The Punjab Food Safety department has imposed a ban on pasting stickers on fruits and vegetables, as these stickers may pose health hazards to the consumer.
Punjab’s food safety commissioner K S Pannu wrote to all food safety team and has directed them to spread awareness among the traders and sellers that fruits and vegetable should not be sold with stickers or stickers like item pasted on them. As per the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 no food business operator shall store, sell or distribute any article of food which is unsafe.
The stickers are applied to food products all across the globe to provide information on traceability, grades, price etc. Pannu also mentioned that in Punjab traders and sellers use these type of stickers to hide defects of the products or they use stickers to make their product look premium. Stickers marked as Tested ok, good quality or mentioning the name of the product are some common examples of the stickers used of fruits and vegetables. But in reality, all these terms do not have any significance.
To paste these stickers on the surface of fruits & vegetables a wide variety of adhesives are used. Research shows that the surfactants used in adhesives are toxic in nature. When these fruits and vegetables with adhesives are left in direct sunlight, there are chances that harmful chemicals from adhesives may migrate to fruits and vegetables. Also, sometimes people remove stickers from the fruits and consume them without thinking about the adhesive residues.