Relief food found to be of poor quality

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Relief food found to be of poor quality

Jun 3, 2015-

A large amount of food products sent from India, Bangladesh and the United Kingdom as aid for earthquake victims have been found to be substandard. Likewise, a number of food outlets were caught selling poor quality products, the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) said in a report.

The DFTQC discovered these irregularities after conducting a month-long inspection from May 5 to June 1. During this period, the DFTQC checked a number of dry ports, relief collection centres and stores selling food products.

The department has destroyed 120 kg of substandard food relief received from India at Birgunj Dry Port. They include 30 kg of home-made bread, 10 kg of packed bread, 30 kg of sweets and 50 kg of date-expired snacks, flour, pulses and oats.

Likewise, the department found 107 sacks (5.35 tonnes) of rice sent by the government of Bangladesh to have been covered with mould and unfit for consumption.

The rice had been sent through the Kakkarbhitta customs point and stored in the warehouse of the Nepal Intermodal Transport Development Board.

DFTQC spokesperson Purna Chandra Wasti said the department had directed the authorities to clean the products before using them.

The department has also barred the distribution of noodles sent from India. According to Wasti, the ban has been issued as the noodles sent by Kolkata NGOs Ex-NCC Code and Black Alpha Squad did not have expiry dates. Likewise, 25 cans of processed food sent from the UK were banned as they were past their expiration dates.

The DFTQC has also barred Ruhil’s brand dry foods from India bound for distribution in Kavrepalanchok. Wasti said the department had doubted the quality of the products as they did not have proper labelling.

“The products found in the packages were different from the labels on the outside, and the expiry date was also not properly mentioned,” said Wasti, adding that they took samples for testing.

Similarly, Lemon Puff and D-Elite brand biscuits sent by Youth Club Kamala Bagan, India were found to be unfit for consumption during tests by the DFTQC.

The department has barred the distribution of four cartons of suji flour manufactured by GHA Food Products, New Delhi and stored at the District Administration Office and the warehouse of the Armed Police Force, Lalitpur.

Meanwhile, the DFTQC sealed the Tandoori Staff Hotel and Lodge, Hetauda on the charge of selling stale food to its customers.

According to Wasti, the department has begun legal action against the shop under Food Act 1967.

It also seized 18 cans of coconut milk from Bhatbhateni Superstore, Koteshwor as they were past the expiration dates.

Similarly, the department has initiated action against Thakur Agro Industries, Dhangadhi for distributing poor quality rice supported by the World Food Programme (WFP).

Earlier, the DFTQC had directed the WFP to return the rice bound for relief distribution in Kavrepalanchok district. The products supplied by the international organisation did not meet government standards.

Published: 04-06-2015 07:54

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