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Ban on 'Myanmar' food products

The banned juice bottles

Dimapur: The Nagaland health authorities have ban-ned the distribution, sale and purchase of "misbranded" food products in Kohima, imported illegally from Myanmar, to prevent "food poisoning".

Kohima chief medical officer (CMO) and food safety officer Dr Ritu Thurr, in a statement on Wednesday, said, the food products from Myanmar were found flooding the market with "no date of manufacture, no best before date and no name of the manufacturer".

The health authorities have especially banned apple juice and grape juice with brand names "Soo Te" and "Power" respectively.

Thurr said the Myanmar food products were entering the market illegally, contravening the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, Rules and Regulations, 2011.

"The food business operators disclosed that these juices are Myanmar products and are being distributed in the market through some distributors/suppliers in Kohima. These are all misbranded imported food products, and in the eventuality of any food poisoning, it will not be possible to implicate the manufacturers/producers," the statement said.

Thurr directed those distributing/supplying these food products to immediately stop their distribution/supply in the market. He warned them that necessary action according to the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, Rules and Regulations, 2011, would be initiated if the distributors/suppliers fail to comply with the order. The retailers have also been directed to return the stated food products to the distributor/supplier concerned. The statement said the retailers are also liable to be penalised as per the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, Rules and Regulations, 2011 if these food products are found on their business premises.

The medical officer advised consumers to check the labels before buying any food product.

"In the case of food products imported into India, it should have the name and the complete address of the importer on the package or on the containers. If any food poisoning arises with a particular imported food, necessary action can be taken through the importer," the statement said.

"However, in case of the food products from Myanmar, there is name of the importer or the address on the package. Now, the question is, on whom should we take action when a food poisoning case occurs? Therefore, as consumers, one should be aware and be alert of such food products," the statement said.

"Since there is no name of the importer or an address on the package, no one can be blamed," it said.

Any complaints regarding food products can be reported to the office of the chief medical officer, the release said.

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