This article discusses the key provisions of The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 which aims at making provisions for the prevention of adulteration of food. It discusses restricted acts and the elements of adulterated and misbranded food.
The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 aims at making provisions for the prevention of adulteration of food. The Act extends to the whole of India and came into force on 1st June 1955.
An article of food shall be deemed to be adulterated
Thus, additions of water to milk amount to adulteration, within the meaning of sub-clauses (b) or (c).
An article of food shall be deemed to be misbranded
Preservative: means a substance which when added to food, is capable of inhibiting, retarding or arresting the process of fermentation, acidification or other decomposition of food.
PROHIBITION ON THE MANUFACTURE, SALE, ETC. OF CERTAIN FOOD ARTICLE
No person shall manufacture, store, sell or distribute
The act of storing an adulterated article of food would be an offence only if storing is for sale. The sale of a part of the stored article constitutes an offence distinct and independent from the offence of storing for sale.
PROHIBITION ON USE OF CERTAIN EXPRESSIONS WHILE LABELLING OF EDIBLE OILS AND FATS
The package, label or the advertisement of edible oils and fats shall not use the expressions Super-Refined, Extra-Refined, Micro-Refined, Double-Refined, Ultra-Refined, Anti-Cholesterol, Cholesterol Fighter, Soothing to Heart, Cholesterol Friendly, Saturated Fat Free or such other expressions which are exaggerations of the quality of the product. (Rule 37 D).
PROHIBITION ON SALE OF CERTAIN ADMIXTURES
For example, cream which has not been prepared exclusively from milk, milk which contains any added water, ghee which contains any added matter not exclusively derived from milk fat, a mixture of two or more edible oils as an edible oil and turmeric containing any foreign substances, etc. (Rule 44)
PROHIBITION ON USE OF ACETYLENE GAS (carbide gas) in artificially ripening of fruits (Rule 44 AA).
PROHIBITION ON SALE OF FOOD ARTICLES COATED WITH MINERAL OIL, except in accordance with the permitted standards. (Rule 44 AAA and Appendix B).
RESTRICTION ON SALE OF GHEE having less than specified Reichert value except under the "AGMARK" seal. (Rule 46).
PROHIBITION ON SALE OF ADMIXTURES OF GHEE OR BUTTER or on its use as an ingredient in the preparation of an article of food. (Rule 46).
Any food item resembling honey, but not pure honey, shall not be marked "honey". (Rule 45).
RESTRICTION ON SALE OF KANGRA TEA except only after it is graded and marked in accordance with the provisions of Agricultural Produce (Grading and Marketing) Act, 1937 and the Rules made thereunder. (Rule 44E).
CONDITIONS FOR SALE OF FLAVOURED TEA only by those manufacturers, who are registered with Tea Board and the package bearing the label, FLAVOURED TEA (Common name of permitted flavour, percentage and Registration No.). (Rule 44G).
RESTRICTION ON SALE OF COMMON SALT No person shall, sell or offer or expose for sale or have in his premises for the purpose of sale, common salt for direct human consumption unless the same is iodised. (Rule 44H).
RESTRICTION ON USE AND SALE OF ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS except that saccharin sodium can be added to carbonated water, supari, pan masala and pan flavouring material within the specified maximum limit and aspertaine may be sold for diabetic use under medical advice. (Rule 47).
PROHIBITION ON SALE OF PERMITTED FOOD COLOURS, i.e. Synthetic colours, or their mixtures or any preparation of such colours, except under a licence. (Rule 48A).
PROHIBITION ON SALE OF PERMITTED FOOD ADDITIVES, except only under the ISI certification marks. (Rule 48C).
PROHIBITION ON USE OF COUMARIN AND DIHYDRO COCUMARIN, TANKABEAN (DIPTERYL ADORAT) AND B-ASARANE AND CINAMYL AUTHRACILATE, as flavouring agents. Any extraneous addition of flavouring agent should be mentioned on the label attached to any package of food so flavoured, in capital letters in the following manner:
"CONTAINS ADDED FLAVOUR"
RESTRICTION ON USE OF PRESERVATIVES, Addition of Class I preservatives i.e. Common Salt, Sugar, Dextrose, Glucose (syrup), Spices, Vinegar or acetic acid, honey and edible vegetable oil, in any food is not restricted, provided that the food article to which the preservative has been added conforms to the specifications laid down in Appendix B.
Class II preservatives such as Benzoic acid and its salts, sodium diacetate and sodium, potassium and calcium salts of lactic acid, etc. can be used only restrictively. Use of more than one Class II preservative is prohibited.
CONDITIONS FOR SALE OF A FOOD ARTICLE, Every utensil or container, used for manufacturing, preparing or containing any food or ingredients therefor, and second hand tin containers for packaging of edible oils and fats, meant for sale, shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition, away from impure air or dust, properly covered at all times, and such utensils or containers shall not be used for any other purpose. Use of rusty containers, improperly tinned copper or brass containers, containers of aluminium or plastic not conforming to ISI specifications, etc., in preparation of food, is also prohibited. Besides, certain special conditions for sale of certain articles such as asafoetida, salseed fat, lactic acid, edible oils, katha, margarine, milk powder, etc. have also been laid down.
With effect from 22.2.95, no person shall sell powdered spices except in packed form. No person shall sell or serve food in any commercial establishment in plastic articles used in catering and cutlery, unless the plastic material used in catering and cutlery articles, conform to the food grade plastic.
A purchaser of any article of food, or a recognised consumer association, may also get an article of food analysed by the public analyst on payment of the prescribed fees, provided that the vendor is informed of this intended action at the time of purchase. Thereafter, the purchaser or the consumer associations, have to follow the same procedure as discussed above in the case of Food Inspectors. If the article of food is found to be adulterated, the fees paid by the purchaser or the association shall be refunded.