There are allegations that the Food Safety department in Jammu and Kashmir has pushed forward testing of skimmed milk products for about two months to help a UP-based dairy firm. Testing is said to be delayed during which the firm sold ‘unsafe’ and ‘substandard’ product.
Sources alleged that authorities deliberately delayed testing of the sample. They alleged that other than delaying testing of the sample, analyst at Srinagar Food Laboratory also declared incorrect results.
It can be found in an official communication that Food Safety Officer of Bijbehara lifted a sample of Skimmed Milk Powder ofthe said firm with (batch number 21) on 28 September 2020 and sent it for testing.
Food Analyst Kashmir declared the product ‘standard’ in his communication around a month later on 2 November 2020. However, officials at Anantnag claim that they received the analytical report on 23rd of November which is around 20 days after result of the sample was declared.
On 10th December, 2020, Food Safety Department officials in Anantnag sent second part of the sample to National Dairy Development Board Gujrat for further testing and verifying results.
12 days later, CALF (Centre for Analysis and Learning in Livestock and Food) came to a conclusion that ‘Aerobic Spore Count & Fat of Skimmed milk powder’ is higher than the prescribed limit in that sample. After 27 days, Food safety department demanded a ‘conclusive opinion’ from the National Dairy Development Board laboratory.
In February this year, the entire product was declared unsafe and substandard. The Commissioner Food Safety, Shakeel ur Rehman Rather issued a ‘food alert’ ordering department to freeze the entire stock.
Officials in Anantnag say that they failed to seize even a single packet of the skimmed milk as public had already consumed it.
The departments and its analysts in Srinagar food Laboratory are being scrutinized for delaying the testing of samples last year. Concerned authorities took four months in order to test the sample and declare its results.