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Mid-day meal case: Suppliers,bakery face action

FDA finds 4 times the prescribed colour in cupcake samples from school

Written by Dipti Sonawala | Mumbai | Published: December 27, 2013 12:31:59 am

The state administration on Thursday decided to prosecute the bakery and the self-help group that supplied the cupcakes to Anjuman Noor-ul Islam school at Sakinaka in Andheri,where 493 students fell ill after eating them last month. According to a report of the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA),the cupcakes distributed under the mid-day meal scheme on November 25 contained food colour four times the prescribed quantity.

FDA officials said the prescribed quantity of food colour in cupcakes is 100 parts per million (PPM). “The samples from the school contained over 400 ppm,” Suresh Annapure,joint commissioner of food,FDA,said.

According to officials,excess food colour may have led to the students feeling uneasy,some of them even vomiting.

Annapure said,“Excess food colour is not considered highly dangerous. However,several kids took ill after eating the cupcakes and were hospitalised,hence we will move court against the bakery owners,the cook at the bakery and the self-help group that supplied the cakes to the school.”

Following a complaint by the school,the Sakinaka police arrested four people — the SHG head Anita Thorat,bakery owner Irshad Ansari,his son Kasim Ansari and Irfan Ali Shaikh,who had baked the cakes.

However,the report of BMC’s health committee and forensic department is still awaited. “The four accused got bail and the case is pending in the absence of the forensic report. We have sent a reminder to the department to submit their report at the earliest. The report will be used by the state administration to prosecute the accused,” said Prasanna More,senior inspector.

The principal of the school N M Malik said they were not aware of any report. “We are awaiting the reports of FDA and the forensic department as we are facing a case at the child rights commission,” Malik said.

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