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‘Colours May Cause Cancer’

Times of India
21 June 2010
Jaipur, India

Some Colours Used By Eateries Are Considered To Be Carcinogenic: Experts
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Watch out the next time you take your family out for dinner. The recent antiadulteration drive exposed various malpractices, including use of carcinogenic substances to add flavour to the food, adopted by a large number of eateries across the city.

The drive carried out by the health department revealed use of synthetic colours at various eateries. At some locations, artificial colours were added to potatoes and cottage cheese. Medical experts said some of the synthetic food colours used by these eateries are considered carcinogenic. The use of these chemicals has been regulated by the government, yet their consumption has been on the rise.

"Synthetic food colours are safe in limited quantities, but can be cancerous in extreme cases. Its use should be avoided as far as possible," said Naveen Maheswari, chief public analyst health department.

Over two dozen restaurants and kiosks were issued warning over use of synthetic colours. The health officials said the drive aims to create awareness among the restaurant owners and the public towards healthy food preparation practices.

"Strict action will be taken against such future violations. The recent drive was mainly focused to warn the eatery owners and create public awareness," said Dr B R Meena, additional director health department.
‘Colours May Cause Cancer’
Even if the artificial colours are used in permissible quantities at eateries, their use has increased in other edible items such as candies, ice creams, syrups, and ketchup. As a result, the daily intake of chemicals by an individual has also gone up, and may pose health risks. "The effects of the prolonged intake of synthetic colour and other food additives are yet to be established, but they are likely to have adverse health effects," said a senior health official.

Expired additives recovered from ice cream factory
Colours, essence and flavours past their expiry date, were seized from an ice cream production unit in Mansarovar area on Sunday. The health officials destroyed them, some of which had expired nearly two year ago. The unit owner was also issued a warning.

"Fifteen bottles and a few boxes of powdered ingredients were recovered from the Guddu ice–cream manufacturing unit.

These products can be used between 12–24 months, but some of them were manufactured in 2006," said food inspector Shreeram Mishra.

The ice–cream produced at the factory was being supplied to an outlet behind Yaadgar
During the day health department teams inspected other restaurants and juice centres in the Mansarovar area and near the Sindhi Camp inter state bus terminus. At Rajwadi Zaika restaurant in Mansarovar, the team found coloured potatoes and rotten dough, and insects in a mixture of oil and butter in the kitchen.

The inspection at Sindhi Camp revealed a riot of colours, "Most restaurants were using artificial colours, while packets of colour were seized at one of the juice centre in Chandpole area," said food inspector Sunil Kumar Garg. The anti–adulteration drive ended on Sunday.

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