Citing significant health risks, food regulator FSSAI has urged vendors and consumers to immediately stop using newspapers for packing, serving and storing food items.
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is closely working with state food authorities to monitor and enforce regulations in this regard, it said.
FSSAI CEO G Kamala Vardhana Rao has “strongly urged consumers and food vendors across the country to immediately stop using newspapers for packing, serving and storing food items”.
Expressing concern over the use of newspapers for wrapping or packaging food, he pointed out significant health risks associated with this practice. “The ink used in newspapers contains various bioactive materials with known negative health effects, which can contaminate food and lead to health issues when ingested,” FSSAI cautioned on Wednesday.
Additionally, printing inks may contain chemicals including lead and heavy metals that can leach into the food, posing serious health risks in the long run.
“Moreover, newspapers are often subjected to various environmental conditions during distribution, making them susceptible to contamination by bacteria, viruses or other pathogens that may transfer to the food, potentially causing foodborne illnesses,” the regulator said.
FSSAI has notified the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging) Regulations 2018 which prohibits the use of newspapers or similar materials for storing and wrapping food. As per this regulation, newspapers should not be used to even absorb excess oil from fried food.