Kochi: The district food safety officials conducted a surprise inspection at an ice candy making unit in Kadungalloor near Aluva and its surrounding areas as part of a week-long summer drive being held in the district. With the sale of ice creams, kulfis and ice-based products on the rise, residents from in and around Aluva informed food safety officials of migrant vendors selling flavored ice called ‘ice fruit‘ to children.
Ice fruit manufacturers
According to officials, a single ice-fruit manufacturing unit in Kadungalloor supplies the ice-based product made with various fruit flavors to dozens of migrant vendors who sell them in crude thermocol ice boxes. This is then transported on bicycles in and around Aluva. “We have collected samples from the unit to test for the quality of the ice used, to check for any sort of adulteration and unsafe sweetening agents. This is to see if it meets food safety standards,” said K V Shibu, assistant commissioner of food safety led the inspection on Wednesday morning.
Sample collection and regular drives
Officials also visited the homes of the vendors to check the method of storage and the hygiene maintained. They collected samples from eight such homes. “There are more than two dozen such vendors in Aluva and an estimated 500 in Kochi. The storage facilities for ice fruit is unhygienic. We advise parents to ensure that children do not consume such products,” added Shibu. “Regular drives are needed to curb unhygienic and unsanitary practices. With the onset of summer and school vacation more people will be eating out, especially in small roadside eateries as children prefer ice-based food and drinks, so we need to ensure that they are safe for consumption,” he said.
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Source: Times of India