Punjab Government Introduces Fortified Flour Bags

The Punjab government has decided to introduce unique fortified flour bags across the province to address the health issues of children and women. This initiative aims to provide essential vitamins through daily dietary staples, improving overall health and nutrition. The decision was announced after a meeting between Punjab Food Minister Bilal Yaseen and representatives of the Flour Mills Association.

Meeting with Flour Mills Association

Key Attendees:

Punjab Food Minister: Bilal Yaseen

Punjab Food Secretary: Moazzam Iqbal Sipra

Food Director: Shoaib Jadoon

Flour Mills Association Representatives: Asim Raza, Majid Abdullah, Iftikhar Mehtu, Khaleeq Arshad, Muhammad Shahid, Ahmad

Discussion Points:

Industry Challenges: Addressing the problems faced by the flour industry.

Public Relief Measures: Exploring steps to provide relief to the people.

Introduction of Fortified Flour Bags: The new flour bags will be enriched with essential vitamins to combat nutritional deficiencies.

Quality Assurance:

Punjab Food Authority (PFA) Role: PFA laboratories will have the authority to test and ensure the quality of fortified flour.

Anti-Corruption Measures: The Anti-Corruption Establishment will register cases against any officer involved in issuing illegal flour permits, ensuring no room for corruption in the Punjab Food Department.

PFA’s Crackdown on Food Safety Violations

Enforcement Actions:

Closure of Restaurants: Two well-known restaurants were shut down for violations.

Fines Imposed: Rs1.7 million in fines were levied on several Food Business Operators (FBOs).

Inspection Details:

Inspected Locations: 1,420 restaurants, cafes, general stores, and other food outlets.

Quality Checks:

21,000kg of meat inspected.

40 milk carrier vehicles checked, transporting 37,000 liters of milk.

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Punjab Government Introduces Fortified Flour Bags

Items Discarded:

Tainted Milk: 1,920 liters.

Sick Chickens: 300kg.

Non-Food Grade Packing Material: 300kg.

Expired Edibles: Over 80kg.

Violations and Consequences:

Expired Food Items: Presence of expired items at food points.

Sanitation Issues: Poor cleanliness and abundance of insects.

Unclean Freezers: Dirty storage conditions.

Documentation Failures: FBOs failed to present oil changing records and medical certificates of workers.

Measures Against Unauthorized Deductions:

Complaints: Reports of unauthorized deductions at camp sites where payments are collected.

Response: Deployment of PFA teams to monitor camp sites.

Actions: Devices of responsible persons confiscated, names recorded, and deducted amounts returned to affected women.

Impact of Reused or Expired Cooking Oil:

Health Risks: Using reused or expired cooking oil can lead to serious health issues.

Continuous Actions: Ongoing enforcement actions to prevent such practices and ensure public health safety.

Conclusion

The introduction of fortified flour bags by the Punjab government and the stringent actions taken by the PFA represent significant steps towards improving public health and ensuring food safety in the province. These measures are expected to address nutritional deficiencies among vulnerable populations and maintain high standards of food quality and hygiene.

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