The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Food Safety and Halal Food Authority has made an announcement on Thursday for taking initiative about several actions which include the banning of eight eligible eatables for ensuring the conditions of food safety and hygiene.
It was notified by the authority on Wednesday in the city of Peshawar and divisional headquarters.
Riaz Khan Mehsud—Director General of food authority while speaking at a press conference said that the authority is putting a ban on the sale of various edibles owing to multiple reasons. He informed that a committee which includes above twenty well-qualified food professionals and experts had in a meeting recommended the ban activation on several items. He said that some items are banned with immediate effect while other eatables have been granted some time for making an improvement.
Mehsud said the committee has jointly taken the decision that the sale of energy drinks, papad, carbonated drinks and chips—all are dangerous to health hence they should be banned within the premises of schools and colleges immediately. He mentioned that this ban would also be extended to universities and other areas also where it would be needed.
Dr Ziaul Haq—a committee member of the Khyber Medical University said that the university would be providing the scientific proof for the health dangers of the food items.
Mr Mehsud also said that the spices were first checked to make sure whether they contain aflatoxins or not and then on that basis the food commodities were banned. He mentioned that the ban on the sale of loose spices, sauces, salts and coloured crackers with a grace period of one year was suggested by a unanimous decision. He informed that calcium carbide was cheap and is well rooted in the entire system, so it would take a long span of time to replace it with ethylene or any other ripening agent. As per the committee a grace time span of two years has been granted and after that its use should be banned.Mr Mehsud that in the meantime research projects would be done in collaboration with the department of food sciences and technology at the University of Agriculture, KP Agriculture Research Institute, NIFA and Tarnab for identifying the other possible and less costly options of calcium carbide.
He also announced a ban on items like chaalia, gutka, naswar, paan, choran and on the chewing of tobacco in the province as these products are manufactured from dangerous, carcinogenic materials. He informed that nickel that is used in the making of banaspati ghee is also hazardous to health and hydrogenation process should be improved and complete saturation process should be replaced with partial saturation.
Mr Mehsud said that a span of six months would be granted to all the industries for making the required arrangements relating the effluents that could be recycled or treated instead of draining them into freshwater sources.
He also announced a ban on low quality ice-cream and other such products because of the possible use of non-food grade colours, flavours or any other health dangerous food ingredients.