District Collector K. Rajamani has directed local bodies and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) to conduct joint inspections to prevent food business operators (FBOs) from using banned single-use plastic products.The registration certificate or the licence issued by the FSSAI to FBOs should be suspended in the event of banned single-use plastic products found during the inspections, directed Mr. Rajamani at steering committee meeting held here on September 26.He pointed out at the meeting that the practice of packing hot eatables with single-use plastic products in hotels and eateries was not safe and hence, it has to be stoppedThe heat of the food product can cause leaching of small particles from the plastic material used for packing. ith the FSSAI banning the use of newspaper and other printed papers to wrap food products like deep fried items, as the ink used for printing spreads to the food items when wrapped directly, Mr. Rajamani instructed food safety officers to conduct routine inspections to stop the practice.The Collector also urged consumers to use the WhatsApp number of the FSSAI, 94440-42322, to inform if FBOs were found using single-use plastic items for packing hot eatables and about the use of newspapers to wrap such products.Mr. Rajamani directed that all FBOs should ensure 100 % compliance to the registration and licence process of the FSSAI. As of now, 93 % of the FBOs in the district have obtained the registration certificate or the licence from the food regulator.While food business operators with an annual turnover of Rs.12 lakh or above must obtain licence from FSSAI, those with an annual turnover below Rs. 12 lakh are mandated to get themselves registered with the regulatory body.The Collector also instructed food safety officers to check complaints by consumers that certain packed food items were being sold at weekly shandies and malls without proper labelling.Apart from officials from the FSSAI and other departments, representatives from hoteliers association, bakery owners association, traders association and consumer organisations took part in the meeting.
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