Restricting use of newspaper for food packaging
We look forward to your inputs!
Advisory to restrict use of newspaper for food packaging
1. Use of newspapers for wrapping, packing and serving food is a common practice in India. However, this is a food safety hazard. Wrapping food in newspapers is an unhealthy practice and the consumption of such food is injurious to health, even if the food has been cooked hygienically. Indians are being slowly poisoned due to newspaper being widely used as food packaging material by small hotels, vendors and also in homes in lieu of absorbent paper.
2. Foods contaminated by newspaper ink raise serious health concerns since the ink contains multiple bioactive materials with known negative health effects. Printing inks may also contain harmful colors, pigments, binders, additives, and preservatives. Besides chemical contaminants, presence of pathogenic microorganisms in used newspapers also poses potential risk to human health.
3. Newspapers and even paper/ cardboard boxes made of recycled paper may be contaminated with metallic contaminants, mineral oils and harmful chemicals like phthalates which can cause digestive problems and also lead to severe toxicity. Older people, teenagers, children and people with compromised vital organs and immune systems are at a greater risk of acquiring cancer-related health complications, if they are exposed to food packed in such material.
4. Newspapers should not be used to wrap, cover, and serve food or to absorb excess oil from fried food. There is an urgent need to discourage the use of newspaper as food packaging material by creating awareness among businesses, especially unorganized food business operators and consumers on its harmful effects. Suitable steps need to be taken to restrict and control the use of newspapers for packing of food material.
5. Commissioners of Food Safety of all States/UTs are requested to initiate a systematic campaign for generating awareness amongst all stakeholders to discourage the use of newspapers for packing, serving and storing of food items. more