Businesses in Mandalay that are selling food containing banned food dye now risk having their shops shut down by the authorities, which have launched an operation to ensure food safety.
Closing down a shop is the heaviest penalty the Mandalay City Development Committee (MCDC) can impose on errant business owners.
MCDC Markets and Abattoirs Department chief U Zayar Nyein said the drastic action might need to be taken because the authorities had already warned businesses not to use or sell food containing banned colour additives.
“A lot of education programs had been held. Businesses had been told many times.
“This time, we are taking action and shutting down those who fail to comply,” he told The Myanmar Times.
During the enforcement exercise, MCDC will close a shop for two weeks for the first offence. If the owner repeats the offence, the shop will be shut down completely.
So far, MCDC has shut down five shops for two weeks for selling bamboo shoots that were dyed with banned food colouring.
“We found 10 shops selling food with banned food dye. Half of them had been caught earlier and warned several times during our 100-day program before this.
“Because they still failed to comply with the law, we ordered them to close for two weeks.
“The other five were only found to be using banned dye when we conducted tests this time,” U Zayar Nyein said.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Department in Mandalay had been working with MCDC, the Regional Health Department and General Administration Department in holding programs promoting food safety and access to clean and safe food.
In total, 1907 samples from 22 types of food from 25 major markets within the MCDC territory were tested in the 100-day program.
Mandalay FDA statistics showed that 305 samples contained banned food dyes.
Mandalay FDA deputy director Dr Kyaw Kyaw told The Myanmar Times that businesses were also not allowed to use food dyes unnecessarily.
“During the 100-day program, a surprise check was made and we found some food with banned colour additives.
“We don’t allow additives to be used unnecessarily. The people must follow the rules,” he said.
Source: The Myanmar Times