Ice cream makers in East Jaiñtia Hills have been using inedible industrial chemical powders in their products, the district Food Safety Officer has informed.
Following reports of a number of children falling ill after consuming ice cream in the district, authorities in East Jaiñtia Hills restricted the sale of ice cream by itinerant peddlers until investigations could be carried out.
The FSO, NA Lyngwi, reported to the Deputy Commissioner that five ice cream manufacturing units were inspected in the areas around Khliehriat and Ladrymbai yesterday. The units were named as Cream Hills Ice Cream, Swati Ice Cream, Chota Bheem Ice Cream, MN Ice Cream and Princeycol Ice Cream.
Disturbingly, in four factories chemical powders were being added to the products to enhance their sweetness. This, Lyngwi said, is a “clear violation of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 and also a serious health hazard.” These chemicals are usually used in electroplating and cleaning of metals, the report added.
Forty-two packets of the powders were seized and the FSO recommended that other legal measures be taken against those responsible given the serious nature of the violation.
Lyngwi also reported that none of the units had registered with the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, as is required. However, other aspects were satisfactory – overall cleanliness and hygiene was adequate, most workers had been vaccinated against Covid-19, machines and equipment used to make and store ice cream were clean and properly maintained and packaging materials were similarly found to be suitable.