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FRUITS & VEGETABLE

FSSAI directs fruit traders to avoid stickers to prevent contamination
Monday, 29 October, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
FSSAI has asked the fruit and vegetable traders to avoid putting stickers on them, as it could lead to contamination of the food product. The country’s apex food regulator said that the safety of the adhesive used for pasting such stickers was unknown, and therefore, it was advised to avoid use of stickers.

Putting out an advisory through a guidance note, FSSAI explained that the stickers in Indian context were only used to either hide any decay or the brand name, which is contrary to the stickers’ use in the developed world, wherein they consisted of information about traceability, grades, prices, etc.

“However, it was observed that in India the traders use the stickers to make their product look premium, and sometimes hide the decay or defect the product. Brand name, tested OK or best quality are some common terms mentioned on stickers, which do not have any significance,” it added.  

The note said, “The adhesive may contain harmful chemicals which may affect human health, as the skin of fruits and vegetables are porous and the residue can percolate inside. The health risk of consuming these adhesive is high in case of fruits and vegetable consumed with skin.”

It advised the traders, therefore the traders should discourage the use of stickers directly on fruits which do not provide any relevant information. And if the traders are using such stickers, they should be sure about the safety of the adhesive used in the stickers and the quality of ink.

FSSAI added that it was prohibited under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2011, to sell unsafe food that can be injurious to health. However, the apex regulator also admitted that there wasn’t any specific requirements prescribed under the Act when it comes to packaging of fresh fruits with reference to stickers and adhesives.
 
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