In a bid to keep a check on adulteration levels in food, the central food regulator FSSAI has directed the Maharashtra state FDA to conduct a large scale surveillance and sampling for loose edible oil available in the market. Interestingly, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are the only two states that allow the sale of loose edible oil at all levels in the retail chain.
This means that Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh are the only two states that allow manufacturers to sell loose edible oil to wholesalers who in turn sell it loose to retailers and end consumers.
This decision and approval was purely granted by the state taking into account the rural population and the affordability factor. However, the sale of this edible oil in loose format is also more susceptible to adulteration. Keeping this in mind, we learn that the Maharashtra FDA is now in the process of conducting random sampling in pockets across the state.
In other states, edible oil is sealed in tamper proof dispensers and sold to consumers as per their requirement. If the surveillance by the state FDA throws up negative findings or traces of adulteration in the chain, agencies could consider taking some serious action.
We learn from sources that the Maharashtra FDA will compile the findings of this surveillance and send it to the FSSAI at the earliest. The central food regulator then has the option of referring the report to the state government and suggesting the way forward.
However, it is completely upto the state government to decide on the approval or extension of permission to sell loose edible oil in the state at all levels.
First Published: IST