The shopkeepers selling sweets in Mohali district will need to declare the expiry date or ‘best before date’ of all the sweets available in the shop from today. The decision was taken ahead of the festive season.
District Health Officer Dr Subhash Sharma said in order to ensure availability of quality and hygienic sweets for people, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued new directions. He said that in case of non-packaged or loose sweets, the container or tray holding the sweets for sale at the outlet should display the ‘Best Before Date’ of the product mandatorily, with effect from October 1.
“However, in addition to this, the food business operator or the sweets shopkeeper in this case may also display the date of manufacturing, which will be purely voluntary and non-binding,” he said.
Dr Sharma added that the sweets shopkeepers will decide and display the ‘Best Before Date’ of sweets depending upon the nature of the product and the local conditions. An indicative list of the shelf-life of various types of sweets has also been specified in the guidance note regarding the safety of traditional milk products, on the FSSAI website. He said that these directions have been issued by the authority, which is a statutory body under the Health and Family Welfare ministry.
Dr Sharma said the purpose of mandatorily mentioning the date is to protect the health of the people, as the customers would know whether the sweets they are buying are expired or up to what date they are edible.
The health officer urged the people to prefer to purchase pure food items and ask shopkeepers to pay special attention to cleanliness. He said that the new norms are not meant to harass shopkeepers but to ensure that clean and quality food items are made available to the people. He solicited their cooperation in implementing the new guidelines for a healthy society.
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