KATHMANDU, Aug 30: If you are totally dependent on bottled drinking water in your home or office, you have to be very careful. Findings of Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC) show almost 66 percent of processed drinking water supplied in the market are contaminated.
This alarming fact came to light when the department made public its report on inspections carried out in fiscal year 2011/12 on Wednesday.
The department had collected 79 samples of bottled water for investigation from different parts of the country during the year. Of that, 52 samples were found contaminated, said Madan Kumar Chapagain, food investigation officer of DFTQC.
That is not all. Almost 54 percent of milk and milk products tested during the year were found contaminated.
The summary of findings distributed at a program further cites that some 27 percent of fats and edible oil were not fit for consumption. "About 19 percent of total samples of sweets, honey and confectionaries tested during the year were contaminated. 18 percent of cereal products, 16.7 percent of salt and 13 percent of other foods categories such as energy drinks, weaning foods and glucose powder too were found contaminated," said Chapagain.
Likewise, 13 percent of pulses and their products especially gram flour and puffed noodles, 7 percent of spices and condiments, 3 percent of fruits and vegetable products and 3 percent of meat products were found adulterated.
However, feed products and tea were found to be free from contamination. DFTQC had tested a total of 807 samples of above mentioned commodities. Of them, 156 samples were found to be adulterated.
Jivan Prabha Lama, director general of DFTQC said that the department carried out more inspections and collected more number of samples due to which it found higher incidences of adulteration. "Based on those findings, we filed 200 cases against companies involved in adulteration of sensitive food items through Distict Administartion Office (DAO) in 2011/12," said Lama.
"We are also in the process of registering cases against 123 other traders and manufacturers,” said Lama.
DFTQC officials admitted that more companies were involved in cheating the customers as it could not raise frequency of market monitoring due to lack of human resources and infrastructure constraints. Lack of provision of stringent actions against unscrupulous manufacturers and traders too have been encouraging them to engage in foul play, they added.