FOOD LAWS AND STANDARDS
Prevention of Food Adulteration Act.
The prevention of Food Adulteration Act, (PFA) 1954 operated by the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health was designed for the following purposes :
1. It formulates and monitors the standard of quality and purity of foods with emphasis on prevention of adulteration of foods.
2. It is the basic structure intended to protect the common consumer against the supply of adulterated foods.
3. It makes provision for prevention of adulteration of food and lays down the rule that no person shall manufacture for sale, store, sell or distribute any adulterated or misbranded food or food which contravenes the provision of act or rules.
4. It has set the yardstick to ascertain adulteration. According to this act, a food is deemed to be adulterated - if:
5. It is not of the nature, substance and quality, which the food ought to be.
6. It contains any other substance which affects, or if the article is so processed so as to affect injuriously the nature, substance and quality of the food.
7. It contains added inferior or cheaper substance that affects the nature and quality of the food.
8. Any constituent of the food is removed so as to affect injuriously the nature, quality and substance of the food.
9. It is prepared, packed and stored under unsanitary conditions.
10. It contains any filthy, disgusting, rotten, decomposed substance of a diseased animal or vegetable substance or is insect-infested or otherwise unfit for human consumption.
11. The article is obtained from a diseased animal.
12. The article contains a poisonous ingredient or any other ingredient injurious to health.
13. The container renders the food injurious to health.
14. It contains excessive or prohibited colours.
15. It contains excessive or prohibited preservatives.
16. It does not satisfy the standards prescribed by the authorities.
Under the provision of the PFA Act, the Government of India has promulgated PFA rules which specifies the following details:
1. Qualification, duties and functions of food analysts, food inspectors and central food laboratory.
2. Procedure for drawing test samples and sending them to the analyst and laboratory.
3. Specification for the identity and purity of food.
4. Tolerance for contaminants, preservatives, emulsifiers and other additives.
The word Agmark is derived from the words ' Agricultural Marketing' . It is a standard of quality based on the physical and chemical characteristics of food, both the natural and those acquired during processing.
Products graded under AGMARK include vegetable oils, ghee, butter, rice, groundnut, pulses and spices. These standards ensure accurate weight and correct selling price.
Bureau of Indian Standards :
The Bureau of Indian Standards lays down criteria for standardisation of vegetables and fruit products, spices and condiments, animal products and processed food.
Manufacturers are allowed to use the BIS label on each unit of their product, if their products conform with the
standards laid down by BIS. The products are checked for quality by laboratories certified by BIS. BIS is also known as ISI (Indian Standard Institution).
Some of the items which require compulsory BIS certification under PFA Act include artificial food colours, natural food colours, food additives, infant formula, milk-cereal based weaning foods, milk powder and condensed milk.