New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) Twenty-one milk samples, including that of renowned producers Amul and Mother Dairy, were found to be “sub-standard” during tests conducted by the Delhi government, Health Minister Satyendar Jain said on Friday.
He, however, hastened to add that these samples were “not unsafe” but they did not have the prescribed levels of components like fat among others.
“Sub-standard means that if the fat content had to be 5 per cent, it was only 3 per cent. In simple terms, water was mixed. In most of the 21 samples which failed, milk powder was mixed,” Jain told the media.
He said the drive would continue and extend to milk products like ‘paneer’ and ‘khoya’.
Tests were done on 177 samples collected from across the city between April 13 and 28. Of the 165 samples whose results have arrived, 21 were found to be sub-standard, the Minister said.
“Branded and non-branded were there (in the 21 samples which was sub-standard) and in branded, Amul and Mother Dairy were there,” he said.
Mother Dairy said it had not received the test findings but insisted that that each batch of its milk underwent stringent quality tests at four levels to ensure that safe and quality milk became available for consumption.
“We have recently received Quality Mark certification for all our poly pack milk variants sold in Delhi NCR to ensure our consumers 100 per cent conformance to the prescribed norms,” it said in a statement.
Jain said the Delhi government collected samples of popular milk brands and also of locally available milk for the tests.
He also said that all the cases would be forwarded to the court, adding that a penalty ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 5 lakh would be imposed.
“Under any circumstances, unsafe food would not be allowed in Delhi,” Jain said.
Jain also said that of the three samples of ghee tested, one non-branded product was found “unsafe”.
“The issue was raised in the Delhi Assembly and after that I had given orders to collect milk samples in Delhi,” he said.
The Assembly question was regarding fake milk in Delhi and the diseases caused by it.
Jain said 18 food inspectors have joined the Delhi government recently and this had helped in speeding up the process of testing samples.
He added that he had given orders to do testing in private labs also so that the process would not face any obstacle.
“If any food products are found unsafe, there are provisions to award imprisonment of six months to three years,” he added.