Is the delectable handi of rasogollas on Dashami or the lip-smacking Diwali ladoo safe? You can do a little adulteration check yourself using handy kitchen ingredients and common chemicals.
In a unique sensitisation campaign for 60-odd city sweet shop owners, food safety officials from Ranchi demonstrated how simple tests can be conducted to prevent contamination of festive platter.
During the riveting session at Red Cross Bhavan in Sakchi, chaired by state food controller T.P. Burnwal, scientific assistant of Namkum food testing laboratory Umesh Kumar showed how a dash of lemon could tell whether a pinch of salt has the required iodine content.
Namkum food lab official Umesh Kumar (in white apron) demonstrates an adulteration test in Sakchi on Friday. (Bhola Prasad)
Salt: Add a dash of lemon. If colour turns light blue,
iodine content less than recommended 15ppm
Chhena: Add liquid iodine. Dark black indicates
Paneer, curd, rasogolla, khoya & peda: Add liquid iodine. Black indicates starch above desired limit
Ladoo: Add hydrochloric acid. If the sweet turns black, non-edible
Mustard oil: Add nitric acid. Red indicates
presence of toxic
Turmeric: Add hydrochloric acid. Black means
“The objective is to teach shopkeepers how to use safe ingredients for mithai and other festive delicacies,” Burnwal said.
Also taking food safety to the next level, the East Singhbhum administration will, henceforth, record every shop or hotel raid in and around the city on camera.
The directive has been issued by deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal who swears by “zero tolerance” to adulteration of food ahead of Durga Puja and Diwali, and transparency in raids conducted by health officials under Food Safety and Standard Regulations 2011.
“A dedicated team will carry out raids ahead of Puja and will record the same too. The video clips and reports will be filed together and checked by two nodal officers — ADM (law and order) and Dhalbhum SDO,” Kaushal, who is the adjudicating officer for implementing the food safety regulations in the district, said.
The raiding team will comprise district food safety officer Mahesh Pandey and additional chief medical officer Kalicharan Munda.
ADM (law and order) Ajit Shanker said police protection had been sought from the first week of October. “The raids will continue through the festive season. The video recording will scuttle chances of manipulation in collection of samples,” he added.
Will food raids ensure quality?