The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the country’s apex food regulator, will conduct nation-wide surveillance on milk and milk products (such as milk, khoa, chenna, parneer, ghee, butter, curd, and ice cream) in its ongoing effort to curb adulteration of milk and milk products. This Pan-India surveillance will be done on a large scale by collecting samples from both the organised & unorganised sectors in all the districts of the States/ UTS.
The rationale behind choosing milk is due to its indispensable role in our food culture either as a fresh fluid or as processed dairy products. Milk contains vital micronutrients and macronutrients. People of every age group include milk or milk products in their daily diet. Changing lifestyle patterns and increasing health consciousness are the key growth drivers for milk and high value milk products in India.
In order to sustain the mandate of providing safe & wholesome food for human consumption, the said survey will be initiated with an objective to assess the Milk & Milk products sold in the country for compliance of the quality and safety parameters as given in FSSR, to identify hotspots for adulteration in milk and milk products & to devise corrective actions/ strategies based on the results of the study and suggest a way forward.
It is noteworthy to state that in the past few years, FSSAI has conducted several PAN India Surveys on commodities, which includes the Survey on Milk in 2011 and 2016 with sample size of 1,791 and 1,663, respectively. The National Milk Safety and Quality Survey 2018 was conducted in all States and UTs.
A total of 6,432 samples of milk from organised & unorganised sectors were collected from 1,103 towns/cities with population above 50,000. All samples collected were tested for critical parameters of quality and safety. Further FSSAI conducted the PAN India Milk Products Survey, 2020 to understand the true picture of safety and quality of milk products and desserts being sold in the market during festivals.
In all 2,801 milk product samples from organised and unorganised sector (Paneer, Khoa, Chhena, Khoa based desserts and Chhena based desserts) were collected from 542 districts across the country. The Milk products were tested for all the quality and safety parameters including pesticide residues, heavy metals, crop contaminants, melamine and microbiological parameters.
Similarly, in 2022, FSSAl conducted Milk Survey in selected 12 States (which includes 10 States where the Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) was prevalent & 2 States as control with no reported outbreak of LSD) due to the outbreak of LSD in cattle in India. The administration of antibiotics/veterinary drugs in affected animals & spraying insecticides in the sheds may result in residual contamination in milk.
In order to ascertain the safety of milk, the presence of antibiotics, pesticide residues & heavy metals were assessed in the samples collected. The outcome of the survey revealed that the milk sold in the selected 12 States is largely safe for consumption. FSSAI conducted five surveillances on milk & milk products since 2011 and continue to monitor the safety & quality of the food products and always plan to conducts surveillance based on the outbreak of any food related issues & emerging risks.
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