The Food Safety Department has asked manufacturers of locally-packaged food items, including kamarkattu, kadala mittai and thean mittai, to ensure labels are stuck on their packs.
There are around 35 large manufacturers and at least a 100 smaller ones in and around Royapuram Old Washermanpet and Tondiarpet, who make such items in bulk and supply them to small bunk shops that sell them to consumers.
An official source said they were directed to mention address, weight, contact number, ingredients used, MRP, date of manufacture and best before/ expiry date on the labels so the vendors could ensure quality products for consumers.
“Thean mittai is a sugar-based confectionery with liquid glucose in the centre and it starts degenerating faster than kamarkattu, which is a dry jaggery-based sweet,” the official said.
Why a label?
“These units were registered last year and licences were issued. Now, when renewal has come up, we have stipulated this condition,” the official explained.
On the need for such labels, the official said since most sweets and savouries, including murukku, were sold on a piece-by-piece basis, most shopkeepers would just top-up the containers rather than filling fresh stocks at the bottom.
“They don’t follow the concept of first in/first out. If the manufacturers have dates printed on the labels, the shop keepers will also be aware of the dates and ensure they are sold before that,” he said.
T. Ganesan of the Chennai Mittai Vyabarigal Sangam, whose company Udhayam Sweets has been making thean mittai for 30 years now, said while the move was a welcome one, smaller traders had requested for more time to make the change.
“The larger units have already complied. But tiny units with just 2-3 employees working out of 120 sq ft of space need more time since it costs additionally to print labels,” he said.
“They will also need another hand to paste the stickers during packing. We have asked the Food Safety Department to grant them more time to come up with labels,” Mr. Ganesan added.
Article source: https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/manufacturers-of-local-snacks-asked-to-stick-labels-on-packs/article26197851.ece