The All India Consumer Products Distributors Federation(AICPDF) has cautioned distributors to limit stocking of packaged spices products in an advisory sent out to its members.

The advisory comes at a time when some of the Indian spice brands are under heightened scrutiny and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is in the process of testing spice samples of various brands on quality and safety parameters on a pan-India basis. 

In its advisory , AICPDF said, “There is a high probability that these brands will come under the radar of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and necessary measures will be taken to safeguard human health. This could potentially have a significant impact on the sales of these products. Therefore, AICPDF urges you to exercise caution regarding heavy stocking of these products.” 

The industry body represents distributors of the FMCG industry.

Dhairyashil Patil, National President, AICPDF said, “Distributors typically have stocks of 35-60 days. In the event that restrictions are imposed on some brands, heavy stocking could result in dead investment, and retailers may be left with damaged stock.”

Also read: Spices Board issues guidelines to exporters to prevent ethylene oxide contamination

“We advise you to proceed cautiously and restrain yourself from stocking up on these products to a limited extent, until clearance is received from the necessary authorities.” the industry body said.

Late last month, the FSSAI directed States to pick up samples of spices from major manufacturing units. Officials earlier told businesline that extensive testing is being done on a comprehensive set of safety and quality parameters. The samples are being tested for pesticide residues, metal contaminants, biological parameters such as salmonella besides physical and chemical parameters among others.

In April, Hong Kong’s food safety regulator recalled three products of MDH and one product of Everest over presence of ethylene oxide above permissible limits.

Following this order, Singapore’s food safety regulator also recalled one product of Everest. Both MDH and Everest in their statements have denied these claims and have said their products are safe for consumption. This has led public health advocates and consumers to question the safety of Indian spices products.