After the scare over detergent being found in some Mother Dairy milk samples in Agra, state health officials said the Delhi Food Safety department will also be collecting samples of packaged and bottled milk for safety analysis.
Officials said other dairy products like milk powder, processed cheese, butter and flavoured milks would also be included in the drive.
Meanwhile, Mother Dairy has refuted the findings of the food safety authorities in Agra and claimed that the tests had been done on loose samples.
Delhi authorities said while locally produced milk is tested often, testing of packaged milk products is rare. “The food safety laboratory has been checking locally-produced milk routinely in the last three years which is consumed by the masses. Around 25 per cent of the samples were found to be adulterated with water, but chemical adulteration like with detergents and paint is extremely rare in the capital. Packaged milk testing, particularly of flavoured and bottled milk produced by various companies, is very rare. Their sale has gone up over the years, particularly in summer,” an official of the Food safety department said.
Health department inspections on milk products like sweets are usually restricted to around festival time, where adulteration and use of spoiled ingredients is sometimes seen.
According to a 2011 nationwide survey on milk samples across the country conducted by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), 68.4 per cent of the samples tested were found to be adulterated. Of this, 66 per cent was in loose milk samples. Of this, detergent was found in 14 per cent of the samples, but none from Delhi.
They were mostly in Bihar, Orissa and West Bengal. The most common adulterate was glucose and skimmed milk powder.
State food authorities have now been instructed to conduct checks across the city on packaged milk samples. “We have started collecting samples from at least three brands of packaged and bottled milk,” an official said.