Department of Food Technology and Quality Control has filed cases against 49 firms – based in the Kathmandu valley and Kavre – in the last eight months of the current fiscal year.
They were supplying substandard dairy products, bottled waters and snacks in the market, the department said, in the progress report of the department issued here today.
The cases have been filed in the respective District Administration Offices, it said, adding that the cases were filed after lab test of samples collected from market that revealed those firms were not selling substandard products.
The department said that it has filed cases against state-owned dairy producer Dairy Development Corporation and private dairies including Sitaram Gokul Milks, Nepal Dairy and Kathmandu Dairy.
Director general of the department Jiwan Praba Lama, on the occasion said, that the samples of packaged milk and dairy products collected from these dairies failed to meet the prescribed standards. “Problems were found in packaging and labeling of products as well as SNF and Fat percentage.”
Likewise firms selling bottled water without production information were also tested and were found unhygienic, informed spokesperson of the department Pramod Koirala. “Milk and water are among the most consumed commodities,” he said, adding that substandard milk and water can make serious impact on consumers’ health.
The department has filed cases against water bottling plants including Aqua Pacific Beverage, City Mineral Water and Beverage, Prachi Spring Water, and Duwa Food Product and Beverage, he added.
According to the law, the owners of these firms would be slapped fine of Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000, and a jail term of one to two years or both, if found guilty.
The department also informed that it monitored as many as 894 times and collected 2,020 samples for necessary tests in the last eight months. “The market monitoring could not be effective due to lack of sufficient manpower,” Lama said. The department has only 40 food inspectors across the country.