In a bid to check adulteration, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on Thursday said it will conduct nationwide surveillance of milk and milk products. The surveillance, to be conducted on a large scale, will involve collecting samples from both the organised and unorganised sectors in all districts countrywide.
Samples of products such as khoa, chenna, paneer, ghee, butter, curd, and ice cream will also be checked as part of the ongoing effort to curb adulteration of milk and milk products.
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“The rationale behind choosing milk is due to its indispensable role in our food culture either as a fresh fluid or as processed dairy products. Milk contains vital micronutrients and macronutrients. People of every age group include milk or milk products in their daily diet. Changing lifestyle patterns and increasing health consciousness are the key growth drivers for milk and high-value milk products in India,” the food safety authority said.
The survey will assess the samples for compliance with quality and safety parameters. It will also identify hotspots for adulteration in milk and milk products, and devise corrective actions.
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FSSAI has conducted five such surveillances of milk and milk products since 2011.
The National Milk Safety and Quality Survey 2018 was conducted in all states and Union territories. A total of 6,432 milk samples from organised and unorganised sectors were collected from 1,103 towns/cities with population above 50,000. FSSAI also conducted the Pan-India Milk Products Survey, 2020, to assess the safety and quality of milk products and desserts sold during festivals. In all 2,801 milk product samples from organised and unorganised sector (paneer, khoa, chhena, khoa-based desserts and chhena-based desserts) were collected from 542 districts across the country.
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In 2022, FSSAI conducted a milk survey in 12 states, of which 10 had incidence of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) and two were control.
“In order to ascertain the safety of milk, the presence of antibiotics, pesticide residues and heavy metals were assessed in the samples collected. The outcome of the survey revealed that the milk sold in the selected 12 states is largely safe for consumption,” it added.