In Hyderabad, out of every 100 food samples tested, 10 percent are unsafe or substandard. According to GHMC chief medical officer of health, out of 926 samples tested, around 98 were unsafe, substandard, or misbranded. He said the samples were collected between June 1 and December 15, 2021. The highest adulteration was found in edible oils in GHMC limits, followed by samples collected from restaurants and hotels. Spices were also hugely adulterated, while samples of milk were primarily safe.
According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) expert and former scientist with National Institute of Nutrition Vemula Sudarshan Rao, cooking oil adulteration was more. Cheaper oils are repacked as costly oils. For example, palm oil is relatively cheap and is used to mix. Cottonseed oil is used for cooking. It is safe as the oil has no protein.
Rao also added that the oil prepared from animal body fat and putrefied bones is unsafe. Edible oil should not be sold loose. Oil can be reused by boiling it two or three times. Reused cooking oil can be used as a biofuel. The report also said that only 2 percent of vegetables and fruits have pesticide residues which can be washed away before cooking.
Officials said a control room in the GHMC head office functions 24/7. In addition, an official said that newly-appointed food safety officers perform regular inspections on establishments and take the samples under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
Recently forum for Good Governance has submitted a proposal to the GHMC commissioner to set up a food safety flying squad to attend to complaints and conduct surprise checks on all food outlets and establishments.