Halal-certified products: Raids conducted in Lko to nip parallel economy in the bud
The assistant commissioner of FSDA said that till now no city restaurant has been raided but a warning has been issued to all establishments not to sell Halal-certified food items in the future
Today Halal certification is not only limited to meat sale, say officials of Food Safety and Drug Administration (FSDA). It is present in almost every sphere touching the life of the common man, they say.
A highly placed official of district administration, on condition of anonymity, said, “Halal is a parallel economy that has taken giant leaps to stand up and challenge the GDP of quite a few nations. Today, all major brands are selling Halal-certified meat and major companies are selling Halal-certified items.”
The official said, “Don’t be surprised to find Halal certificate from food to cosmetics, from hospitals to hospitality, from clothing to housing. It is a system that is dictated by certain beliefs. We have a list of more than 80 products which are being certified by these Halal bodies and for that these bodies charge a huge fee from the manufacturers, and we are searching for these items in stores.
“We are looking for 15 types of cold drinks and fruit juices, 22 types of food products, 17 types of beauty and cosmetic products, 21 types of food grain products certified by these Halal institutions which have no legal standing to issue a certificate.”
The official said, “Manufacturers are forced to cough up money to get a Halal certificate from dubious certification boards. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is an autonomous body under the ministry of health & family welfare, government of India. The FSDA is a body of the state. These bodies are entrusted with the task of certifying food safety and practices. They have stringent standards that need to be maintained to be certified; standards which are not limited to just the product but include the place of production, fire safety and even waste management. They too, can also issue Halal certificates so that the creation of a parallel economy is avoided. Today the government has absolutely no control over Halal certification bodies. What they do with the funds they acquire, how these funds are utilised, are serious questions.”
SP Singh, assistant commissioner, FSDA, Lucknow, said, “Today, raids were conducted at more than 20 places to check the sale of unauthorised Halal-certified products in the state capital.
“Sixty-eight packets of Tortilla Wrap worth approximately ₹16,932 bearing a Halal certificate were seized from a multinational burger and food chain in Fun Republic Mall.
“Fifteen packets of salted almonds worth approximately ₹4,200, seven packets of party snacks worth approximately ₹1,050, 38 packets of mixed vegetables worth approximately ₹4,560 were seized from Blinkit Store, Banthra, Karauli,” he said.
These samples are being sent to the laboratory for analysis. After receiving the report, further legal action will be taken under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.
The assistant commissioner of FSDA said that till now no city restaurant has been raided but a warning has been issued to all establishments not to sell Halal-certified food items in the future.