The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) Director General Noor ul Amin Mengal briefed media about first three months performance of PFA and also shared pipeline plans for year 2018. He said that PFA made progress during last year particularly in 2017 as certain landmark initiatives taken in order to meet the dream of modernizing Food Safety Laws and Standards in Punjab. PFA is utilizing all available resource in order to improve the hygiene issues and situation in Punjab. Authority is committed to provide state of the art service about to deal food safety issues and to ensure the provision of safe and healthy food, he added.
He said that food safety teams have conducted 126365 general inspection visits and 1390 special raids in across Punjab in last three months. He said that teams have imposed heavy fine tickets on 7774 food business operators and served 82122 improvement notices on minor issues. As well, 1417 food businesses were shutter down and registered 53 FIRs in the respective area police station. Food safety teams also handed over 15 people into the custody of policy during raids and taken 2812 samples for laboratory test. Besides, PFA has also directed 18170 FBOs for applying E-licensing to get permission for running a food business. In the first quarter of 2018, special operations have been conducted against beverage industry, school canteens, sweets and bakers, snacks and nimko, hotels, restaurants and Ice Factories.
Talking about a ban on the sale of carbonated drinks at educational institutions, said that PFA Educational Institutions Food Standard Regulations 2017 was promulgated on 14th August last year which categorized safe food items into Green, safe but not recommended in yellow and banned items into Red. He further said that it was not an easy task to implement the ban on the sale of cola drinks in schools. He said that around Rs50 billion is being spent on such food products that are not healthy like drinks, margarine, and frozen desserts.