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Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: Food safety regulator FSSAI has decided to intensify its crackdown against the sale of adulterated edible oil with pan-India surveillance.

A quality survey has been conducted across the country between August 25-27 across all states and Union territories. The nationwide survey was carried out with over 4,500 samples covering a total of 16 varieties of edible oil including mustard, coconut, palm, olive, and blended oil.

Various hilly as well as difficult terrain including in Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Daman and Diu as well as the Andamans have been strategically included to be a part of this exercise so as to represent a holistic distribution of the sample size across the country.

The samples have been drawn from hypermarkets and supermarkets as well as retail and grocery stores and include national and local brands. The test results are expected in a month's time.

The survey has been conducted by the state food safety department officials. At least 50 samples were collected from the metro cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Kolkata and 6-8 samples each from cities and districts other than the metros.

FSSAI had shared the detailed guidelines and SOPs for conducting the survey as well as procedure of sample collection with the Commissioners of Food Safety. A 24x7 communication facility via a common WhatsApp group was also created for the ease of officials involved.

A comprehensive strategy for testing of these samples through the State Food Testing Laboratories or FSSAI-notified food testing labs (including private NABL accredited labs) to analyse various parameters including fatty acid composition as well as any adulteration of any other oils or harmful or extraneous substances or chemicals has been developed.

The final survey results will help in identification of the key hot spots of adulteration of edible oils in different parts of the country and will strengthen efforts in devising targeted enforcement drives in the coming months. The whole exercise is aimed at ensuring availability of pure and safe mustard and other edible vegetable oils in the country.

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