LAHORE -  Punjab Food Authority Director General Noorul Amin Mengal has said that after a grace period of 1.5 year, sale of loose food stuff would be banned under updated rules and regulations.

He said that ban on lose food stuff would give space to the food industry. He said that objective to regulate the food industry is to bring it into radar to get rid of the menace of adulteration that is not only causing number of diseases among the masses but also huge loss to the businessmen. He said that Food Authority Act gives powers to the Authority to check food and related items. He said that an action plan is being evolved in collaboration with the stakeholders.

Mengal said that Punjab Food Authority has full support of the Punjab chief minister. At present it is working in 5 districts while till December 31 of the ongoing year, it would be activated throughout the Punjab. He said that mobile teams would work in every nook and corner. For this purpose 700 food technologists are being hired. He said that mobile teams would also provide testing facilities to the industrial workers at their working places. He said that slaughtering houses are the places of food processing therefore their regulation is the jurisdiction of Punjab Food Authority. He said that use of discretionary powers by the Authority staff is strictly discouraged.

On the occasion, LCCI President Abdul Basit said that volume of global food trade is around $300 billion out of which only 10 percent share can boost Pakistan’s exports by $30 billion but raids at food related industrial units, hotels and restaurants are sending bad message to the outer world.

He said that Punjab Food Department should evolve a code of conduct for the workers of industry and food businesses and impart proper training before conducting undue challans or sealing the business premises. He said that concerned authorities must evaluate the impacts of raids on food sector as it takes years to win reputation that goes into the drain in a matter of minutes.

The LCCI president also urged the Punjab Food Authority to take business community on board while formulating policies while LCCI should be given representation in the Board of Directors of the Authority.