Bhelpuri in Newspaper Cone and Sambhar in Plastic Bag: Not Anymore as FSSAI Announces New Packaging Regulations
Some freshly cooked samosas on your way back after a long and tiring day or some steaming hot momos packed in a newspaper packet is hard to resist. But have you stopped and thought that the newspaper packaging or the plastic bag used by the vendor could be full of contaminants and even toxic? If not, FSSAI is taking care of you!
What New Food Packaging Rules are We Talking About?
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, the autonomous body responsible for ensuring the safety of food in India has created new food packaging regulations in 2018. These new rules will come into effect from July 1, 2019. As per the new rules, restaurants, hotels or any food vendors won’t be allowed to use plastic or newspapers for wrapping any foods. The new regulations also mention specific and overall migration limits of contaminants for plastic packaging materials. As a part of the change, FSSAI has also provided a suggestive list of packaging materials that should be used for different product categories.
What Brought on the Change?
FSSAI conducted a survey regarding food packaging in India and found that 51 samples from 380 of them picked from the unorganized sector didn’t conform to the food packaging regulations and even used hazardous packaging materials. These results motivated the food regulator to bring in revised regulations so that you don’t end up getting sick from the food you take away for home or get delivered.
Why Should You as a Consumer Care About Food Packaging?
Many of you might be wondering why should I care how the food is packaged as long as it’s cheap. If so, you should read some horrifying facts about unsafe food packaging below.
Having food wrapped in newspaper is bad as the lead present in ink can lead to serious health problems like asthma, obesity, cancer and even heart disease.
- PET Packaging
Antimony trioxide present in producing PETfood packaging material has carcinogenicproperties which means it can potentially lead to cancer.
Tin, if it leaches into the food can lead to mild problems like nausea, vomiting or serious ones like liver or kidney failure.
- PFOA and PFOS
Perfluorooctanoic acid and perfluorooctanesulfonat used to package high-fat items can lead to the thyroid, kidney cancer or high cholesterol among other problems.
- Cartonboard Food-Packaging
Benzophenone that can be present in cartonboard food-packaging materials leads to endocrine issues and can trigger allergies.
Mainly present in glass jars and bottles, it also has carcinogenic properties which means it can potentially lead to cancer.
- Isopropylthioxanthone - (ITX)
Usually present in food packaging inks, ITX also has carcinogenic properties which means it can potentially lead to cancer.
- Bisphenol A
Commonly known as BPA and used in different food packaging like cans, bottles, jars, etc. can lead to several heart issues.
Present in food food-packaging materials, phthalates can also lead to endocrine issuesand has carcinogenic properties which means it can potentially lead to cancer.