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The Punjab Health department today instructed the district health authorities to implement Food Safety and Standards Act with "iron hand".
The department also asked them to act against big food and beverages operators besides the small food shops and street vendors over complaints of adulteration.
Chairing a state-level review meeting of the food and drug administration officers here, state health minister Brahm Mohindra said it is the health department's prime duty to ensure health and hygiene of citizens by supply of nutritious and unadulterated food.
There should be zero tolerance against adulteration of food items and all complaints of the citizens in this regard must be addressed within the stipulated time, he said.
Mohindra exhorted food safety officers not to confine their activities only to raiding food shops, instead they should concentrate on "acting against the miscreants who are playing with life of people".
The Health Minister instructed the officers to ensure sampling of items consumed by the citizens such as milk and dairy products.
Terming adulteration as a serious issue which is directly linked with health and hygiene of the citizen, Mohindra directed the officers concerned that henceforth, canteens in government sector should also be screened.
He directed the officers to make people aware about on- line registration of their complaints against food adulteration.
The minister also directed Principal Secretary Anjali Bhawara to arrange a special programme to educate food safety officers about the modern sampling techniques and procedures.