PESHAWAR  -   Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Food Authority (KPFA) on Monday issued a special report on spices industries of the province with comments from Director General, Riaz Khan Mahsud expressing the resolve that spices business to be improved and upgraded with food standards.

According to a press release issued here, KPFA DG Raiz Mahsud said that spices industry was the backbone of food business of the province and we are regulating the businesses to improve standards to deliver the best products in the markets,” the director general maintained.

The report reads that KPFA with a mandate to ensure food safety and hygiene standards in open and local spices business raided local small-scale grinding and process units from time to time.

 “A total number of 247 processing units have been inspected 449 times in Peshawar, Bannu, Swat, Mardan, Kohat, Abbottabad and D.I.Khan” it reads.

The report added that adulteration of wheat straw, rice husk, rancid oil, local substandard colors, china salt were found in spices industries.

 “Poor premises, personal hygiene of the food handlers and unavailability of medical fitness certificates of the workers were also observed” report reveals.

The report discloses that misbranding and no proper labeling, Improper cleaning of raw material and use of old rusted machinery are the major reasons of low-quality products.

 “No proper storage after and before of production and improper pest control inside premises were the observations of the inspection teams. Most of the spices factories grinding on open ground which is totally against food safety standards” report states.

The report recommends that proper product formulation and composition, control and check on raw material, ensure traceability and product blending should be introduced to cope with adulteration. It also suggests that process control, proper packaging and labeling, maintenance of personal and premises hygiene to be ensured.

 “The factories and grinding units should ensure medical screening of workers, replacement of rusted equipment’s and machinery, proper maintenance of storage and follow all SOP’s of the authority” it proposed.

In the post operations section, the report added that 30% improvement in premises hygiene 45% in personal hygiene is observed while 50% medical screening and 30% replacement of rusted machinery and equipment’s already being done.

It also reads that due to close quarter battle with adulterators the authority has reduced 50 percent adulteration in the market and raw material storage conditions are now improving with every passing day.