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KP Food Safety Authority conducts biggest-ever crackdown

By Our Correspondent
June 28, 2019

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Food Safety and Halal Food Authority has conducted major operations and sealed eight production units of spices in Peshawar and Nowshera districts, seizing 14,000 kilograms adulterated spice and 10,000 kilograms of bark and substandard material being used in spices.

Speaking at a news conference here Thursday, Director General KP Food Authority Riaz Khan Mehsud said they had sealed all the eight factories for making substandard spices, seized the machinery and arrested the owners.

“This is the biggest-ever crackdown by KP Food Authority on the enemies of human beings in the past two days. I call them the enemies of humans because they are playing with the lives of the people but we would not spare them,” said Riaz Khan Mehsud.

He said the authority had also recovered 400 litres rancid oil, 160 kilograms of non-food graded colour and 300 kilograms of Chinese salt. Riaz Mehsud said that 20 sacks of low quality broken rice were also recovered during the operation which was used in the spices for enhancing weight.

He added that FIRs had been lodged against them in their respective police stations. Flanked by other officials of the KP Food Authority, director administration Mohammad Shoaib Khan, Riaz Mehsud appreciated efforts of his teams, saying despite having a limited number of staff and resources, the Authority had achieved encouraging results by going after those involved in food adulteration.

He said the spices business was one of the hubs of adulteration across the province. Riaz Mehsud vowed to continue the campaign of creating awareness among the people regarding safe food. “We will not allow anyone to play with the lives of the consumers,” he added.

The DG urged the media and the general public to cooperate with them by identifying cottage industry involved in food adulteration. “Some of the people had set up production units inside their homes. We have now devised Dolphin Squad comprising our female staff members along with technical support wing to check cottage industries for adulteration,” Riaz Mehsud maintained.

He added that all staff members of the KP Food Authority were thorough professionals of the respective subjects, saying all of them were performing duties devotedly. “Personally, I have so many engagements in my professional life but I consider my responsibility in the KP Food Authority like worship. I have raised this organisation with my personal devotion and would utilise all my skills to make it a successful body,” Riaz Mehsud explained.

The government had recently appointed him commissioner of Malakand but directed him to also look after the KP Food Authority as an additional charge. Besides others, the staff of the Authority had feared that the department would not sustain without Riaz Mehsud, believing that could better use his links to arrange funds and hire additional staff to extend it to the whole province.

Riaz Mehsud disclosed that the government had agreed to allow the authority to extend its writ to 15 other districts of the province. Besides other districts, they would set up offices in the two tribal districts – Khyber and Kurram - in the next few months.

The government had established the authority under the KP Food Safety and Halal Food Authority Act 2017 aimed at formulating standards, procedures, process and guidelines for food labelling in the province.

The KP Food Authority Act was passed in March 2017 but the task was given to Riaz Mehsud in November 2017. He selected his team and within three months furnished the building, hired staff and started operations in seven divisional headquarters of the province.