Mumbai: FDA seals filthy farsan unit in Ghodbunder

Bhayandar: With Diwali round the corner, you will be tempted to step inside one of the brightly illuminated sweet and farsan shops to buy those tangy, spicy, lip-smacking farsan and namkeen (fried and dried snacks). But don’t let adulteration spoil your festivities and ensure that the eatables are not sourced from manufacturing units operating from dark and dingy hutments of the slum pockets in the city.

The Thane unit of the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) department sealed one such establishment in Godbunder village near Kashimira which specialised in making all types of farsan including wafers, corn chivda and salted namkeens.

The action followed after the food safety inspector, Manek Jadhav, under the supervision of assistant commissioner (food) Krishna Dabhade conducted a surprise inspection at Rishtey Namkeen, a farsan manufacturing unit operating from the Reti-Bunder area of Godbunder.  FDA officials were shocked to be greeted with an extremely unhygienic atmosphere that was completely unfit for manufacturing eatables.

Apart from finding poor quality ingredients and sub standard oil that had turned black after several rounds of frying, the FDA team found several farsan-related products which were not carrying proper declaration labels as required under the Food Safety and Standards Act. Located adjacent to ill-maintained gutters, the unit had 35 shabbily dressed workers and was not only functioning in an unhygienic manner, but was found to be using junked  machinery and rusty utensils.

The officials sealed the unit and seized food material and farsan packets worth more than Rs 69,000 suspected to be misbranded and not labelled in the prescribed manner. While the samples of ingredients have been sent to the forensic lab for quality checks, officials have resolved to conduct surprise checks at regular intervals until such units either shut business or follow the mandated guidelines.

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