The Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) on Tuesday barred Sangam Sweets, a popular sweet shop in the Capital, from selling its products after the shop was found selling substandard sweets. The shop was found using ‘harmful chemicals’ and other ingredients that had crossed their expiration date, according to food investigators.
A joint market monitoring team of the department, District Administration Office Kathmandu and consumer right activists found that the sweets outlet sold unhygienic food that may pose a risk to consumers’ health.
The team sealed the shop’s production unit and warehouse at Milan Chowk, in New Baneshwor.
DFTQC Food Investigation Officer Ishwor Subedi said that they had sealed the store after they found it was using ‘harmful chemicals’, such as inedible colour. Subedi said Sangam Sweets has been using A-1 Hydro, a chemical that is used to dye clothes, instead of edible food colouring products. Similarly, the shop had also been using coconut powder that was eight years past its expiration date. The department said the ingredient can be used for a maximum of four months from the production date.
Likewise, the edible oil and ghee that the store used were also found to be of inferior quality. According to Subedi, the oil and ghee contained excess amount of polar compounds.
Polar compounds are formed in oils and fats during frying or heating process due to the breakdown of triglyceride molecule.
“Although the department does not allow the presence of polarity to be more than 25 percent, the products that the store used stood at 38.5 percent,” he said.
Similarly, the store was found to have disregarded its hygiene at its production store. DFTQC Director General Sanjeev Kumar Karn said the department has asked the store to present a clarification within three days. According to him, the department will recommend action against the sweets shop under the Food Act 1992.
Karn said the department has intensified the monitoring of Kathmandu’s sweet stores keeping in mind the possibility of sales of adulterated and unhygienic sweets as the demand for the products surge significantly during the festival.
Salt Trading told to halt sales of sugar
The Department of Supply Management and Protection of Consumers Interest has asked Salt Trading Corporation (STC) to stop selling sugar from the fair price shops, after it was found to be selling sugar at price similar to the existing market price.
Although STC was supposed to sell sugar at Rs70 per kg, the corporation has fixed the product price at Rs73 per kg.
“Citing the high price, the department has barred the STC from carrying out its business at the fair price shops,” the Department Director General Yogendra Gauchan said.