The Punjab Food Authority (PFA) has seized almost half a million beverage cans and tens of thousands of kilogrammes of unpacked spices. The authority has continued its operation against unpacked spices and highly caffeinated energy drinks.
Over 2,000 locations were being raided to check the sale of unpacked spices and caffeinated drinks. The authorities have sealed over 400 spice process units over not implementing the new packaging laws.
According to the PFA spokesperson, the authority initially decided to impose a ban on the sale of unpacked spices in June 2017. Until now they have provided a business adjustment time of one-and-a-half years to traders and the manufacturers to upgrade their business practices.
Several training sessions have alsobeen organized to increase the awareness among spice processors. As per the new packaging regulations the traders and manufacturers have to print the name and address of the manufacturer or supplier. Along with that they also had to specify ingredients, weight and manufacturing and expiry dates on the product packaging.
All this has been done to control the occurrence of adulteration in unpacked spices because it was causing various diseases among consumers.
Similarly, the authority has also given the business adjustment time for the caffeinated drinks. The teams had been visiting general stores, supermarkets, pan shops, cafes, restaurants, and food points in open markets across the province to check the availability of highly caffeinated drinks being sold under various brand names.
As per the PFA Director General Captain (Retd) Muhammad Usman said, “The authority had barred the use of the word “energy” for highly caffeinated drinks that were usually manufactured with the help of pharmaceutical ingredients, but sold in the market as energy drinks.” He also added, “The authority advised the industry, in April 2018, that they should change their packaging and print “highly caffeinated drink” on their products. It also compelled them to write warning labels in Urdu and English languages along with suggestions to ensure caffeine consumption of less than 200ppm.”