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Purity poser on milk items

The food safety wing of the health department is yet to start a drive to check adulteration of milk products.

Sources said such adulteration is a common phenomenon during Makar Sankranti.

The laxity of the food safety wing is surprising because in 2013, the authority had received complaints related to dairy products of various brands. The food safety wing had then launched a drive to check milk adulteration ahead of Makar Sankranti.

Residents had complained of inappropriate quantity of fat in a famous dairy brand’s milk, while a few complained of adulterated paneer (cottage cheese) and ghee from other dairies. Many said dairies blended vegetable oil with ghee. When The Telegraph asked a senior officer with the food safety wing whether or not the department has launched a drive to check adulteration ahead of Makar Sankranti, he said: “No.”

The officer rather jokingly said: “Chura dahi khaiye, maje mein rahiye (eat flattened rice with curd and be happy).”

Sources said adulteration in milk products is nothing new in Patna and the practice is widespread during the festival. Adulteration increases because of the increase in demand. For example, if a dairy has only 1,000lt of milk, it tries to increase the volume to meet the demand. It cannot increase the volume without adulteration. Thus, residents end up buying adulterated products during Makar Sankranti.

“In November, we had raided shops and collected cottage cheese samples. Later, we found that the cottage cheese was sub-standard,” said a food inspector. City doctors warned that eating adulterated milk products can cause gastrointestinal problems.