Holi is a festival of colors, joy, and exuberance, celebrated across India with great enthusiasm every year. It is a Hindu festival that marks the onset of spring and is celebrated on the full moon day in the Hindu calendar month of Phalguna.
Though Holi is primarily a festival of colors, food and drinks, especially milk and milk-based products, also play a huge role in the festivities. Sweets like gujiya, mathri, and thandai are an integral part of Holi celebrations, and people consume them in large quantities during the festivities.
However, in recent years, the quality of milk and milk-based products has become a concern. Many instances of adulteration and contamination have been reported, leading to health hazards and sometimes even fatalities. This is particularly worrisome during Holi, when people consume more milk-based products than usual.
To counter this issue, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has asked the states to deploy testing vans to check milk quality during the Holi festivities. The FSSAI has also directed the states to take strict action against those found guilty of adulteration and contamination.
The decision by the FSSAI comes in the wake of the increasing number of cases of food adulteration in India. Food adulteration is a practice of adding inferior, harmful or non-permitted substances to food to increase its quantity, shelf life, and appearance. It is a serious health hazard and can cause a range of health problems, including cancer, kidney damage, liver damage, and heart disease.
As per the FSSAI, contamination of milk can happen due to the addition of water, glucose, starch, or even urea. Some milk suppliers also use synthetic milk made of vegetable oil, powdered milk, and chemicals. These incidents are rampant, especially during festivals like Holi, when the milk consumption goes up.
The FSSAI has instructed the states to deploy testing vans to check the quality of milk at the point of sale. The vans will have testing kits to detect the presence of contaminants like water, urea, and chemicals. The kits will give results within minutes, and the milk supplier will be apprehended immediately in case of any non-compliance.
The FSSAI has also asked for strict action to be taken against those found guilty of adulteration and contamination. The violators will face legal action as per the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
The FSSAI’s move to step up measures to check food adulteration during Holi is commendable. The festival is all about celebrating with family and friends and enjoying traditional delicacies. However, the practice of adulterating food items is a menace that needs to be eradicated to ensure that people can continue to enjoy their favorite festival without having to worry about the quality of food they consume.
The FSSAI’s efforts are also important in light of the growing concerns around food safety in India. With the rise in the number of food-based disease outbreaks in the country, the need for strict food safety regulations and effective enforcement mechanisms has become even more critical.
In conclusion, Holi is an important festival that brings people together to celebrate the onset of spring. However, the quality of the food consumed during the festivities is a critical concern. The FSSAI’s move to deploy testing vans to check milk quality during Holi is a commendable step towards ensuring that people can enjoy their favorite festival without compromising their health. It is time for everyone to take food adulteration seriously, and measures like these are essential in ensuring that people are safe and healthy.