FDA Officials Raid Ice Cream Parlors Across India

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates $417 billion worth of domestic food products and another $49 billion worth of imported foods from all over the world. Ice cream is actually a very popular imported product, but there have been some controversies surrounding the international ice cream production market.

According to The Times of India FDA officials have been carrying out inspections of 260 ice cream parlors across India. The nationwide inspections were carried out in order to rule out substandard and unsafe ice cream products being served to people throughout the summer.

“The inspections were part of the massive summer drive currently underway in Pune,” said S S Desai, commissioner (drugs), FDA, Pune division. “We drew 59 samples to evaluate the quality of food and food ingredients used. The reports are awaited currently.”

When given a choice, consumers will typically choose soft serve ice cream mix 70% of the time over hard ice cream. Soft serve has become so popular in part because of its fat content being much less compared to hard mix; soft mix fat content ranges between 3% and 6% and hard ice cream contains fat levels between 10% and 18%.

In India, however, consumers have to beware of much more than fat content. Mumbai Live adds that one ice cream factory involved in the FDA raid found signs of poisonous ice cream.

In late May, FDA officials received a tip about contaminated ice cream products in Kandivali. According to FDA official, Shailesh Adhav, the food products were being handled and prepared inside a dunking factory, where unclean water was found, expired flavoring was being used, and many of the utensils used to handle the ice cream were contaminated. According to the FDA officials, there were frequent complaints about the ice cream making consumers seriously ill.

The ice cream factory has since been sealed.

In addition to large factories being raided, street-side vendors were targeted as well. These on-the-go vendors specialize in keeping their prices as low as possible and often compromise cleanliness and sanitation to do so.

“These hawkers should be sensitized and educated about the importance of using clean and safe food-handling practices,” added Sanjay Dabhade, activist. “Education and sensitization of small food business operators is also of importance in the summer. Milk and milk products sold in the city entail higher chances of being adulterated or of being of poor quality. People should insist that FDA officials draw more samples on a routine basis.”

Following the raids, the FDA canceled the licenses of four pharmaceutical companies in India after they were found violating regulations. Additionally, the FDA suspended the licenses of 23 other errant ice cream manufacturing companies.

Back in the United States, the FDA posted a recall of a Miami supermarket’s 10 varieties of ice cream after finding broken metal inside the ice cream processing equipment.

H-E-B recalled EconoMax Neapolitan, EconoMax Vanilla, Hill Country Fare Neapolitan, Hill Country Fare Chocolate, Hill Country Fare Cookies and Cream, Hill Country Fare Strawberry Revel, Hill Country Fare Fudge Revel, Hill Country Fare Vanilla, H-E-B Creamy Creations Fruit Punch Sorbet, and H-E-B Creamy Creations Lime Sorbet.

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