets without labels stating the manufacturing and expiry dates and prices.

“We visited 26 sweet shops in the Kathmandu valley, and we didn’t find any selling substandard products,” said Purna Chandra Wosti, spokesperson of the DoFTQC. “However, we have given some pointers on sanitation to a number of shops. We have also urged them not to use starch while making sweets and properly mark the prices, weight and manufacturing dates on the products.”

Wosti said that the monitoring would continue even during the public holidays, and added that the department would also look into complaints lodged by consumers to make the monitoring more effective.

Purushottam Subedi, head of inspection at the DoCSM, said that they had directed some sweet shop owners to present themselves at the department office with the standard weight certificates from the Nepal Bureau of Standard Statistics within seven days.

The monitoring team visited eight sweet shops in the valley on Wednesday. According to Food Safety Act, 1966, the maximum punishment for selling substandard food items is a fine of Rs 25,000 and three years’ imprisonment.

Published: 23-10-2014 09:19

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