As per the Gazette Notification on Food Safety and Standards (Food Products and Food Additives) Tenth Amendment Regulation, 2016, issued by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), microbiological standards for milk and milk products become applicable at retail/consumer purchase point as well. Prior to this, prescribed microbiological limits for milk and milk products needed to be followed only at manufacturing units.
Consumer Voice had been advocating for such an amendment for a long time. Readers will remember that in year 2011 we did comparative testing of poly-packed pasteurised full-cream milk of various brands and found that microbiological load (total plate count and coliform count) in most of the brands were higher than prescribed in Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011. The prescribed limits for milk and milk products were at manufacturing units only, not at retail/consumer purchase point.
In 2015, when we next carried out comparative testing of poly-packed pasteurised full-cream milk, the results showed that total plate count in most of the brands was again on the higher side. In 2016, we did comparative testing of packaged paneer of various brands and found that total plate count in most of the brands was on the higher side.