Adulteration, or simply saying is the method of adding unaccepted items or substances in the food items, making it unfit for consumption.
Adulteration includes materials added fraudulently and also matters which has become associated with the drug owing to carelessness in handling during collection, packing and transport. The adulterant must be cheap and available in large amount.
But in this 21st century, where consuming adulterated food has become a part of our lives, how to protect ourselves?
To control circulation or wide scale supply of adulterated goods, the Government of India has taken many steps, some of them are listed below:
- Repeated Sampling and Testing
The Food Inspectors are given the right to pay visit to any factory warehouse, where the food articles are manufactured or are stored before being circulated in the market. They take samples of the various food articles to find out if any adulteration is done and if done, if it is acceptable by the Food Cooperation Of India or not.
Citizens who are guilty are rewarded serious punishments in the terms of law and order. Imprisonment for a duration of 3 months to 1 year has been very common recently.
- Mention of Ingredients at the Package
This means, if a certain amount or type of Adulterant is added, it SHOULD be mentioned on the product itself, to maintain a transparent relationship with the customers. For example: Addition of Artificial sweeteners in Fruit juices, are mentioned on the Tetra pack.
Some of the tips, we as responsible citizens could abide by, are:
- Choose Quality over Quantity.
Make sure you only buy products which are FSSAI validated. Often such validated items are costlier than the illegal products, but make sure you go for quality. If needed buy less, but by the pure and the better one.
- Drink Safe Water
In this 21st century, even water is being adulterated. Drink only purified water from trusted source, to prevent any kind of water-borne diseases.
- Do not get fooled by the Manufacturer
Do not fall for attractive ingredients mentioned at the back of the product. Read the ingredient list properly, analyse them and then decide whether or not to make the purchase. Often, manufacturers advertise their products as “Fat Free, Organic” just to attract the youth attention. But the reality is, only a percentage of the ingredients used here, are organic rest are often hidden from the public eye.
- Go Deeper
Often, when we have street food, we are told that the food is made hot, right in front of us. But often, things are not that way. They just heat up their product, and fool the customers. It is highly advisable to consume only hot and then made food, because stored food might be a ground for breeding microbes, which can inturn harm our health.
Recently, FDA has alerted the citizens of India, that there are more than 180 cases of illegal food adulteration which can harm our health in the long term. Though our government has been strict with the laws against food adulteration lately, but it’s also our responsibility to eat safe and stay safe.