Karnataka Bans Artificial Colors in Gobi Manchurian

The Karnataka government has taken a strict action against the use of artificial colors in Gobi Manchurian, a popular Indo-Chinese dish, and cotton candy, a fluffy confectionery. The state health department has issued an order banning the use of coloring agents like Rhodamine-B, which are considered harmful and unsafe for human consumption.

Why the ban?

The ban was imposed after several reports of health issues caused by the consumption of artificially colored food items. According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), Rhodamine-B is a synthetic dye that is not permitted for use in food products. It is mainly used as a tracer dye in water and air flow studies, textile dyeing, and printing. It is also known to be carcinogenic, meaning it can cause cancer.

The health department said that the use of artificial colors in Gobi Manchurian and cotton candy was done to attract customers, especially children, who are more likely to consume these items. However, they warned that these colors can have adverse effects on the health of the consumers, such as allergic reactions, skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even organ damage.

What are the consequences?

The health department has instructed the food safety officers to conduct inspections and take samples of Gobi Manchurian and cotton candy from various eateries and vendors across the state. If any violation is found, the offenders will face severe penalties under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006.

The act provides for imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to imprisonment for life and also with fine which shall not be less than Rs 10 lakh.

The health department has also urged the public to avoid consuming food items that are made with artificial colors and to report any such cases to the nearest food safety officer or helpline number.

How to identify artificial colors?

The health department has advised the consumers to look for the following signs to identify if the food items are made with artificial colors:

  • The color of Gobi Manchurian should be light brown or golden, not bright red or orange.
  • The color of cotton candy should be white or pale pink, not fluorescent pink or green.
  • The food items should not have any unnatural smell or taste.

The health department has also suggested some natural alternatives for coloring food items, such as turmeric, saffron, beetroot, spinach, carrot, etc.

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